Feel the forest and the ocean at this new coffee shop in New West

Coasters Coffee is the newest addition to the cafe scene in downtown New Westminster

This prime downtown spot at Sixth and Carnarvon streets is home to Coasters Coffee, which just saw a soft opening | Julie MacLellan

A newly opened coffee shop at 6th and Carnarvon in New Westminster has been creating a lot of buzz in the last few days — and for good reason.

The West Coast-inspired independent coffee shop, Coasters Coffee, softly opened its doors in the heart of New West last week, and New Westies are here for it.

The coffee shop is the brainchild of the Kruse sisters, Tamarah and Alisha, who put their love for coffee into action in launching the business.

Long before the coffee shop materialized, Tamarah Kruse worked in retail. But after losing her last position to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was in search of ideas for starting her own business. After several brainstorming sessions with her sister, who was once a barista, they settled on opening a coffee shop.

The business was in the works for a while — the idea came to Kruse about a year ago, she said. But everything from planning and finding a lease to fleshing out the design took 10 months before they opened this month.

Their hours are limited during their soft launch — from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but that hasn't stopped them from getting a lot of attention from the community.

They are offering complimentary coffees as they test out the machines, get staff up to speed and get the word out. And it’s worked — folks have already been raving about this cozy coffee addition in their neighbourhood.

“We’re just getting all the systems set up," she said. "We started with the espresso drinks and then we have the drip coffee. “We have started doing some of the baked goods. So from day to day, as we test each machine, it is kind of different what we are giving out.”

Kruse said she is expecting the shop to be fully open by March 1.

The coffee shop aims for a cozy ambience to make customers feel at home — bringing elements of the woods and the ocean together. Kruse’s design background helped in creating the interior look, she said, and she built the whole place out with the help of her husband, Jim Hobbs.

There are forest murals on the walls, real plants adorning the space and wooden decor, bringing a forest-like feeling. The floors are painted turquoise, emulating the ocean. Kruse hopes that the ambience is relaxing.

She said that all of the wood for her decor was procured from Gabriola Island — from near her husband’s parents' house. “His parents brought [the wood] on an RV,” she said.

Building the business from the ground up was a family endeavour, she added. “It's a family thing that everyone's trying to help out a little bit. I had some of my other siblings [come] to help paint the walls or trying to help put up drywall ... just whatever they could do to help out.”

With her business acumen, her sister’s barista skills and coffee procured from locally based Agro roasters, Kruse is glad that she can give back. “I love the community here…it’s just a tight-knit group, and I’m happy.”

She expects that after the soft launch, the shop will be open Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.