Published 11:16 pm Sunday, December 3, 2017

This winter, there are a few new faces behind the barista counter. Tracey and Tim Daniels, founding members of the Coffeehouse Co-op, continue to volunteer 10-20 hours a week. However, they are joined by new faces and new talent that continue to take the co-op to the next level. All volunteers have an important voice in the running of the coffeehouse, community projects and more.


Matt Russ, owner of Tate Street Coffee House in Greensboro, typically covers the Monday shift. Opened in 1993, Tate Street Coffee is known for its unique décor and fine coffee. A relatively new resident to Tryon, Matt wanted to volunteer at the Co-op so he can meet the community and become more involved. He still owns Tate Street Coffee and runs it with the help of a manager. He is helping the Co-op “streamline operations” and brings with him a gift for conversation and a love of music (and coffee). Last week, he discovered that one of his former best-customers, Jim Van Hecke is a regular at the Tryon Coffeehouse. The two were reunited for quite the fun, spontaneous morning.

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Lynn Costine, local artist, educator and community volunteer, joined the co-op because of her love of our mission and her love of the co-op customers. A big fan of our hazelnut coffee, Lynn is now her very own barista! Quick with a smile and a giggle, Lynn makes everyone feel right at home. She makes great lattes, “bullet-proof coffee” and more. She hopes to organize Coffeehouse Co-op Bowling Team and orchestrate some evening art classes.


Cory Phillps, a recent transplant from Oregon, moved to Tryon to help his wife Jess run back-up support for a new store. Cory holds down the counter 3-4 days a week and really has the regulars under his spell of genuine kindness, enthusiasm and caffeine-beverage making skills. When he is not at the Coffeehouse, you can usually find him 2 blocks down Trade Street at A Taste of Olives and Grapes.


Callie Dunn, a senior at Polk High School, is the Co-op’s “secret weapon.”   She runs Teen Night (Thursday Nights) and Bagel Sunday on her own with a big smile and a deft hand. Callie created the recipes for our summer frappes and basically jumps in to help whenever and however she can. When she takes a rare day off, the regulars are pretty disappointed to see Tracey behind the counter instead. Callie has won over their hearts with her friendly manner and barista skills.


Kate Simun, a coffeehouse regular with a penchant for adding whip cream on top of her own caffeinated drinks, volunteers every other Saturday. She runs a tight, super-clean ship and makes superb drinks, too. Leah Sonona, our newest “volunteer-in-training,” travels across the border from Landrum! She was a Bagel Sunday regular that couldn’t wait to get behind the barista counter when the opportunity came up in casual conversation. A writer, dog-owner and a lover of coffee, she is going to fit right in.


Although customers will rarely see Chris Baschon behind the counter these days, we can guarantee the entire team and our community appreciate the sacrifice she gave during the early years of the Co-op. While others were working day jobs, this artist-extraordinaire was working hours- upon-hours every single day of the week to keep the dream alive. Mandala Mondays, International Peace Day and kid-art projects are still ongoing at the coffeehouse – and all are inspired and/or coordinated by Miss Chris. Chris is a founding member of Tryon Coffeehouse Co-op team and now will act as a “Member at Large” – she will be voting and giving insight on future projects. You can still find her at the coffeehouse “making birds.”


Eli Jenkins, Sarah Costine and Patrick Stimac round-out the team. They are our beloved college-student volunteers that pop-in for barista duty when they are home for the holidays or on a quick break. These fantastic students send us text messages from afar with their vacation schedules because “they can’t wait to get back to see everyone.”


The Coffeehouse Co-op is indeed a special place. With a new line-up of volunteers, it just gets better and better.


submitted by Tracey Daniels