Polson buzzing with new coffee shops

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  • Copper Mountain Coffee owner Robin Lyon said she was approached about opening a Polson location by a local builder whose wife was a fan of her business. (Brett Berntsen/Lake County Leader)

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    Copper Mountain Coffee’s new Polson location offers a full menu of coffee, tea and specialty drinks. (Brett Berntsen/Lake County Leader)

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    Sweet Bliss owner Chanel Lake (right) stands behind the counter with barista Shelby Korpi on Monday morning. (Brett Berntsen/Lake County Leader)

  • Copper Mountain Coffee owner Robin Lyon said she was approached about opening a Polson location by a local builder whose wife was a fan of her business. (Brett Berntsen/Lake County Leader)

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    Copper Mountain Coffee’s new Polson location offers a full menu of coffee, tea and specialty drinks. (Brett Berntsen/Lake County Leader)

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    Sweet Bliss owner Chanel Lake (right) stands behind the counter with barista Shelby Korpi on Monday morning. (Brett Berntsen/Lake County Leader)

With spring continuing to bring rainy skies and wet weather to the Mission Valley, local residents can find shelter in a pair of new Polson coffee shops that have opened over the winter.

Taking over the former location of a coffee shop along U.S. Highway 93, Chanel Lake opened the newly remodeled Sweet Bliss in December and celebrated a formal ribbon cutting earlier this month. Further up Polson Hill, Copper Mountain Coffee has been serving up specialty coffee and drinks at a brand new location in the Ridgewater Subdivision.

The additions have stirred up a buzz among locals and visitors alike.

“It’s been overwhelming,” Lake said. “We’ve been totally blessed by the community.”

Lake, whose family owns a potato farm, said she was approached about buying the business by the previous owners and jumped at the opportunity. While she’s tweaked some menu items, Lake said she’s kept most things the same, including the particularly popular sandwich wraps and frozen yogurt.

Copper Mountain Coffee owner Robin Lyon had a similar reaction when approached by Ridgewater developers about expanding her Kalispell-based company to the south shore of Flathead Lake.

“We were thinking about expanding in between Missoula and Kalispell,” she said. “The builder got ahold of me because his wife is a huge fan.”

One of the few Copper Mountain Coffee locations complete with tables and a sitting area, Lyon said the Polson shop offers a more intimate atmosphere.

“It’s got a really nice warm cozy feel,” she said. “It’s a social thing, it’s a treat yourself thing.”

In addition to typical coffee drinks, Lyon said the shop offers an assortment of teas and snack options.

“Coffee is always changing,” she said. “The thing I try to focus on is keeping my pricing competitive.”

For Lyon, the Polson location represents the latest sign of growth for her company, which she started in 2005. The former owner of a UPS Store, Lyon said she was looking for a new career path when the opportunity to purchase several beverage-based businesses presented itself.

“I didn’t want to raise my kids in a bar,” she said. “So a coffee shop seemed like a good idea.”

Lyon said business has been good at the Polson location, spurred on by manager Roxanne Hamann, a former coffee shop manager who brought many of her old customers with her.

Lyon also attributes success to another factor. After her young daughter, Hannah,s was killed in a car accident, Lyon said she decided to include her favorite animal in the company logo. Now, Lyon said the small white butterfly continues to bring good fortune to the business.

“We’re probably blessed,” she said.

With summer rapidly approaching, both Sweet Bliss and Copper Mountain Coffee are bracing for a surge in sales. Despite the increasing options for customers, shop owners said they welcome the competition.

“I think that we are all so unique and different,” Lake said.

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