Spokane Valley residents will soon have a new place to sit down, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee with the opening of Cool Beans Coffee near University Road and Appleway Boulevard.
Work began to transform the 1,700-square-foot space – which was formerly the site of Cuppa Joe’s Cafe – about two months ago. The cafe will include a sit-down area and a drive-thru window, said Megan Turner, owner of Cool Beans Coffee.
It will be the second location for Cool Beans Coffee, which opened its flagship coffee stand on Spokane’s South Hill in 2011.
“We’ve been looking to expand for quite some time. Our commercial realtor looked all over Spokane and (the Valley location) just fell into our lap,” Turner said. “The whole process was smooth and quick. It’s really new for us, and there’s nothing in the area like us.”
Turner said she’s looking forward to holding community events at the Valley cafe, such as poetry readings and open mic nights, which has been difficult to do at the 300-square-foot South Hill stand.
“Now, with all that space, we can do what we’re doing and expand upon our current business model,” Turner said. “We’re super excited because we do a lot of community outreach stuff and we will be able to reach the community out there as well.”
The coffee menu for Cool Beans in the Valley will be similar to the South Hill stand with several signature coffee drinks, but will also feature food options.
“We’ll expand upon that menu and have more pastry options, soups, sandwiches and salads,” Turner said. “I’ve been working with local bakeries and restaurants to help me with an upfront project to help bring in food.”
The cafe purchases its beans from Caffe D’arte, an award-winning Seattle-based artisan roaster specializing in Italian-style coffee.
“We found them at Coffee Fest (in Seattle) several years ago,” Turner said. “They are just extremely amazing and have a ton of checks and balances, so everything is done to perfection.”
Tim Fleming, who is the national sales manager for Caffe D’arte, said the Spokane coffee market is doing a good job educating customers about coffee and its origins.
“Cool Beans gives out one of the best coffee experiences. As soon as you walk in, you’re getting that customer experience. It’s not just about the coffee,” Fleming said. “The baristas are educated and the environment is inviting. People want to go to a place where they are appreciated. When they drive up to the drive-thru, the staff will know their name and their drink order.”
Cool Beans also has a mobile app allowing customers to place to-go orders that will be ready when they pull up to the drive-thru window.
Turner said they plan to roll out coffee deliveries in the fall for both the Valley and South Hill cafes.
Although the cafe side is under construction until later this month, the drive-thru window has been open since July and is drawing plenty of customers.
“Our opening weekend, we saw so many familiar faces from the South Hill that wanted to come and support us,” said Turner. “It’s really cool to see so many people passionate about (the expansion) that wanted to come visit. We’re trying to grow that and start something big and great in the Valley, too.”
A grand opening celebration is planned for Cool Beans on Aug. 17 from 4 to 7 p.m. The celebration includes a ribbon cutting hosted by the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce with live music and a brick oven pizza truck.
“We’re excited to have a great company like Cool Beans in the Valley,” said Kelly Fukai, chair elect for the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce. “By having those great businesses like Cool Beans, it draws people to our community and it makes people want to live here.”
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