Coffee Shop Coworking is a series that highlights cafes and coffee shops in and around the Des Moines metro perfect for entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives, and remote workers to get things done. Each installment will highlight what a particular location is best for, what you can expect from its work environment, and what sets it apart from other local alternatives.
Mahalo’s Coffee & Mini Donuts
When it comes to finding coffee in West Des Moines, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someplace that’s not a chain. So when it comes to setting up shop in a cafe to do a little coworking, you may not be overwhelmed with options.
Enter Mahalo’s Coffee & Mini Donuts. Located in a strip mall off Mills Civic Parkway and buffered by a Quizno’s and a day spa, the small shop may not immediately be a place you would think of to get work done. But Mahalo’s free wifi, comfortable environment, and (let’s be honest) easy access to mini donuts makes it a great place to pop in for some powdered sugar coated productivity.
Stepping through the doors at Mahalo’s, you can almost feel the sand beneath your toes and island breeze brush your cheek. One thing is clear—the small coffee shop has fully embraced its Hawaiian theme. Twinkle lights and paper lanterns hang overhead, giving the coffee shop a serene glow. The brightly patterned walls are covered in surfboards, flip flops, and vintage travel posters while wooden tiki masks, leis and even a ukulele act as added decoration. Acoustic tunes play softly over the sound system as the smell of donuts wafts through the air.
Mahalo’s offers a variety of coffee drinks (many of which have Hawaiian themed names) and teas as well as smoothies. And, of course, there are the mini donuts. While some of the “Island Style” mini donuts are a little too sweet for me, the classic cinnamon sugar ones (six for $3.49) are pretty tasty if you’re looking for a sweet treat. Mahalo’s also does catering if you’re interested in having their donuts delivered. If you’re not feeling a sweet start to your day, the coffee shop also has a variety of breakfast sandwiches and wraps sure to satisfy your more savory cravings.
The Work Environment
While Mahalo’s seems to have a pretty steady stream of customers coming and going with their sweet selections, hardly anyone camped out to work or even drink their coffee in the shop. This may just depend on the time of day, but when it comes down to selecting a work environment, I admittedly felt a little out of place on my laptop.
That said, the coffee shop offers a wide variety of seating from wooden two-tops to comfy couches and benches to a bar with stools along the front window. And if you ask, the friendly staff is more than happy to tell you the wifi password (to a network which is aptly named “Aloha”). Since the space is smaller, it can get a little echoey, especially if the blender is running. But overall, Mahalo’s is comfortable for light work or email answering.
Since it’s also technically a bakery, the coffee shop has fairly limited hours. Mahalo’s is closed on Sundays and not open past 3:00 PM most days. This makes it great for an early morning treat or a spot to do some email answering between lunchtime meetings. But if you’re working outside of of the normal 9-to-5, consider popping downtown to Gravitate for some after-hours coworking and an additional java jolt.
Best For: A Unique Change of Scenery
Are you feeling stuck? Need a quick burst of inspiration? Mahalo’s Coffee & Mini Donuts is the perfect jolt to your senses. Grab a caffeine boost (and let’s be honest, a half-dozen mini donuts, too) and be reinvigorated by this hidden West Des Moines workplace. With bright decor, the sweet smell of baking mini donuts, and a steady stream of customers to watch if you need to do a quick distraction, you’re sure to find a flash of inspiration over your latte. While the coffee shop’s limited hours mean it won’t be your reliable home base, this unique location will serve as a great place to put some big ideas to paper or send the emails you’ve been avoiding.
- Latte: $3.40
- Black Coffee: $2.05
- Coffee Quality: 2 / 5
- Work atmosphere: 3 / 5
- Meeting: 2 / 5
Get to Work
4800 Mills Civic Parkway, #105
West Des Moines, IA 50266
Monday – Friday: 6:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Saturday: 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Get in Touch
IMAGE CREDIT: Mahalo's on Facebook