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Coffee, Community, and Connectivity: A Match Made in Heaven

Mocha from Cabin Coffee

It’s the smile from behind the counter. It’s being greeted by your first name. It’s also a sign that reads, Just Be Happy… and Have Fun!

You’re immediately greeted with warmth and a sense of belonging when you step into Cabin Coffee. This is because Brad and Angie Barber are committed to serving great coffee, building community relationships, and living purposeful lives. Their commitment is reflected in their franchise model. 

Brad and Angie put their franchisees in a good position for success by identifying ideal locations, hiring architects and contractors, and ensuring their stores have all the necessary communication needs to run smoothly. This last part is where CL Tel comes in.

Cabin Coffee’s first interaction with CL Tel was in 2002 when they opened their Clear Lake store. Tom and Jan Lovell generously donated a desktop computer for Internet use. For those who remember those days, the desktop was located underneath a large Moose at the back of the store. “It was the first Internet café in north central Iowa,” CL Tel President Jan Lovell said jokingly. 

The two owners discovered CL Tel based on an advertisement featuring a cheetah logo for fast Internet speeds. At that time, many Iowans were using dial-up services, and fast meant download speeds of 512 Kbps. It would take nine hours to download one episode from your favorite show at that speed. 

The Cabin Coffee owners loved the idea of having a location where customers could interact with information on the Internet at their leisure. And CL Tel was embarking on its broadband vision to bring reliable, secure, and fast Internet to rural Iowa. Both companies believed in community and living a purposeful life, making this a match made in heaven. 

Focused on People

Brad believes in making individuals feel special. His communication – face-to-face, email, text, or other channels – is about what he can do to build you up. You can sense it in his weekly “Mornin’ Posts” on Facebook. His communication always has a positive flair because he knows you never know what’s happening in someone else’s world. 

Ideally, he wants to have face-to-face conversations. It allows him to connect with others, listening and adding value to the discussion. This was essential during Covid. The Cabin Coffee team often used video conferencing, which allowed Brad to stay connected with his employees and maintain relationships even during tough times. He credits CL Tel’s reliable service with helping his team remain connected. 

“I wish CL Tel was everywhere,” Brad admits, “because getting Internet anywhere outside of Clear Lake is a nightmare.” 

Barber said Clear Lake’s success and CL Tel go hand-in-hand. He believes having a trusted, local provider strengthens community relationships, ultimately contributing to developing, nurturing, and enriching the lives of families and individuals in north central Iowa. 

This is at the heart of Brad’s vision for Cabin Coffee—to help people discover and develop their talents to add value and serve one another. “By having CL Tel nearby, we are better equipped to reach this goal and create a strong community together.”

Living a purposeful life is all about making a difference in the lives of others. Brad and Angie’s commitment to their franchisees, community, and employees is a testament to their values and vision. 

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