I CONFESS … I AM!!
Henry, Gypsy Daisy and I got stuck in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe it was a rut from one of the Oregon Trail or Lewis and Clark Expedition wagons that helped persuade us, but we’ve made camp for a bit.
… ready to explore Portland’s coffee culture!
In January I’ll be starting a tour of the famous, deeply rooted coffee culture here in the Portland area over the next several weeks and will share many of them here on the pages of my blog. I love to sample the roasts, watch the baristas as their craft and sit along side the regulars it take it all in.
Please share your favorite Portland coffeehouse or specialty roaster with me so I can make sure to find the best.
A toast to the roast!
First stop on my indie coffee road trip: Laramie, WY
“Home to Malcontents, Revolutionaries, and Do-Gooders of all types” is on the door.. A grand description of many coffeehouses I’d say, as they have historically attracted people that gather for the greater good.
Coal Creek Coffee Company has been part of downtown Laramie‘s landscape since 1993; an old-timer in the industry by U.S. standards. The founder is local entrepreneur, John Guerin. According to another John, one of his three employees behind the counter today, the owner is passionate about coffee and owns two coffeehouses and a roastery also in Laramie. But it doesn’t stop there … Founder-John also loves to bake tasty sweets like homemade graham crackers drizzled with dark chocolate, granola and cookies to name a few of the tempting treats behind the glass.
Next on his list of loves is brewing beer and is in the process of opening a brew pub next door to the coffeehouse on Grand and the railroad tracks … does this guy have it goin’ on or what? His business partner and wife is Jodi Guerin … A fellow Sister of mine with Sisters in the Fly! I love the synchronicity!
I just had to post a photo of their retro Elektra espresso machine … wow!
It is a Saturday afternoon with bright blue skies and a crisp, almost-autumn breeze swirling through town. the customers I see are musicians, students, local homeless, young families, and a Tibetan monk. All are welcome and comfortable here.
My drink of choice? … a made from scratch iced chai!
by Lisa via PressSync
Isn’t it great to be local?
Jake’s Brew Bar … is a “brew” bar serving brewed coffee and brewed beer! Clever, eh? They have been open about 12 months, and today have tons of business walking through the doors in the revitalized Main Street of Downtown Littleton, Colorado.
Barista Matt was gracious from the moment I walked in the door, offering a friendly smile with a kind demeanor. He made me feel at home for the afternoon I spent in the front window writing and blogging.
They have chosen two different local roasters as their coffee vendors: Novo Coffee and Corvus Coffee; both are well respected roasters in Colorado.
Some coffeehouses are heavy on one type of customer or the other; you may see mostly students or a lot of artists. This place seemed to draw a nice blend of the community with folks chatting with each other comparing qualities of local craft beer and a few folks sitting at their computers sending last minute emails on a Friday afternoon.
Jake’s was named after the owner’s father, Jacob Barth. He is from Albuquerque, NM and served in the Army during of WWII. Owners, Janie and her daughter, Vanessa, also own a wine bar around the corner off of Main St. called Katie’s ~ named after her mother.
It is a family affair! Step in during the Western Welcome Week coming up this summer.
Luvin’ local, Lisa
Jake’s Brew Bar
2540 W. Main Street
Littleton, CO 80120
Paris on the Platte’s Sidewalk Sandwich Sign in LoDo, Denver
I had a long conversation yesterday with a coffeehouse owner about the business of owning a coffeehouse … you know, the challenges associated with keeping it going on a daily basis. “The margin in coffee is just so low”, he said.
His coffeehouse has been in Denver for over 20 years and also has experience in fine dining. He has chosen to diversify his offerings to include alcohol and live music in the evenings. The location of the coffeehouse used to be a popular destination, but now sits on a very busy neighborhood street and feels it is lost in the shuffle.
He indicated these as his biggest challenges:
- Keeping overhead low; especially getting reasonable pricing on dry goods and condiments from suppliers
- Attracting and keeping knowledgeable, involved baristas
- Staying abreast of the growing, changing coffee culture both locally and globally in the midst of a 7-day work week
- Finding that niche again: offering unique products, services that keep customers returning
This is where I’d love to help by creating a community of coffeehouse owners to support each other, where they can build camaraderie and brainstorm ideas. Where I could assist them in building a co-op to purchase products and services that help their bottomline while maintaining a thriving local economy. Let’s just do it!
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to find out more about my vision.
Luvin’ Local, Lisa
I’m not on the road right now, just home in Denver enjoying the hourly weather changes hoping it’s nice & sunny when I go to the Colorado Rockies v. Arizona Diamondbacks day game on Wednesday.
Alice’s Philosophy Espresso, Lincoln City, OR
However, I have friends that are travelling and will occasionally send me a photo of a coffeehouse they meet. Each one is special and expresses a bit of the owner’s personality. This one is from Doug. He goes to the Oregon Coast once a year to breath in some of the best air on the planet (lucky man).
I visited their Facebook page and discovered the owner is 24 year-old Allie. She opened the doors in 2011 and loves philosophy so much that she “created an espresso business to implement a main marketing concept of developing exciting and interactive philosophical thought and conversation.”
Thanks for being uniquely you, Allie!! My next journey on Highway 101 will include a stophere.
Allie’s Philosophy Espresso
5998 SE Highway 101
Lincoln City, OR 97367
Allie’sPhilosphy Espresso Facebook Page