Downtown coffee shop Urban Stampede for sale; owners want to see it continue

050520.N.GFH.Urban Stampede.jpg
Kelly Thompson and Patti Eider are selling their coffee shop, Urban Stampede, after the pandemic showed then a quieter way of life. (Adam Kurtz/ Grand Forks Herald)

The owners of downtown coffee shop Urban Stampede have put the business up for sale, after the coronavirus pandemic showed them a simpler, slower way of life.

Business partners Kelly Thompson and Patti Eider made the announcement about selling the business in a May 1 post on social media, where they thanked their customers and staff for the years of memories that have been made at the coffee shop. The Urban Stampede is closed, though it will reopen when circumstances surrounding the pandemic allow.

Thompson and Eider had no intention of selling the business before the pandemic came and showed them what life was like away from it.

“It just gave us an opportunity to experience not being under the pressure of operating a business,” said Thompson, in a Monday phone call with the Herald.

A number of parties already have reached out, expressing interest in the business, which Thompson described as “viable” and “profitable.” He doesn’t want to see the shop close and is looking for a buyer who has new ideas to help the business grow.


“It's important to us that someone continues with what we have,” Thompson said. “My preference is for a buyer that will continue the Urban Stampede.”

Thompson and Eider have other business in which they are involved. Together they own screen printing company Ink, Inc., which lies adjacent to the Urban Stampede. They are also real estate agents, and Thompson owns rental properties in Grand Forks.

“I have four jobs,” he said. “It's easy to see why I might want to peel one off.”

The business partners started Urban Stampede in 1993. Sitting at the corner of Kittson Avenue and South Fourth Street, the shop has become a landmark downtown business, serving coffee since the very beginning of the gourmet coffee boom. In those days, Thompson said staff had to help customers understand the difference between different types of coffee, until the trend exploded upward and people became more aware.

“We had to educate a lot of people back then,” Thompson said. “People didn't know what an espresso was, or a cappuccino.”

Making personal connections with their clientele have been some of the most memorable moments for Thompson and Eider. The shop has seen a few engagements and weddings over the years, as well as the decades-long patronage of some customers. The daughter of a barista who worked there when the shop opened in 1993, also worked at Urban Stampede.

“We've had two generations of employees, which was kind of fun,” Thompson said.

These days the shop sits closed and the windows are dark. Thompson and Eider elected to close the business about six weeks ago, rather than offer curbside pickup. The shop doesn’t have a drive-thru window, and a large part of their customer base evaporated when Grand Forks County shifted most of its staff to working from home, then closed the county office building and courthouse in the middle of March.


Eider said she agrees with the decision to sell Urban Stampede. She isn’t looking at a potential sale of the coffee shop with a heavy heart.

“It's just a time in our lives where we think, OK, we’ve had a busy, busy great time of things,” she said. “The timing is good.”

Thompson said he absolutely expects the coffee shop to sell, and, if it doesn’t, he and Eider are prepared to continue the business themselves.

“It's kind of a flukey thing,” Thompson said. “We weren't thinking about offering it for sale and, if it doesn’t sell, we're perfectly fine continuing on, and we will reopen.”

Adam Kurtz is the community editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He covers higher education and other topics in Grand Forks County and the city.

Kurtz joined the Herald in July 2019. He covered business and county government topics before covering higher education and some military topics.

Tips and story ideas are welcome. Get in touch with him at, or DM at @ByAdamKurtz.

Desk: 701-780-1110
What To Read Next
Get Local