Sable Coffee in North Kalispell isn’t just another coffee shop.
Despite the proliferation of drive-thru stands and national coffee chains, part-owner James Williamson is confident the new shop — which opened Friday — will bring something special to local customers.
Williamson said Sable Coffee is unique in its ability to “truly be local.” He and the rest of the Sable Coffee crew have made an effort to keep everything from the owners, to the ingredients, to the customers as local as possible.
“We created the menu with local families in mind,” the Kalispell native said, and “we think the locals will be what sustains us.”
The key to that menu for Williamson is their focus on fresh ingredients and experimental tastes. They source their beans from a Seattle wood roaster, which “changes the flavor of the espresso,” Williamson explained. “It’s smoother. It doesn’t have the bitter taste.”
Beyond the beans, Sable offers unique concoctions that Williamson believes might be new to local drinkers. Their menu features a “Trip Around the World” list of 12 drinks from destinations such as Stockholm, Dubai and New York City.
“We want to share these flavors,” said Williamson. “We want people to experiment” with beverages such as the Dubai chai tea latte or the shop’s namesake Sable coffee: “espresso over ice with cold foam on top.”
As a self-proclaimed “full-service coffee shop,” the drinks are only half of the Sable story. Williamson is also proud of their fresh baked goods and personalized recipes. He said they use a “Scandinavian style of baking” for their treats, which include croissants, rolls, sandwiches and muffins. They have also partnered with local bakeries Ceres Bakery and Bonjour Bakery and Bistro to prepare these products fresh every morning.
Their menu includes offerings such as their Swedish cardamom roll that “you can’t get anywhere else.” Williamson believes, “It’s a different taste but we think it’ll appeal to a lot of people.”
He insisted Sable will be able to provide this range of unique food and drinks while “still having quick service.
“We have a lot of technology to help us really offer fast service,” he added.
Sable has mobile ordering, two lines in the store and a mobile system to take orders and serve customers all throughout the drive-thru line, instead of at one single window. “We see these long lines in coffee shops and we want to break that,” Williamson said.
These innovative features are part of Sable’s efforts to meet the needs of local customers. They chose their location in the newly developed Treeline Drive plaza for its proximity to Glacier High School and Kidsports. “We’re still in a commercial area, but closer to the local community,” he explained. “It’s kind of relaxing to step back” from the busier section of the commercial area along U.S. 93 North.
He admitted this more secluded space might be a little harder to find than if they had opened along the more crowded business corridor. He suspected Sable might face “a little bit of an uphill battle with people finding us” in the plaza near Urban Bricks and the My Place Hotel.
But he’s not worried about the potential challenge. “Tourists might not find us, but we want to support locals,” he said.
In this spirit, Williamson said everyone at Sable Coffee is “excited to be able to offer a full-service coffee shop and not another chain opening up.”
Sable Coffee is located at 625 Treeline Road. Hours are 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 758-4459.