Written by Sarah Thompson, owner Lake Country Coffee House
The Lake Country community is something special. When something gives off a warm and comfortable feeling of “being home,” it attracts a crowd. When something gives off a feeling of uniqueness and creativity, it stands out. People want to be in the energy of something that makes them feel safe, happy, and of course, inspired to see life differently even if only for a moment. Whenever you come across a place like this, you feel compelled to take a moment and drink it all in.
MY LAKE COUNTRY HAPPY PLACE
As an entrepreneur, I would take my laptop (or my favorite journal) and take a seat at my local coffee shop in Lake Country, at least a few times a week. I chose this particular space because it was very unique; one of those something-made-from-nothing situations. It was cozy, quaint, covered in distressed wood, and had the old metal racks still hanging on the ceiling from the old butcher shop, years before. Attached to the local art gallery, the coffee shop felt very special, directly connected to the art scene of a small community and always covered in local artists colorful paintings. As a former interior designer, event planner and forever artist, this atmosphere always made me feel at home.
Over the years, as I would sit in this creative space doing my work or sitting with family, the staff would always remember my order and make me feel totally welcome. However, this was not only my story alone. I would see the same individuals there every time I went in, the regular “old boys” that would sit at the same table every time, large groups that would gather talking about books, life, their children, and simply just catching up. Seeing teachers and students, parents and children, teams, running clubs, artists, book clubs, musicians, and coffee enthusiasts unite, after a short time it was very clear that this space was a special meeting spot for people all over the Okanagan Valley.
LAKE COUNTRY GROWTH
The small town of Lake country has grown significantly over the last few years. New developments, more families moving in, chain businesses, etc. As a girl who grew up here and loves the untouched green countryside, it’s been a little hard to handle at times. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely use many of the new additions, but they haven’t come without the cost of losing a bit of our small-town feel. One of the biggest changes over the last couple of years has been the addition of the Okanagan Rail Trail that runs through our entire community. Another interesting example of taking something that was not needed any longer and making it into something that everyone can enjoy. This walking and bike trail accommodates more and more outdoor enthusiasts every single day, many of them stopping at the Lake Country Coffee House on their way through; their bikes and helmets lined up outside.
But as much as the small community of Lake Country grows larger with more and more options, the creative welcoming feeling of the Lake Country Coffee House hasn’t changed. It’s not the art on the walls, the delicious food, the new exhibits at the Lake Country Art Gallery, or its central location, but it’s the way that it brings our small community together. It’s truly a place where everyone knows your name.
LAKE COUNTRY’S NEWEST CAFE OWNERS!
To our surprise, my husband and I actually purchased this coffee shop this spring. It has been amazing getting to know the community even more and creating inspiring changes that cause a ripple effect on people’s lives. This opportunity has allowed us to work closely with many local artists, musicians, and creative businesses that are doing amazing things; such as our favorite tea shop (Chai Baba), one of the best little bakeries in the Okanagan (Oyama Sunblush), the most wonderful outlet to receive your fresh produce from (Urban Harvest), our local gourmet burger shack on the other side of Wood Lake (OKF Grill) and of course some of our exceptional local wineries (Intrigue Winery is a favorite). You wouldn’t believe how creating connections within the community and making the smallest positive changes, affect everyone around you.
Without a doubt, the Okanagan is an amazing place to live due to its overwhelming beauty, great weather, and the outdoor adventures it provides us. But what makes our valley exceedingly special, is its creativity and close community feel. As the area grows, the small pockets of community will always stick together, inspire each other, share delicious wine, eat local food, and drink delicious coffee.