Okanagan Falls cafe vying for international award

Dogtown Coffee may not have won the America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition yet, but making it into the semifinals has to count for a lot.

Corrie Corfield

Corrie Corfield

Dogtown Coffee may not have won the America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition yet, but making it into the semifinals has to count for a lot.

The OK Falls café is one of six semifinalists in the western region of the international competition, rising above competitors from Alaska to Arizona and Hawaii to Saskatchewan to make the grade.

Corrie Corfield, owner of Dogtown, said they entered the competition just to see what would happen, since they were already planning to attend Coffee Fest Seattle, where the semifinals and finals for the competition take place from Oct. 4-6.

Gaining a spot in the semifinals was a combination of earning a high score from a secret shopper sent by the competition and voting by customers and supporters.

“Every community has their little coffee shop and a place where people can come and feel at home and be inspired,” said Corfield, explaining how she opened the café just over a-year-and-a-half ago after feeling OK Falls was lacking that community meeting space.

“It’s really taken off from there, we’ve got a lot of really loyal customers and people who have really gotten the concept of what we’re trying to do here,” said Corfield. “There are places you can go where you can get a quick cup of coffee. We’re not one of those places.”

As much as good ingredients matter — Dogtown uses high-quality blends and roasts from Summerland’s Lone Tree Coffee — Corfield said there is more to a good cup of coffee.

“You are not just selling that cup of coffee, you are selling that whole experience of getting together with a friend over a cup of coffee and connecting with someone,” said Corfield. “There is a whole social aspect to coffee that has always really intrigued me. There is a lot of science that goes behind coffee, but we are also passionate about that thing that happens between people and coffee.”

People, in terms of Dogtown Coffee, ranges from moms coming in with their babies to chat over morning coffee, seniors enjoying breakfast, work crews stopping in between jobs to workers from many of the local wineries.

“We have our core group of customers, we have a lot of musicians that come because we do a jam session twice a week, so they have been quite supportive of us,” said Corfield. “In the summertime it is a lot of tourists, just because that is where we’re at. It’s been fun, we do get a lot of everybody.”

Corfield hasn’t neglected the quality of her coffee and operation, though.

“It takes time. It’s a combination of the beans and the roast, so it goes all the way back to the farmer that grew the coffee. The equipment, the skill of the barista, the quality of the milk that you are using in lattes, it’s a lot of factors all coming together to make the perfect of coffee,” said Corfield.

“It’s very complicated. People don’t realize that,” she said. “We did everything to the best limit we could. People are realizing that it is good quality, same thing as you would get in a city or wherever.”

Corfield set herself three goals when she opened the business: quality, inspiration and community.

“My husband and I live here. We’re raising our kids here in OK falls,” said Corfield. “I didn’t just want to start a business to make a paycheque, I wanted to start a business that was really going to do something for the community.”

Now, along with her husband Chris and Dogtown’s chef, Karl Mancheron, she is taking that passion for coffee to what promises to be an intense competition.

During the semifinals competition at Coffee Fest, duelling coffeehouse teams of three employees each will be filling roles such as barista, bar back, and greeter/cashier, who will serve attendees and judges. Three teams will be eliminated, with the final three competing on Oct. 6 for the title.


Just Posted

This parking on the east side of Martin Street will be removed permanently Monday morning (June 21, 2021) to put in the Lake to Lake bike lane. (City of Penticton)
Parking removed permanently to make way for bike lane in downtown Penticton

Work begins Monday morning to replace parking spots with bike lane on Martin Street

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Gord Portman getting ready for the Father’s Day dunk tank fundraiser for Discovery House. So far Portman has raised $3,000. (Facebook)
Penticton man takes the plunge for recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

(File photo)
Supreme Court Justice rules Bay has to pay Penticton’s Cherry Lane mall

The ruling found that there had been no unavoidable delay preventing the Bay from paying their rent

Summerland cidery Millionaires' Row is hosting a Father's Day car and art show. (Facebook)
Vintage cars, art and cider for Father’s Day

Summerland’s Millionaires’ Row Cider Co. is hosting the car and art show

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read