After almost two years of business, the Union Coffee Shop is making another splash into the Bellingham coffee scene by opening a new location on State Street on Wednesday, April 15.
The cafe will be located on 1203 N. State St. and will replace Koi Cafe, said Elena Van Kregten, manager of the Union Coffee Shop. The new shop is near the intersection of East Chestnut Street and North State Street, across from The Shakedown and The Color Pot.
The new cafe will be open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Van Kregten said.
Van Kregten has been working at the Union for about a year now and is excited with the opening of the new shop, she said. Van Kregten, along with Cameron VanEpps, owner of the Union, have been spearheading the opening of the new shop, Van Kregten said.
Van Kregten noticed an ad for a new shop and started thinking about opening a new location. She thought it was a good opportunity to tell her boss, she said.
“He was very much in love with the new space,” she said.
Van Kregten, who is also the cafe’s head baker, will be making pastries for both of the shops in the kitchen of their sister shop, the Daisy Cafe, Van Kregten said.
Riley White-Brainard will manage the new location. He has been an employee at the Union since May 2014 and a barista for about nine years.
“I have gotten to that point in my career in coffee making that I really want to have a big hand in the success of a shop,” he said.
With the opening of the new cafe, the Union has plans to use the pour over method more often.This type of brewing is where the cup of coffee is made by pouring water over the coffee grounds, going through a filter.
Senior Halee Hastad has been a barista for about four years and is now the head barista at the Magnolia location. White-Brainard contributes much of the unique atmosphere to his expertise, she said.
“Riley cares a lot about coffee and he has taken a lot of time to dedicate himself to knowing a lot about coffee and the product that we are going to be selling there,” Hastad said.
The cafe uses the Ganesha espresso bean from Tony’s Coffee. The Ganesha won the first prize in America’s Best Espresso Competition in Seattle in 2013, according to the Union website.
“The best part about being a barista is I have short-lived interactions with my customers,” Hastad said. “If you want to have an experience where you not only are getting a cup of coffee, but you are getting full-on experience of watching the coffee brew and making a connection with the coffee, then this place is going to be the place to do it.”
More information is available at the cafe's website www.theunioncoffee.com.