Gather, Savor, Linger! Alumna Opens Local Small Business During Pandemic
By EC Communications Team
Aroma Coffee Co. is located in the historic 1904 Prescott-Harshman House, the site of the first telephone company in the area. Wilson said, “In its beginning, this house was a hub for connection and community as a phone company, and with Aroma, we’re able to bring that community back.”
Plans for Aroma Coffee Co. began in 2007 and gathered steam in 2014 before hitting some roadblocks. From selecting a location, permitting challenges, to cultivating business partners, Wilson and her partners overcame a myriad of hurdles to finally open their doors 14 years after their initial idea took shape. Opening with just one employee, they now have 14 full and part-time employees.
I get to serve coffee to my actual neighbors. We can live in the community and support one another.
Wilson and her partners all have ties to the community, "Fall City lacked a community gathering space and we wanted to create a heart for the community." Wilson said the outpouring from the community once they opened was incredible. "We were blown away from the beginning. We were very lucky to open when we did. With the pandemic in full swing, people were isolated and ready to be out. Even with distancing and limited capacity, the business grew."
Their mission for Aroma Coffee Co. is evident in all they do and printed on the walls in shorthand: Gather, Savor, Linger. Wilson explained that they wanted to create "a place to gather, a craft to savor and an invitation to linger." They seek to cultivate a fullness of life, whether with their team or vendor relationships, "connection of community is of utmost importance."
They source their coffee beans from ethical and sustainable farms, ensuring that the coffee they serve is of the highest quality and has a minimal environmental impact. The pastries and food they serve are sourced from local bakeries and local vendors.
In addition to serving delicious coffee, Aroma Coffee Co. is also committed to supporting the local community. They frequently partner with small businesses and donate a portion of their profits to charitable causes. From hosting Friday night markets for the past two summers to hosting community events like the Fall City Christmas tree lighting event, which raised money for Gray’s Way which benefits pediatric brain cancer research. Wilson and her partners have enjoyed watching the community connections happen in and around their business.
The cozy and welcoming atmosphere that Wilson and her partners have created sets Aroma Coffee Co. apart from other coffee shops. From the locally produced artwork on the walls to rustic wooden trays and shelving crafted from reclaimed building materials, to the comfortable seating indoors and out, Aroma Coffee Co. is a place where customers can relax and feel at home.
Since opening its doors, Aroma Coffee Co. has become a beloved community staple and a must-visit destination for coffee lovers in the area. Wilson and her partners’ dedication to quality and community has made Aroma Coffee Co. successful. As for plans to expand, Wilson said, “our focus is really on what we can do in the community we live in.”
In addition to her role as operations director, Wilson serves as a barista at times. “I get to serve coffee to my actual neighbors. We can live in the community and support one another.”
She is thankful for the education she received at Eastside Catholic and felt she was well prepared for college and her future career with teachers like Ms. Hubert, Doc Culbert and others challenging her.
Reprinted from EC Magazine.