In the thick of it

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

Tucked beside the busy Sandpoint Post Office parking lot and always wafting the scent of roasting coffee, Monarch Mountain Coffee has been known to sling tasty drinks and offer a comfortable space for people from all walks of life at 208 N. Fourth Ave. But since late December, the colorful cafe has been closed thanks to the building being in disrepair.

In Monarch Mountain Coffee owner Sherrie Wilson’s words, the building was “expiring.”

Sherrie Wilson.

Luckily, Wilson had been on the lookout for a new home for her business for a few years, so when the square, brick storefront at 119 N. First Ave. opened up, she was quick to jump at the opportunity.

“We intend to stay here,” Wilson said. “We love, love, love the location.”

The new digs, which officially opened as Monarch Mountain Coffee on Feb. 6, create plenty of reason to be excited. Wilson said the building is in great shape, so there’s no fear of needing to move again anytime soon. Also, being located right across from the entrance to City Beach makes Monarch Mountain Coffee a sure destination for locals and visitors alike. Finally, the new location is in the heart of downtown, where many events are held — events Wilson said she and her crew can’t wait to be a part of.

“Even though Monarch Mountain Coffee is a Sandpoint staple, we were way off the beaten path [at the old location] as far as the downtown traffic goes,” she said. “We’re looking forward to being able to participate, and feel included.”

Though the old location had its signature homey, established feel, Wilson said she’s only begun to get settled into the First Avenue space. The colorful local art of Daris Judd currently adorns the walls and the morning sun — when it makes its occasional winter appearance — floods the storefront with warmth.

Monarch Mountain Coffee is both a roasterie business as well as a coffeehouse, but Wilson said the coffee is now roasted off-site since the location change. Monarch Mountain beans are available for purchase at the shop and for sampling through a host of hot and cold drinks. The cafe also offers teas, smoothies, Italian sodas and an assortment of grab-and-go snacks. Wilson said she hopes to expand the snack selection in coming months, and is currently experimenting with formulating flavor syrups from scratch with natural ingredients.

A panoramic view of the interior at the new Monarch Mountain Coffee location on First Ave. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert.

As far as what sets Monarch Mountain Coffee apart, Wilson said she and her staff are constantly working to improve the coffee experience, from the roast to the final cup.

“We’re perfecting the art,” she said. “There’s always more research coming out about coffee that we incorporate along the way.”

Now, with nearly a decade of owning the business behind her and plenty of work to get established at the new location ahead, it begs the question: Why not hang up the apron when it became clear that the old, iconic building was approaching its last days?

“I’m stubborn — I just don’t give up that easily,” Wilson said with a laugh. “I feel like this is the fresh start we’ve been looking for.”

Keep up to date on Monarch Mountain Coffee’s offerings at

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.