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Electric Brew in Goshen marks 20 years of great coffee and friendships

Myron Bontrager remembers when The Electric Brew opened 20 years ago.

“I thought it was crazy. Why would you do that?” he thought.

Years later, he’s now the owner at 118 E. Washington along with his wife, Dana. He’s the guy overseeing roasting and serving of countless cups of coffee.

Founders Tony and Brenda Kauffman weren’t able to make it back from Oregon for the celebration, but dozens of others enjoyed free coffee and pastries on Tuesday night to celebrate the opening of the coffee shop.

Brenda imported the idea from her home in Oregon and opened in a former Arby’s at the corner of Main and Washington in Goshen in 1996. She worked hard to educate people about the foreign concept of a coffee shop, said Bontrager, who purchased the business in 2007.

He moved the shop across the street into a larger space in 2013 and it continues to be an immensely popular spot to chat, hang out and work in. “I think it’s become an anchor store to downtown. I think it’s had a good influence on the vibrancy of downtown,” he said.

In December, the Brew, as it’s called, was named Business of the Year award from the Indiana Main Street Program. Bontrager said they plan to continue roasting and working to buy coffee as close to the source as possible. He said he doesn’t intend to keep the business another 20 years, but is pleased with how it continues to help build a variety of relationships.

Marshall V. King is food columnist for Flavor 574 and community editor for The Elkhart Truth. You can reach him at 574-296-5805,, and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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