Minnesota native runs coffee shop near Olympic Park

Just outside of Olympic Park, one of roughly a thousand coffee shops is owned and operated by a Minnesota native.

GANGNEUNG, South Korea - Gangneung, South Korea is home to the coastal cluster of the 2018 Winter Olympic games.

It's also known as the Coffee Capital of South Korea. In this town of roughly 200,000, there are roughly one thousand coffee shops.

And just outside of Olympic Park, one center of caffeine is owned and operated by a Minnesota native.

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Meet Bob Graff, part-time college professor and owner of Uncle Bob’s coffee shop.

"You’re visiting my home, I want you to have a pleasant time," Graff says.

That hospitality and the drink itself are two points of immense pride in Gangnueng, where they love the beverage so much, there is a museum dedicated to it.

Graff, who was born in Taylors Falls, came here for the first time over 30 years ago when he worked with Price Waterhouse. After going back and forth, 23 years ago he settled in South Korea and opened his shop.

"I feel very comfortable here," he said. "I feel natural here. I feel like this is where I should be."

Comfort is not something that a lot of people outside South Korea envision those inside the country feeling, being so close to a nuclear threat like North Korea. But Graff says while the rest of the world might fear their neighbors to the north, those in South Korea have become used to the threat.

"In terms of a present threat, most Koreans have lived with the present threat for the past 50 years," Graff said. "And you become numb to it. ... I know that they’re up there, I know they can do a lot of terrible things if they want, but I don’t think that they’ll do it. I mean, you don’t throw your dog poop in your neighbor’s yard."

For now their yard is the center of the world's attention as host of these games. And like many host cities, some are in favor of the Olympics and some are not. For Graff and other business owners, they love the boom of consumers, but fear a possible bust after.

"We're less focused on the Olympics and more focused on what happens after," he says.