Skip Stone Coffee Roasters adds neighborhood coffee shop to the list of year-round establishments in Sister Bay.
Opened on Nov. 16, Skip Stone is the newest brand to join the ranks at Wild Restaurant Concepts, a restaurant group made up of Wild Tomato Wood-fired Pizza & Grille, Bier Zot and Go Wild take-out. Having already made a mark on the Door County food scene via wood-fired pizza and gastropub food and drink, the group is hoping to expand that success to include artisan coffee, baked goods and breakfast sandwiches.
The new coffee shop sits at a prime location in the heart of the village, just across the street from the post office and within walking distance to the marina and beach at Waterfront Park. A summer of remodeling work turned the prior T-shirt store into an inviting space accented with bold red chandeliers, a counter fronted with rustic barn boards and black-and-white patterned tile flooring.
“Skip Stone” is a name brainstormed by owner Brit Unkefer’s good friend JT Nero who felt it tied the brand back to Brit’s roots on Washington Island, where the two spent summers skipping stones at Schoolhouse Beach. The name is fitting; anyone who has summered here (myself included) can likely summon a similar nostalgic memory of attempting to defy gravity by making stones skim the surface of Lake Michigan.
From streetview, the building looks to be built at odd angles, but once inside, the reasoning becomes clear. Windows on the north exterior wall provide ample views of the nearby shoreline and grassy park. Stairs in the back of the café lead to a second floor seating area overlooking the front counter. Window seats beckon customers to relax with clusters of soft pillows.
The menu lists café classics using roasted beans from Milwaukee’s Pilcrow Coffee, alongside beer, wine and other cold refreshments. A bakery counter displays apple crumble and orange cranberry muffins with a trio of scones: cheesy ham, cherry almond and maple pecan. Post-Thanksgiving weekend, the food menu will include the addition of five different breakfast sandwiches.
Skip Stone has also set up a self-service station enabling customers to order snack items and self-serve coffee via a digital kiosk near the front door. Customers can select items, pay via card, and grab and go. The intention is to ease wait times during busy hours and smooth traffic during the morning rush.
“If you’re like me in the morning and you just want to get a straight cup of coffee and get going, the self-serve station is here so you don’t have to wait in line or turn to gas station coffee,” said Brit. No offense to gas station coffee, you’ve always been there in times of need, but I much prefer the fresh pour of Pilcrow’s Storyteller blend.
During warmer months the outdoor patio will be arranged to seat an additional 20 patrons, providing open-air ambiance. Other plans for the future include offering a bloody mary bar, expanded food items for later weekend hours, and creating a signature blend of roasted beans. For now, the team is focused on consistency with their current offerings and serving the winter community seven days a week.
Hours of operation are currently 7 am – 2 pm daily and until 5 pm on Saturdays. They are closed on Thanksgiving, but will be open for Black Friday shopping outings.