October 20, 2023

Fortifi Bank Celebrates AJ’s Riverside: Berlin’s New Coffee Shop


Berlin, Wisconsin, is buzzing with anticipation as AJ’s Riverside, a new coffee shop in the downtown district, brings in a refreshed vision for the community. Fortifi Bank had the privilege of attending the grand opening and being a part of the ribbon cutting!

“Angie and Jamie’s coffee shop will flourish in Berlin. They have such passion and energy. I am looking forward to working with them for many years! – Adam Anderson, Business Banker at Fortifi.

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with the dynamic duo behind AJ’s Riverside, Angie Schuster and Jamie White, to get the inside scoop about this exciting venture.

What kind of experience can customers expect?

“We want the overall experience to feel welcoming and inviting. Grab a hot cup of coffee to go or stay a while and drink your coffee in a mug in our cozy area or at a table. Enjoy the relaxation and hopefully tell your friends!”


Describe your business in a nutshell?

“We are more than a coffee shop. We serve BOOM! coffee, fresh smoothies, herbal teas, and iced drinks. Pair that with a made-to-order sandwich. ”


Tell me the story of how your business got started.

“It is a very short story – 2 best friends eating breakfast and one stated, ‘the coffee shop is for sale,’ the other stated, ‘let’s buy it,’ and the reply was ‘ok!'”


Tell me the story of how you started your business to where you are now.

“From the moment we decided to take over this business to today there was a lot of hard work and dedication. We were determined to purchase this special little place. We fell in love with it the moment we saw it. If it wasn’t for Fortifi Bank and all of our friends and family, we really wouldn’t be where we are today! We are a part of an amazing community and want to be a part of it all. Business has been very good, and the support is amazing! Makes us want to push harder to bring more to our business.”


What are your plans for the future of your business?

“In the very near future, we are going to add Sunday Breakfast! We are very excited about this and hope the community is as well! We are also going to start adding night hours with some nights having entertainment. We are looking to have different activities throughout the months to involve the community.”


What are the benefits of being a small business owner? What are some challenges?

“The benefits are that you can have more one-on-one contact with the customers…you get to know your customers and want them to feel like family. Some struggles are breakdowns or the financial end of things. But as a small business owner, you figure it out and make it work. You learn to utilize what you have and how you can make it work in the meantime.”


What advice do you have for newer business owners?

“Stay in communication with the city and business owners around you. Always make sure you do your due diligence. Don’t give up!”


How does your local community affect your business? How do you affect your community?

“The local community is a big part of our business! If it wasn’t for a community, we wouldn’t have customers. We hope that we can have a positive effect on our community! We want to participate in all we can and help whoever we can.”


What values or principles do you prioritize in running your business, and how do they contribute to its success?

“Customer service and family. There is no way that we could have this business without our amazing employees and customers, which we consider our family.”


Lastly, what message would you like to convey to the community about the significance of supporting local businesses like yours?

“Support, support, support. Without small businesses, towns like Berlin won’t thrive. Small businesses provide donations to schools, organizations, and people in need.”


As Berlin welcomes AJ’s Riverside, it is evident that the owners are driven by a profound commitment to their community and a passion for delivering an unparalleled coffee experience. Whether you are a Berlin resident or just passing through, we invite you to step into AJ’s Riverside, savor a cup of coffee, and become a cherished member of their warm and welcoming family.



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