Saturday, September 24 marked the second annual Bienvenue Coffee Festival at the St. Louis County Depot in Duluth.

The historic building was bustling all day with just about every local coffee-roaster and cafè, as well as an abundance of coffee-related artisans, much to the appeal of nearly 4,000 caffeine-enthused visitors (double the attendance from last year).

There were also multiple stages with live music and demonstrations on various coffee topics, from how to be a better at-home barista, to a latte art throwdown with expert competitors.

The Duluth Depot
Photo provided by St. Louis County Depot Facebook Page

Hailey Eidenschink, University of Minnesota Extension Local Educator and Cultural Coordinator, stated that The Depot “…really wanted to embrace and celebrate coffee and cafè culture;” this led to a heavy partnership with Duluth Coffee Company, as they are right “on the pulse” of that culture in our region, according to Eidenschink.

The name of the festival, Bienvenue, is French for “welcome” and was chosen as a nod to The Depot’s Châteauesque architecture.

While it is most popular for the Lake Superior Railroad Museum (which is ticketed), the building also houses the Duluth Art Institute Galleries and the St. Louis County Historical Society (both of which are free), as well as a number of events in connection with Extension and the Duluth community.

Being that it’s a taxpayer-funded building, Eidenschink and the rest of The Depot staff want citizens to “…feel like the building is theirs, because it really is. The Depot is celebrating 130 years in 2022 and we’re hoping to stick around for another 130 and the only way that will happen is through community investment.”

The Depot is located at 506 West Michigan Street and has been operating as a cultural and arts center since it was acquired by the county in the 1970’s.

In order to keep things free, The Depot is always looking for volunteers at the museums and for events. You can find more information about volunteering, the museums, the building’s history, and events on their website and their facebook page StLouisCountyDepot.