Sisters Shelby Rutschmann and Destini Cogbill want to tap into and elevate Salmon Arm’s coffee consciousness.
The two are the managing team behind the family venture that is Anvil Coffee Collective.
Rutschmann explained how the coffee shop, located downtown at 310 A Ross St., represents a shared dream of her family. For her, it began with her previous job managing a coffee shop in Vancouver. (Destini managed a different coffee shop in Kelowna.) The experience got her thinking about opening her own business in Salmon Arm, where she was raised by parents Janice and Ralph Rutschmann. Shelby said it was during a Skype call with her parents that she learned her father, a machinist, had a similar idea.
“My dad said, I’ve kind of been thinking it would be fun to start a coffee shop for the last 20 years – what do you think about actually doing it?” laughed Shelby. “So we all had this secret dream on our own, without telling each other, and all of a sudden it all came together all at once.”
Breaking down the business’ name, Shelby explained the word “collective” reflects the collaborative family effort at work, with everyone contributing their unique experiences, skills and talents to the venture. The word also reflects one of the sisters’ goals – for the business to be a place where people can meet, learn and grow.
“When the pandemic kind of loosens up a bit, we would love to provide things like coffee brewing classes, things that are accessible to people to learn how to do really great coffee at home as well,” said Destini.
“Anvil” is a reference to Ralph, who applied his craft in constructing the shop’s counter and other unique furniture pieces that lend to the space’s distinct vibe.
“He is incredibly creative and loves building things, so anvil is reminiscent of who he is and his contribution to the space,” said Shelby.
Another of the sisters’ goals is for Anvil to be a welcoming space for people who might find specialty coffee intimidating.
“Something Destini and I have both experienced – coffee can get extremely complicated, the more you dig into the specialty coffee scene, and it can be very intimidating,” said Shelby. “That’s something we really wanted to break the mold of… we want it to be a welcoming environment where the average person who doesn’t know anything about coffee can come and feel free to ask questions and learn and be a part of the journey.”
The sisters found like-minded souls and supporters in Nelson’s No. 6 Coffee Co., which provides the beans used at Anvil.
Planning for a soft open over the May long weekend (official opening on May 24), Anvil serves a variety of specialty coffees as well as teas and kombucha, and will start with a small variety of edible offerings. Destini said they are also working to acquire their liquor licence, with a vision of adding to Salmon Arm’s nightlife.
“There are so many people moving in from bigger centres because they’re looking for that small-town vibe, but they are also kind of expecting to have those small luxuries, I guess, of having a space to go to or having a specialty coffee, or having a local beer from one of the local breweries,” said Shelby. “It’s growing and it’s expanding and I think it’s something we can tap into and grow with the city.”
When health restrictions permit, the sisters would also like to use the large space for things like open mic nights and live music.
For more information, visit the Anvil Coffee Collective on Facebook or at anvilcoffeecollective.com.
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