Katahdin Coffee House Launches on Main Street

Now offering a line of locally-themed coffee blends, homemade donuts, bagels from Bangor’s Bagel Central and more from their Main Street location are John and Theresa Dudley and their family, including young Isabella. (Photo by Lura Jackson)

By Lura Jackson

 

Calais has reached an important milestone with the launching of Katahdin Coffee House on Main Street. Much more than simply being purveyors of fine breakfast goods, the owners are going a step beyond by offering their own line of specially-blended coffees, each of which has a name appropriate to the area. It’s a meaningful touch that captures the combination of community and quality that the owners of Katahdin Coffee House are striving for.

Officially opening on Thursday, August 9th, Katahdin Coffee House is the enthusiastically-created project of owners John and Theresa Dudley. For Theresa, who grew up in Pleasant Point and enjoys the company of many extended relatives in the area, it is the feeling of embarking on a new adventure in her home community. For John, it is the manifestation of a dream shared by his father and passed on to him – as well as being the perfect opportunity to utilize the unique set of skills he has cultivated throughout his lifetime.

Raised in Gorham, John built houses with his father (a carpenter by trade) throughout his teens. He remembers his father occasionally reflecting back on a job he had held in youth: running the kitchen in a lodge on Sebago Lake. “He always said, if he could, he would go back and do that,” John recalls.

As John grew up, the two discussed the possibility of opening a coffee house in the future. He obtained a degree in biology, and soon employed his aptitude for understanding organisms and mathematics to become a coveted manager of various food chains around New England – from KFC to Dunkin Donuts to Wendy’s. A few years ago he reached a point where he recognized he was ready to open his own eatery, and the wheels began to turn to get it into motion.

While his dad has since passed away, John appreciates that the dream is clearly living on. “I feel him here,” he said, gesturing around the comfortably-decorated interior of the coffee house, located next to the Urban Moose.

It wasn’t by accident or on a whim that the couple selected Calais to launch their new line of coffee products. “We were looking for an up-and-coming place,” John said, explaining that they had considered several possible communities in Washington County to start in. “We came here and saw all the work getting done. Every single shop was being worked on.” As a year-round city with a rebounding downtown, Calais fit what they were looking for perfectly.

Now available at Katahdin Coffee House

Now, Katahdin Coffee House will be selling its visitors a full line of fresh-brewed coffees and cold blended drinks, homemade donuts fried on the spot, teas, fruit smoothies, breakfast sandwiches and a limited selection of lunchtime sandwiches. In keeping with John’s desire to serve “the best,” bagels from Bangor’s renowned Bagel Central will be served.

The coffee blends available include Quoddy Bay Blend, Devil’s Head Dark Roast, St. Croix Valley Vanilla, Hazelnut Horizons, Blueberry Barrens, Paradise Blend and Blue Devil Decaf. The coffee will be available hot or iced – with the iced versions being brewed fresh and kept cool for on-demand pouring – or in a blended smoothie form with the customer’s choice of half and half, yogurt, or almond milk mixed in.

Those seeking added flavor will find it in the array of flavor shots the Dudleys will have on hand: toasted marshmallow, root beer, expresso shot, butterscotch, raspberry, coconut, English toffee, pumpkin pie, amaretto, butter pecan and pistachio.

The donuts will be handmade each day by John, Theresa and their 16-year old son, Michael. They’ve developed their own frostings including a glaze, cream cheese, chocolate and vanilla. Theresa is working on perfecting a gluten-free donut, which she hopes will be available soon.

The wide selection and quality products of Katahdin Coffee House won’t come with a high price. The Dudleys own all of their equipment, and John will utilize his extensive managerial experience in food service to keep prices at a level that will be highly competitive with local chains. As an example, donuts will be sold for less than a dollar each, with tax included. “People shouldn’t have to spend $11 on breakfast,” John said. “I’d rather make less money and sell more stuff, because, then, everybody’s talking about you.”

With its unique-but-inviting rustic industrial décor, free wi-fi and USB charging stations, window, table and bar seating options, Katahdin Coffee House will be generating plenty of buzz. If all goes well, the Dudleys are aiming to expand from Calais to an additional store in Machias and potentially Baileyville in the future.

 

Located at 343 Main Street, Katahdin Coffee House will be open from Monday through Friday, 4 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. On some occasions, such as when there is a concert happening in Triangle Park, they will be open later.