We sat down for a cup of coffee (or course!) with Dawn, the owner of Vashon Coffee Company.
Vashon Coffee does not have a shop here on the island, but this is where all of the coffee is roasted – in a converted garage right at Dawn’s home.
You can purchase coffee at AJ’s, Vashon Tea Shop, The Red Bike, Thriftway, the Chamber of Commerce, and off island at Whole Foods, the West Seattle Thriftway, and numerous cafes and restaurants.
They treat coffee roasting as an art form and we learned so much from chatting with Dawn!
VH: From where do you hail?
Dawn: I’m originally from California but moved up to the northwest in 1973. We moved to Vashon in 1981.
VH: What is your business and how do you get started ?
Dawn: How we started Vashon Coffee Company – we were in the space where blazing bagels currently is on 1st Avenue in Seattle. We had a drive through and we were serving someone else’s coffee. My husband said there was an opportunity to buy a roaster – I love to cook and roasting coffee seemed right up my alley. So that’s how we got started.
When we moved to Vashon, we brought the cart here and it was down at the North End ferry terminal.
Vashon Coffee Company has been around for 14 years now. We’re now an award winning coffee roaster. Most recently, our Ethiopian Natural was selected as a finalist out of 2000 applicants for the Good Food Award, which we’re very proud of.
The difference with our coffee and some of the dark roast that you see with a lot of roasters, is that we feature and seek out the best single origin beans and roast them to highlight their unique atributes. Something you don’t want to do with a very fine coffee is over roast because you will lose all of the delicate flavors.
We have two businesses – Vashon Coffee Company and Visions Espresso Service over in Seattle. We have been in the coffee buisness for over 30 years.
We source our beans mostly from the importers – we do have a few coffees that are direct trade. Our son has also gone into coffee and is married to a woman from Columbia and we have a Columbia coffee from her family!
We do cuppings (like a wine tasting) every week to make sure we are offering the highest quality product. Our roaster is Jack Daws who does a great job. I am now the backup roaster.
VH: What is your superpower?
Dawn: My superpower is being nurturing. Taking care of people.
VH: When you have company visiting Vashon, where do you tell them to go?
Dawn: KVI Beach, the farmers market, the Vashon Tea Shop.
VH: What’s next for your business?
Dawn: We want people to know who we are. We will continue doing demonstrations at Thriftway and we’re looking at other ways for people to learn about what we do.
VH: What’s the best thing you ever bought at Granny’s?
Dawn: A glass vase that is all bumps and weird. Beautiful, but weird. Mostly I drop off at Granny’s these days.
You can learn more about Vashon Coffee Company on their website and be sure to support this local, family run business!