The Dogtown Coffee Co. is quickly gaining a reputation as the little cafe that could, which should not come as a shock to those who know owner Corrie Corfield.
In the nearly two years since opening the Okanagan Falls business, she has hosted customers from around the world, become a second home to many locals and even earned a spot in the prestigious America’s Best Coffee House semifinals in Seattle.
Not surprisingly, the 33-year-old mother of three believes people dictate their own limitations when it comes to setting their parameters in life.
“I guess I’m the kind of the person who doesn’t look before I leap,” said Corfield..
“I feel like I’m not just running a coffee shop, I’m not just doing this business to sell coffee to people or to sell food to people. It’s kind of like I feel my purpose is to connect people and to inspire people and create those relationships.”
It is those three basic principals, quality, community and inspiration she bases not only her business on, but everything she does.
Her philosophy of life was the reason why she decided to enter the American coffee house competition, although admittedly, in spite of her positive attitude, never expecting to have a chance.
“It’s kind of a funny story. I heard about this competition online and I thought it would be kind of fun,” she remembered. “They narrowed down our application, there was some online voting and they sent a secret shopper here in the summer and we wound up in the top six.
“We were pretty shocked and pretty overwhelmed at the whole process.”
During the event, which was streamed live on the Internet they served coffee to professionals which Corfield noted was a little nerve wracking but fun and educational.
Although they weren’t the champions, Dogtown did have the most viewers overall.
“So that for me was a win because that’s what I wanted,” said Corfield.
“We weren’t going down there to win the competition we were going down there to inspire our community. We wanted everybody to see that even though we’re a little shop we can do big things, do something special.”
Maintaining a positive attitude is not always easy but she feels it is important to keep the bad things in perspective.
“Especially in the middle of winter it’s pretty easy to have a bad day and it’s easy to get into a negative spiral,” said Corfield.
“But I go back to that and I think there is a reason I’m here, there’s a reason I’m doing this.
“As long as I keep that at the forefront you just take the next step at a time and know that it’s all going to work out in the end.”
However it doesn’t mean people should wear rose-coloured glasses all the time and she has a number of “reality checks” she relies on to keep things straight.
In addition to family, friends and the cafe, Corfield divides her free time between her role president of the Regional District of South Okanagan-Similkameen Area D events society, is part of the Farm Bag fundraiser and a member of the parent advisory committee at Okanagan Falls Elementary School.
She also previously worked with the board of the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce.
But family remains the key component of her life and Corfield credits husband Chris and their three children, Aneisa, 9, Cash, 6, and Isabelle, 4, for helping keep life on track.
It is not unusual to find the five of them at the Dogtown (original name of Okanagan Falls) cafe.
“The family for me goes back to the whole purpose,” she said.
“I think my kids are amazing and I think they’ve got big things ahead for them in life and my job is to help them reach their potential and the only way I can think to do that is reach my potential to show them that with a little hard work and a positive attitude you can do whatever you set your mind to.”
Penticton Top 40 under 40 is presented by the Prospera Credit Union in partnership with the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and JCI Penticton, with support from the White Kennedy LLP Chartered Accountants.
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