A Coffee Break by the Lake
Culver Coffee Company Remains a Local Fixture 16 Years Later
Photographer / Jubilee Edgell
Known by the slogan “Your Coffee Break by the Lake”, Culver Coffee Company has been a fixture in Culver since 2003. Within its welcoming, comfortable space, the shop serves up beverages and tasty treats to town dwellers, lake homeowners and people connected with the Culver Academies. Dawn Brockey and her mother Nancy Minas co-own the establishment, which will soon celebrate 16 years in business.
“In 2003, after I graduated from Indiana State University, I returned to Culver for my five-year reunion from Culver Academies and found the space for sale,” Brockey says. “I played softball in college and traveled all over, and studied in coffee shops when on the road. I knew Culver would be the perfect place to open a little coffee house.
“In December of that year, after months of hard work and support from my family, from laying the tile to putting up dry-wall and painting, I served our first lattes in Culver! I was the sole employee for months, then added a few employees later that first year, and now we carry eight to employees at any given time throughout the year. “
The cafe offers cozy spots to meet up with friends and even outside seating if weather permits — both options enable visitors to enjoy great views of Lake Maxinkuckee. The work of local artists is displayed on the walls and books by local authors are available to purchase. It’s a great place to pick up a last-minute gift since the shop also offers South Bend Chocolates, other gourmet foods, candles, stoneware and Republic of Tea items.
“We have a whole line of specialty gourmet coffee drinks and we always try to use different local roasters in our rotation,” Brockey says. “We serve sandwiches and homemade soups, homemade baked goods such as scones, muffins, breads, brownies plus ice cream, pizza, salads and more. We are known for our Maxinkuckee mocha’s, as well as our top-selling retail line of apparel, ‘Lake Maxinkuckee, Unsalted, No Sharks!’”
Brockey comes from a longstanding tradition of owning a family business. Her great grandfather opened the Minas Store in downtown Hammond, which stayed in the family for 100 years. Her grandfather instilled the importance of using a slogan and today #yourcoffeebreakbythelake is used in almost all the café’s Instagram posts. Brockey met her husband Larry, owner of Brockey Insurance, when he came into the shop for coffee. Today they have three young children who some day might have a part in the family businesses.
Reflecting on Culver Coffee Company’s upcoming anniversary, Brockey says, “The Culver Coffee Company values education, arts, and the environment. We value positive and friendly relationships, and we believe everyone needs a smile. We believe in giving back to the community and donate to over 90 causes a year, all over Marshall County.”
“My mission was to bring all three aspects of Culver together- the Academies, community, and lake visitors. The thing I am perhaps most proud of is that our customers truly range from each of those three areas. I am grateful they all feel treated the same, and welcome in the café!”
Culver Coffee Company is located at 634 East Lake Shore Drive in Culver. For more information, visit them on Facebook and Instagram, @culvercoffeeco.