Amid cooling temperatures and rain, excited Vikings fans lined up outside Caribou Coffee in Stadium Village Tuesday afternoon to meet and buy coffee from Minnesota Vikings Linebacker Eric Kendricks.
Caribou and the Vikings have partnered to raise money in October for breast cancer awareness through four appearances at Caribou stores across the Twin Cities on Tuesday.
Though Kendricks said he doesn’t drink coffee, he posed for photos and signed fans’ memorabilia from 4 to 5 p.m. in the shop.
“It’s a good cause, you know, and … it’s easy to do it,” he said. “I have a lot of influence, whether I like it or not, so me giving back and using that influence for positive things is what’s important.”
The three other stores featured Chad Greenway, Brian Robison and Everson Griffen who also met fans, sold coffee and competed against one another to see who sold the most pounds of Caribou’s “Amy’s Blend.” That brew is named for one of the coffee chain’s original “roastmasters,” Amy Erickson, who died of breast cancer in 1995.
Vikings fan Kurt Turner from Anoka, who sported two Vikings logo tattoos, said he tries to go to every event that features a Vikings player.
“I can’t pick a favorite,” he said, adding he’s met Adrian Peterson, Cordarelle Patterson and Xavier Rhodes, but never Kendricks.
University biomedical engineering freshman Cameron Wonchoba went to the coffee shop specifically to see Kendricks.
“I’m a really big fan,” he said. “[Kendricks is] my favorite player.”
Wonchoba said he didn’t know much about the cause behind the event, adding that he heard of it through social media.
Drew Persson, biochemistry freshman and Vikings fan, said he was “obviously” at the coffee shop to see Kendricks. “Which is exciting because we have one of the most stellar defenses in the NFL right now.”
Persson said he didn’t know anything about the cause behind the event and learned of it through his roommate.
Addison Cole, Stadium Village Caribou’s general manager, said the store was chosen because of its close proximity to campus.
“This is by far the busiest the store has ever been,” Cole said.