Red Poppy Coffee Co. celebrates 10 years of caffeinating readers

When Lisa Hoekstra went to the previous location of the Georgetown Public Library a decade ago to look for cookbooks, she had no idea an overheard conversation would lead to a new chapter in her life.

As she browsed the aisles searching for recipes, Hoekstra found herself within earshot of a newspaper reporter asking a Georgetown Public Library employee about the new library facility, which had not yet started construction. She learned the building plans would include space for a privately owned and operated coffee shop within the library building.

Hoekstra had previously owned a coffee shop, which also sold books, for seven years on Williams Drive in Georgetown. She jumped at the chance to once again run a business that involved coffee and books, she said.

“I just thought it would be a really neat place to be all day,” Hoekstra said. “My shop before was a combination coffee shop [and] bookstore, so this was a natural progression from that.”

In January 2007, Red Poppy Coffee Co. opened with the new Georgetown Public Library. In the wake of the shop’s tenth anniversary, Hoekstra said she has enjoyed having a variety of customers during Red Poppy’s decade of business. Not only library patrons stop by for a coffee, she said.

“We get a lot of customers that live around the area and come in just for the cafe,” she said. “There are quite a few offices and retail shops in the area. Employees from the courthouse and city offices also come by, and Sun City folks as well.”

Hoekstra said the chicken salad sandwich, served on a fresh croissant, is the most popular menu item at Red Poppy Coffee Co., followed by its paninis.

“We try to strive for really high-quality ingredients,” she said. “You can eat healthy but still have comfort food.”

Red Poppy’s menu includes sandwiches made with meats and cheeses sliced in-house by employees, and the tuna and chicken salads are homemade, Hoekstra said. Items not baked in-house are supplied by local Georgetown bakers.

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Red Poppy Coffee Co.
402 W. Eighth St., Georgetown
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m.