Business features young owner

Pamela Steinle

Angela Olson, 22, used her youth to her advantage when becoming the owner of an eclectic Dinkytown restaurant to open in December.
As an entrepreneur in touch with the needs of younger people, Olson recognized the diverse tastes of the University community and geared her restaurant toward them. The eatery’s name will not be released until it opens.
Located on 13th Avenue Southeast, across from the Chateau apartment building, the restaurant will feature pizza, vegetarian foods and breakfast plates. Late-night pizza delivery will be added in the future.
To ensure success, Olson made sure to include caffeine in her menu: “We offer one hell of a cup of coffee,” she said. “I make a very, very good mocha.”
Olson started her restaurant training in Twin Cities coffee shops and restaurants, including Kieran’s Irish Pub downtown, and Urban Bean and CyberX cafes in Uptown. Olson moved up the chain of command until ownership seemed the next logical step.
With the help of a Wisconsin restaurant owner she met a year ago while serving coffee at Urban Bean, Olson began looking for a location three months ago.
Olson met businessman Patrick Murphy at the Minneapolis cafe where Murphy was a regular. They often talked about Olson’s venture, and Murphy eventually offered to help secure a building, find investors and get her restaurant off the ground.
“I saw the frustration and feeling of being overwhelmed in her,” Murphy said. “I remembered feeling the same way when I had a business idea and needed a loan when I got back from Vietnam.”
After three deals fell through, Olson laid eyes on the ex-Thai restaurant site in Dinkytown and was ready to go. But Murphy was more hesitant.
He envisioned putting $35,000 into a coffeehouse, but Olson was looking at a full restaurant and a much larger investment. The building listed for $450,000.
“I saw the twinkle in her eyes, and I knew I was a goner,” Murphy said. “She asked if I could make the deal happen. I told her anything is doable.”
Upon entering the business field, Olson found that suppliers felt wary about working with her and would instead go to Murphy.
So the pair searched for people who accepted and trusted Olson as the owner.
“We found that the ones with the best deals dealt with Angela directly,” Murphy said. “The lesson here is that businesspeople who think young people and women can’t run businesses do damage to themselves by losing business.”