Spotlight on business, The Lobby, a gathering place

29_lobby_4696LOYAL CUSTOMERS  — Each morning, Monday through Friday, the Coffee Ladies come to The Lobby in Conrad to enjoy cups of coffee and great gossip. Behind them stands, from left, Elin Hohman, Cindy Perkins and owner Jennifer Byrnes.  I-O Photo by Deanna Wakkinen

By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter

From a town rich on values and community comes our ‘Spotlight on Business’ which highlights a business, gives emphasis on their contributions to our community and remembers their history.

The small family of Jamey and Jennifer Byrnes moved to Conrad in 2001 when Jamey was hired as manager of Gary and Leo’s IGA. Not too long after, in 2008, they decided to buy The Lobby.

Originally started in 1997 by Leslie DeVries and Janet McCracken, it then moved into the hands of Gay and Dave Foreman who owned it for eight years. Not wanting such a unique place to go out of business, Jennifer decided to undertake it in 2008. Jennifer had never been in the food industry before but has made her mark in Conrad with delicious homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and fresh bread.

The Lobby also offers a menu of lattes, smoothies and Italian cream sodas that go deliciously with decadent desserts. The Lobby is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and makes a great place to have a cup of gourmet coffee and to use the free Wi-Fi internet.

Jennifer currently has two full time employees, Elin Hohman and Cindy Perkins, who have both worked for The Lobby since before Jennifer bought it in 2008. During the summer months The Lobby also hires high school students and has two regular part-time employees. At one point in time, The Lobby had as many as nine employees at one time.

Besides offering a menu of items that are not fried or greasy, The Lobby also provides catering and an extra room for special events and dinners.

The Lobby is a member of the Conrad Area Chamber of Commerce and participates in fund raisers around the area. Jennifer and Jamey can be found volunteering for many local events as active chamber members and business owners.

If you would like to nominate a business in Conrad or the surrounding area, you may contact Wakkinen at 271-5561 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .