Whether you’re a student in need of some brain fuel and a cozy space to study or a hungry resident strolling down Pioneer Way, Beaver Tales Coffee has got you covered.
Beaver Tales is Skagit Valley College’s latest addition to the Whidbey Island Campus in Oak Harbor that has been six years in the making, according to Assistant Director of Student Life Leah Eberle.
The coffee shop made its debut in August but a grand opening ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12.
For years, students wanted to have a coffee shop on campus where they could study and hang out after they were left without a deli. Tired of the coffee vending machines, students took matters into their own hands.
At Skagit Valley College, students pay a $1.50 fee per credit, money that was used to transform a staff lounge into a hip space that would host Beaver Tales Coffee, a woman- and Indigenous-owned coffee roaster and coffee shop based in La Conner. Beaver Tales is owned by Michelle Calvin — adopted into the Tlingit Tribe in 2010 — and Tony Cladoosby — born and raised in the Swinomish Tribe, who roast their coffee on tribal lands.
Beaver Tales offers a wide variety of food — including breakfast sandwiches, pretzel melts and gourmet cookies — and beverages, with the option to customize drinks with 50 syrup flavors to choose from. Some drinks have been created by staff, like the “Haily,” a combination of island fog tea latte, English breakfast and blackberry, huckleberry and raspberry syrups. The “Abdiel” tastes just like s’mores and is made of s’more mocha, toasted marshmallow and honey.
Beaver Tales Coffee is located at 1900 SE Pioneer Way, offering views of the bay from its patio. Inside, visitors are greeted by a large mural which pays homage to the Maiden of Deception Pass, the protagonist of a story told by the Samish Tribe, whose kelp hair is seen swaying as she looks out for her people who navigate the waters of Deception Pass.
Beaver Tales is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, but Eberle said the space remains open for students after business hours to let them study and socialize. For more information, visit beavertalescoffee.com.