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Coffee Goes Upscale at Open Pantry

MILWAUKEE -- Open Pantry Food Marts gave the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee a jolt of java with the opening of the first Willow Creek Espresso Bar near the campus this month.

The espresso bar serves a variety of coffee-based drinks ranging from frappes to lattes, as well as Italian sodas and smoothies with the signature drink being the Andes Mint Frappe. A variety of pastries and high-end food products is also being sold.

The Willow Creek Espresso Bar reflects Open Pantry’s expansion into higher-end offerings for its customers. The espresso bar provides computers for customer use, red leather seating, a functioning gas fireplace, a meeting room and magazines and games for customers.

Jim Fiene, Open Pantry’s senior vice president of operations, said, "We have worked hard to make the Willow Creek Espresso Bar a destination for our consumers by creating an environment with a welcoming feel. I feel that with the warm environment we provide along with our quality products, we have achieved this goal."

Pleasant Prairie, Wis.-based Open Pantry operates 32 c-stores in Wisconsin and is contemplating future Willow Creek Espresso Bar locations throughout the Milwaukee area.

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