Where Coffee is
More Than the Buzz
Just over five years ago, Alise Hay felt the call to Tualatin Valley. As an artist herself, Alise recognized the creative spirit of the area right away. As creatives are oft to do, Alise found herself as a barista at a beloved local coffee shop, Insomnia Coffee Company. Here, two great loves came together as Alise not only served up great coffee but also worked with local artists to showcase their art on the walls of the coffee shop. As Alise puts it, “coffee shops are hubs for community and relationships and that’s what I love most about being in this industry.”
The community and relationships extend beyond the baristas and artists showing off their talents within the coffee shop. There are the farmers, importers, wholesale accounts and (of course!) customers that play into this coffee ecosystem. “Over the last five years I have watched this company grow from the ground up,” Alise says. And through it, she continues, “We have to build relationships with our farmers and importers as we travel to origin locations and source their amazing coffees. We then get to roast that coffee to its fullest potential and present it to our customers with the full story of where it came from. Before we put those coffees on our shelves, we make sure to send the farmer a bag because they should be the first to enjoy the finished product.”
Today, Alise lives just a few blocks from Insomnia’s latest coffee shop located on Main Street Hillsboro. Evolving from her barista role, she now works behind the scenes as a Coffee Educator at Dapper & Wise Coffee Roasters. Dapper & Wise is the coffee roastery owned by the same folks at Insomnia Coffee Company. Dapper & Wise is so much more than a roastery, though, as evidenced by Alise’s busy days of teaching classes and hosting events.
As a Tualatin Valley local, Alise is well-versed in not only coffee but also the best food, u-pick, and art spots in the area. We asked Alise to share her picks in her own words:
It’s not just a restaurant—it’s a destination! I love meeting up with friends at the White Shed, which is the whiskey and cigar lounge on the property. When its dark out, the garden path between the restaurant and the shed are lit with twinkle lights in the trees. I feel like I’m in a whole different world! If you want to tour the distillery, it’s just a bit further up the garden path, past the beautifully manicured gardens and gazebo.
This place is the best for apple picking. The views of rolling hills while you are picking apples are just magical! It’s never too crowded and you can sneak a few bites of the apples to taste the differences between varietals.
This boutique in downtown Hillsboro gives local artists a place to sell their art. From paintings to jewelry to embroidery and pottery, they have it all! They also serve locally roasted coffee to sip while you peruse. Sign up in advance for a class in all sorts of different crafts.
As true experts in coffee, art and Tualatin Valley, we trust Alise’s recommendations whole-heartedly.