Written by : Sarah Sibley | Photographed by : Mark Gardner
Salty Fox Coffee
Around these parts, we’re all tourists on someone’s island, but there’s something familiar, welcoming, and very local about Salty Fox that makes this a go-to every time I’m on San Juan Island. Located steps from the state ferry dock, the coffee shop, housed in a historical hotel building, has a little bit of everything — drinks, baked goods, art, greeting cards, scrumptious rice bowls, and most importantly, comfy places to sit.
Owner Andrea Hampton purchased the space in July 2016 after working in the shop’s previous café. For years she had worked on the island in the insurance industry and joked to friends that she “just wanted to serve coffee to people.” When the opportunity presented itself, she decided to change her life and follow her dream. As a result, the café reflects her spirit. She sources inspiration, and a lot of the art for sale in her shop is from the Portland independent coffee scene. Her coffee comes from Blue Star, an independent, artisanal roaster in Twisp that she can personally connect with. She immersed herself in coffee, understanding sourcing and brewing methods. “I started taking responsibility for the process to really show people I care,” she says.
When putting together her food menu, she worked hard to create items that were easy to make, but still healthy and satisfying. She wanted to be able to serve ferry riders on a time schedule, along with locals who come in for breakfast or lunch. For breakfast, choose from a Yogurt Parfait ($4.84) or a Breakfast Burrito ($8.77) or a few other savory options. Her rice bowls are my favorite option at $7.15 each. Try the Savory Pesto Bowl — jasmine rice, organic scrambled eggs, basil pesto, avocado, sprouts, carrots, chia and hemp seed. In the afternoon, you can grab a small plate like cheese and crackers ($5.50) or a selection from the salads — Sweet Potato Quinoa Avocado Salad ($11), as well as daily specials, and new items are added all the time. It’s a healthy menu, both in size and ingredients, for a small café. Guests can take anything to go, including wine and beer, much of which is locally made on the island. Salty Fox is closed January but will re-open for normal service in February, 7 a.m.–2 p.m.
85 Front St., Friday Harbor
360.622.2486 | saltyfoxcoffee.com