Small Business Saturday began with a coffee and breakfast at the Exchange Coffee, Mercantile, and Eatery in Downtown De Pere on a breezy November morning. It looked different than every Small Business Saturday that went before it with people wearing their masks even on the sides of the road, while they stood in line to go into the small businesses that so need their help to continue to survive the pandemic. The Exchange was no different with spots on the floor to mark proper social distancing and laminated menus to be washed off behind the counter after you ordered.
I talked about them more than a month ago when I wrote a short series highlighting favored and interesting local food businesses in the area, and The Exchange was a large part of my coffee article when I discussed other places I still wanted to go. We finally got there that morning, hungry and not at all caffeinated. We changed that quickly in their beautiful indoor dining area. Other patrons made sure to help maintain distance at tables, and the Exchange itself adopted a system where customers deposited their own dishes into washbins to limit interactions with staff during our stay.