The Wild Boar Coffee Shop

Fort Collins, Colorado has no shortage of coffee shops, each unique in its own way.  The name itself makes this one a little unusual and what caught my eye.

What I discovered about The Wild Boar Coffee Shop was the feeling of home.  The building is a 1924 bungalow – and I have  a love for the Arts and Crafts style homes.  The lines, woodwork, and design flow to integrate with nature are all things I love.  The porch is enclosed and makes for a fun sitting area, along with all the little rooms.  Windows are in abundance, yet the lighting is just right – neither too bright nor too dark.  The furniture complements the bungalow with Stickley-style tables, leather couches, and even some of the lamps.  My two favorite places to sit are in the parlor on the leather chair with the ottoman and outside in one of the many patio tables. 

Their burritos are delicious, especially the potato and egg one smothered with green pork chili sauce.  The menu includes delicious soups with artisan breads, sandwiches, and some baked goods that look sinful.  The beverage selection includes coffee drinks, teas, sodas, wines, and microbrews.

During the summer it became a habit to stop by after my night biking, to enjoy a lemonade, check my email, and do some people watching.  They attract a wide variety of people, including a lot of students – both high school and college.  So many “kids” seemed to hang out there to meet and socialize over a mocha latte, Bhakti Chai, or other drinks that resemble dessert.  It was enjoyable to sit back and watch the gatherings between friends, families, and students.

I’ve been to the Wild Boar many times and have never been disappointed with the staff.  In fact, what initially kept me returning last fall was a young barista who worked what seemed to be every morning.  He was always friendly, quick, and seemed to remember what people liked to drink.  Often the night closing staff, much like bartenders at last call, would have to budge people out the door, but did it with much grace.  I’m not sure I would’ve had the patience that they did.

Across the side street from the Wild Boar is the CSU gardens.  During the spring, summer, and early fall, it was not unusual to see friends and families wander over there with their artisan drinks in hand, appreciating the glory of the gardens.  A beautiful thing to see on the weekends, and sometimes quite crowded. 

Wild Boar…it’s a beautiful place to sit and enjoy a cuppa!

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Cuppy’s Cuppa Cheers….where everyone knows your name.

Cuppy’s is located in the Drake Professional Plaza on Drake, near College Avenue in Ft. Collins.  I started coming here in April, when I was working for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  Once I planted myself here, it was difficult for me to expand my Ft. Collins coffee shop cruising.

When I think of Cuppy’s, I think of Joe and Krista, the owner and manager.  I also think of music, Italian coffee (they serve Caffe’ D’arte), and social media.  Late spring I was being “pushed” to dive into Facebook, but I resisted.  Joe and Krista were both having fun with it, giving me updates on their pages, and telling me that I would enjoy it.  Kicking and screaming, I started in sometime around late June.  If you know me on Facebook, then you know that I dove in without asking how deep the water was, and just started swimming (thanks, Krista!).

The coffee here is from Italy.  Yum-yum!  I have to admit, I have a special love for Italy, having worked in and managed Italian restaurants, enjoyed Italian food and wine, music, and having taken a course in Italian.  Watching an espresso being made here reminds me of Nunzio Vincitorio, the baker at Vincitorio’s restaurant in Tempe, Arizona.  If you’ve ever been there and have met Nunzio and his brother, Mario, you would know why that’s a great memory to have. 

Although it was the Italian coffee that brought me back here the second or third time, it was the customer service and personal connections that Joe and Krista make, that kept me coming back.  Not only are they friendly, but I think Joe is the reason I met and made Jim a friend of mine (I didn’t give him a choice).  As it turns out, Jim is from Iowa and actually was in my small hometown in Wisconsin many years ago for a high school band concert.  Small world, big connections.

Cuppy’s Cuppa Cheers!  One of the best experiences I’ve had in Fort Collins.


The Catalyst….brewing relationships one cup at a time!

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coffee shop cruising at Catalyst Coffee

The Tap Room and Catalyst Coffee in Fort Collins has become one of my secret hideaways.  It’s only hidden for me because I haven’t spent a whole lot of time here, but enough time that a couple of the baristas know that I like to have decaf.  As much as I’d like to think I’m special and they warm my cup up just for me, I’m not.  For those enjoying their coffee here, it’s part of standard operating procedures.  I love it!

On my 2008 wanderabouts in the Fort Collins area, I read about Catalyst coffee and the struggles they were going through.  I was impressed by reading about how the neighborhood and clients pulled together to ensure they wouldn’t close their doors.  Although I didn’t make it here last fall, my bike brought me here quite a few times late this summer. 

I planted myself at the same corner table every morning and watched the flow of customers come in through the door, order coffee drinks and bakery items, and listened to the “sass” Catalyst is famous for.  Some mornings it reminded me of Ed Debevic’s in Chicago…sass.  There are even table tents explaining this – “Each order comes with a free side of sass ’cause we love you and want you to feel at home!”  I have yet to experience the sass first-hand, but I’m enjoying watching it from my little corner of this world without corners.

The coffee.  It’s delicious, organic, and free trade.  The decaf is even better – they use a swiss water process, so no formaldehyde enters my body.  Excellent!  The regular is just as yummy and on this beautiful Monday morning, that’s my pick for the day, the regular brew. 

This is a coffee shop by day and a wine bar with music by night.  The community has really stepped up to support this great little hideaway by hosting meetings and events here, picking up a bag of coffee for home brew, and hanging out to listen to the live music. 

The only regret I have in my visit here is that I didn’t make it last fall when I read about them.  I would’ve spent many mornings here enjoying the sass!