said she looks at updating the menu about once a year. As one example, new scrambled egg breakfast bowls with healthy added ingredients will be rolled out soon at Mud Creek.
New line of “clean” soups
Several other things are new at Mud Creek in the past year, including a new line of “clean” soups such as sweet potato chipotle and white chicken chili. “Clean” simply means they use whole foods with as few processed ingredients or preservatives as possible. “We sell so much soup,” Julie said, including in the summertime.
Also new at Mud Creek in the past year is a new espresso machine to take the place of the previous one. The new machine is fully automatic and provides consistency, something Julie said she strives for in all her beverage and food offerings.
And when it comes to beverages, the ones which shined the most in the past year were the espresso based lattes, mochas and specialty drinks. Julie said word-of-mouth advertising has helped that happen, and Taylor added, “We really focus on the details and making it happen.” Julie added, “We’re very accommodating on how customers want things.”
“It’s building relationships,” Taylor said. “That’s what people love.” She talked about the man from Appleton who swings by every day on his way to work to get his same latte made his way. Julie said, “Because there’s only seven of us working here, we all know our customers.”
There were plenty of customers on a very busy Saturday recently and the Mud Creek staff worked hard to keep up. A customer later commented on how good the food was and how friendly the staff was despite the full house. “Focus on the details,” Julie said of how Mud Creek approaches everything. “It makes all the difference in the world.”
Mud Creek continues to give customers what they want, such as milk alternatives for their coffee drinks including soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk. Gluten friendly alternatives were introduced about a year ago—most of Mud Creek’s soups are now gluten free—and Julie said, “That’s worked out so well for us.”
Wine tastings are another feature Mud Creek has dabbled in in recent years, and Julie said with the elimination of Thursday night open hours could open the door for more of those. She has been in discussions with an area chef about bringing a gourmet touch to the food provided at some of those wine tastings. The full liquor license Mud Creek has could lead to other events as well.
“We’re not just a coffee shop or a restaurant,” Julie added. “A lot of people walk out of here with a little retail.” Mud Creek has a nice selection of gift and food items for any occasion, including natural bar soaps, mugs, whole bean coffee, chocolates, and more. Christmas gift baskets are a big seller at Mud Creek, Julie said.
No matter what time of year, traffic is good at Mud Creek, and at the moment an opportunity exists for another business to take advantage of that. Julie mentioned that around Labor Day the current office space next to her in the retail center will become available. It is about 1,000 square feet and would be great for a small retailer, possibly along the lines of fashion or gifts, but anyone interested can talk to Julie.
Julie said she is very thankful for that customer traffic, and added, “They’re so thankful that we’re here. The big dream was to revitalize Stockbridge. The smaller dream was the coffee shop.”
Right now it would seem they are living both dreams.