Camber Coffee is cool. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “Well, what exactly does that mean?” And, in actuality, it means exactly what you think it does. Camber Coffee is impressive, fashionable, relaxed and yep … just downright cool – from the sleek white-walled interior to the tranquil atmosphere. The new artisan coffee shop and bistro in Bellingham celebrated its grand opening on Aug. 26. Now in full-swing, Camber is ready satisfy all your coffee, beer, wine and food cravings.
But Camber’s story doesn’t just start at the opening of their brick and mortar location. In fact, Camber has been roasting coffee in Bellingham for two years, introducing their first line of coffee in 2015. Owner David Yake started Camber after having been a barista for five years in Seattle while attending the University of Washington. The original blueprint for Camber was to wholesale coffee to cafes across the United States and Canada, but overtime visions of a restaurant and coffee shop became a reality.
“It had always been a dream of ours to open a brick and mortar location,” Yake says. “We were already working with fantastic cafes who do a great job with our coffee, but we had always wanted to showcase the coffee ourselves too.”
Yake says they couldn’t be more in love with their new location. Camber has an ample amount of space, which provides for both a good meeting place to grab a cup of coffee, and a spot to sit down and enjoy a delicious meal. The location’s chic aesthetic and vibe was brought together by a team of architects, designers and the vision of Yake’s business partner Andrew Bowman. Yake says they wanted to go for a look that was both modern and welcoming.
“When we bought the place Andrew immediately started dreaming ideas on how to make it our own,” Yake says. “We knew we would have enough space to make it both a coffee shop and restaurant, which was awesome because we are huge food lovers too, not just coffee fanatics.”
Currently, Camber sports an evening and brunch menu, and the introduction of a discounted happy hour menu is on the horizon. The evening menu features dishes such as Steamed Clams with bacon, mustard and mint, and Spaghetti Carbonara with bacon, fresh peas, Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil.
Camber keeps their quality of food consistent, as the brunch menu is one to rival if not even surpass their evening plates. Dishes such as the Baked Eggs Pomodoro and Hen of the Woods Porridge are sure to fulfill all of your brunch desires.
The Hen of the Woods Porridge takes a classic breakfast dish Goldilocks and the three bears would be proud of and gives it a pristine food makeover. Maitake mushrooms, Macrona almonds, ryeberry and spelt come together to give the breakfast tradition a complete 180. Bellingham isn’t too shabby of a town when it comes to getting great brunches, and Camber’s brunch certainly makes that list.
“We want people to know in addition to serving great coffee, we are a full-blown restaurant,” Yake says. “We take every aspect of our business seriously.”
At Camber you have two options, you can either order at the counter or you can sit down, relax and wait for one of their staff members to come take your order. The best of both worlds. Choose your own adventure. Whatever you decide to call it, the fact is it makes your life easier. One way or the other you will get to enjoy locally-roasted coffee, select-local brews, fresh eats and discover great wines.
Yake says they are excited about a slew of new events they have in the works, including vitner nights, coffee classes and seasonal food and beer pairings.
“We want things to be fast and efficient, but also interesting and special,” Yake says. “We want you to be able to have an experience, from sipping our specialty coffees to our rare beers.”
Every year Yake and his business partners travel to South and Central America to visit coffee farms they have partnerships with. The trips they take to key coffee-producing regions of the world help to foster the relationships they have with the farms they purchase their coffee beans from. Yake says they buy coffee from all over the world, with their main locations being Guatemala and Colombia.
The roaster turned bistro and coffee shop also forges relationships with various producers in the Pacific Northwest and, more specifically, in Whatcom County. To celebrate their soft opening Camber collaborated on a coffee beer with Wander Brewing also based in Bellingham. Currently Camber is using six of their nine beer taps and plan to expand with a greater selection of brews as time goes on.
“We couldn’t be happier opening our location here in Bellingham,” Yake says. “We are excited to build quality relationships with our customers and fellow producers around us.”