Emma Stoltzfus–Staff Writer
Music fills the small room, the bass so strong at times you can feel each strum vibrating in the air, floor and the chosen beverage in your hand.
It’s the Fruited Plain Café’s ninth birthday.
Laremy De Vries opened the Fruited Plain Café nine years ago in Sioux Center and refers to it as his second child. “Though the Fruited Plain is less of a dependent than it was as a one-year-old,” he admits.
De Vries describes working at a coffeeshop as his fallback plan through the years. He worked at a coffeeshop in high-school, helped start the “Humble Bean Coffee House” in what is now the Terrace room next to the Grille and managed a coffee shop in Maryland.
Many of the decorations in the Fruited Plain were rescued from the trash. De Vries points out a large wooden stump that he found and sanded down to become a side table, a windmill painting that now sits next to a piano in the corner, and a large map of south America that used to hang in a Dordt classroom. They, and many pieces like them, give the café a unique style.
A group of older men and women pack around a round wooden table and laugh as they enjoy coffee the morning of the café’s birthday party. “At any given time, 30 percent of the people here go to our church.” De Vries said.
Dordt students, too, take advantage of the Fruited Plain and its quiet back room as a place to study.
“The Dordt crowd is mostly after classes and on Tuesdays,” said Dordt junior Anneliese Donstad, who works at the café, “you know, to come and get their $2 drinks.”
For the birthday celebration, people and music filled the Fruited Plain filled to celebrate. From eight to midnight, local musicians like Noah Diest, The Aircraft, The Ruralists and Gopher Broke played original and cover songs in the Back Back.
The café often hosts music events with local artists like this, but this time each act concluded by wishing the Fruited Plain a happy birthday.
No one can predict what the next nine years will hold for the Fruited Plain, but De Vries is ready for anything.
“A lie that I tell myself is that I want routine and I just want normal,” he said. “If I wanted routine and normal, I would sell insurance or something.”