Nestled in the thick of South Perry District homes sits a new coffee shop that exudes hospitality and community like no other. As of Feb. 3., Meeting House opened its doors to Spokane residents, college students and all other coffee enthusiasts. Crafted for both casual get-togethers and productive work sessions, Meeting House uniquely blends comfort with efficiency. Its traditional house layout is juxtaposed with a modern and airy ambiance, making it the perfect “meeting” destination for anyone.
As for the drinks, they fall nothing short of the environment they offer. Meeting House sources its beans from Roast House, a Spokane roastery dedicated to ethical and sustainable practices.
That being said, the coffee is delightfully rich, robust and aromatic — like a true cup of coffee should be. For those that aren’t keen toward coffee, do not fret. Their chai tea lattes are deliciously sweet and spicy with a nutmeg finish. I can truly say I have not had a chai as perfectly balanced among its flavors, all of which felt like it had been carefully crafted for me.
However, the drinks are just the start of Meeting House's quaintness. In fact, the history behind the property extends beyond the bounds of coffee.
“Way back in the day, this used to be a grocery store," said Elizabeth Krahn, Meeting House supervisor. "We’ve had customers come in and say, ‘When I was a kid, I used to come in here and buy candy.’”
After the grocery store, and after tenants moved out, the property quickly became known as the neighborhood eyesore. A few years later, a couple of developers saw this as the perfect opportunity to bring together a community, so they converted it into Meeting House.
“They liked the idea of having a third place, which is your place aside from work or school and home," Krahn said. "That third place to hang out and meet new people. We really want to encourage people to have gatherings here, we’ve already used [this room] for multiple things. We had a knitting group today, a group from Eastern Washington University, all kinds of things.”
The room Krahn refers to sits cozily off to the side of the common area. With wraparound windows and a large wooden table, it seems like you’re in the dining room of a house — perfect for clubs or meetings. Krahn said they want to welcome all to utilize this space. For those interested, take advantage of this space while it’s free. And for those that wait, a flat-screen TV for office use will be built in soon enough — with a flat rate per hour.
As for Meeting House's products, Krahn said the business wants to be ethically responsible. From avocado seed-based straws to sip lids, all of Meeting House’s products are compostable. It is working with an independent composting company to compost their products since Spokane does not yet have the facilities to process industrial and commercial compostable materials.
Aside from the ethical stance Meeting House takes on, barista Gabby Arritola eagerly expands on the community aspect that keeps her work enjoyable.
“I absolutely love working here. It is amazing. My favorite part is definitely the community that we have around here,” Arritola said. “All the customers are so amazing. They have been waiting on us opening forever. The vibe around here is the best.”
Community is integral to Meeting House’s essence. As a new member of the South Perry District, it looks forward to engaging and giving back to the community.
“We love having you, whether you’re meeting friends or family, or here to work," Krahn said. "In that way, we want to be welcoming to everyone that wants to use our space. Since we are [in] such a neighborhood, we do want to participate in South Perry events.”
On the horizon for Meeting House includes becoming part of the South Perry’s Farmers Market and partnering with Maddy’s Dog Treats, a local organic business for all your best paw pals.
However, we all know of exceptional coffee shops in Spokane — we’re lucky in that way. So, what sets Meeting House apart?
“Quality of everything," Arritola said. "Quality of the coffee, quality of the conversation, quality of just making people feel extremely welcomed here. That’s our big goal and I think we’ve done pretty darn well with it so far.”
“I often think of First Avenue [Coffee] or Indaba [Coffee]. Since they’re downtown, they cater a lot to people working in the city,” Krahn said. “But we’re so neighborhood that it’s like being a home for others. We want to be neighborly with our neighbors.”
For a sprightly coffee shop only two and a half weeks old, things are looking up for this neighborhood corner.