Coffee Bear Silverton

Who doesn’t love a nice cup o’ joe in the morning, afternoon, or evening?

Since 2016, Coffee Bear has provided countless cups of coffee and memorable experiences for locals, tourists, and everyone in between.

Holly and Sophie were working as baristas at the coffee shop when it went up for sale. After serious consideration, they decided that it “just felt right to buy it together.”

Despite the craziness of 2020, Holly and Sophie persisted in their plan to buy the business. They attended the SBDC’s “Starting Your Business Workshop,” which they found very helpful. 

Finally, on September 1, they took ownership. 

They love the business because it provides a way to create meaningful, consistent employment in Silverton. “In Silverton, we are one of the few businesses that stay open all year long with consistent hours, so no matter the season, you’ll be caffeinated!”

Their journey to ownership hasn’t been without its struggles. In the past two months alone, they trained an entire staff at once, had their trash trailer stolen, watched a steam wand combust, battled leaky espresso machines, and navigated the Great Croissant Shortage of 2020. “There are also a bunch of little things, about a million a day, but they make for a good laugh!”

They are exceptionally proud of their team who “crush it daily.” Although they were all trained at the same time, they now work together like a well-oiled machine. They say, “It’s super cool to watch and be part of!”

Both Holly and Sophie love walking into the shop every day and seeing people happily drinking coffee. “Knowing that you are part of their experience feels really good, every time,” they said.

Through it all, they’ve been grateful to have so much support from locals, friends, and family. “That’s what it’s all about — community and a place where friends and neighbors can come drink coffee, catch up, and be together.”

“We have had a lot of small business owners reach out, and that has helped immensely: Jen and Chase at the Outdoor Gear Exchange; Brian McEachron, Joel Hayes, Sean Clark, and the whole Steamworks Brewing Co. Team; Katherine and Ben at Durango Coffee Company; Jack at San Juan Expeditions; Casey and Austin at Avalanche Brewing Co.; Ian Tanner — who trained us when we first started at the Coffee Bear and lost his hair for us; and Hannah from SBDC. Most importantly — Inga Mcfadden and Lucky Schlade, the previous owners, for their endless advice, training, love, and support, which is worth more than anything in the world. Wow, there are so many people! We are really really lucky to have all the people and support we do!”Although they consider themselves newborn business owners, Sophie and Holly offer this advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs: “Jump on in; the water’s fine! Drink lots of coffee!!!!!!!!!!”

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