Driving east into Houston I’ve always liked the look of those hills just south of town called the Palisades. Interesting that a new Cafe has opened called by the same name. I try to patronize Houston at least once a month as most of my working career has been spent in that area so I was happy to buy a latte, pull up a chair and talk with Elizabeth and Kyle about their new adventure.
Elizabeth was born and raised in Clearwater, B.C. and at an early age saw something in local cafes that we all take for granted. Community connections forged over coffee and a sweet. These ideas stayed with Elizabeth through her time at university in Kelowna studying business and her time in Beijing, China where she lived for a year immersed in the culture and tutoring. When she returned to Canada, her family had migrated to Houston for better opportunities in the forestry industry and Elizabeth joined them. She remembers driving from the airport to Houston and feeling emotionally appreciative of the Bulkley Valley.
Kyle was born in Houston and after completing his education he was able to secure a job at Canfor and prepare himself for a career in the saw-milling industry. Elizabeth also found a job at Canfor and later advanced to the H.R. department and as sometimes life can go, these two people met and started a life together. Their story continued as two kids arrived and the family struggled through Kyle’s brain surgery and time ticked on.
“It was through these challenging life events and my thirtieth birthday that I reevaluated what I really wanted to accomplish in my life. I started to realize that the barriers holding me back from opening a Cafe are not insurmountable. I truly believe that the Cafe I wanted is good for Houston. It can add to our diversity. I want people to enjoy a good cup of coffee and socialize. It makes me feel good when we can provide that,” said Elizabeth.
“We found this amazing location close to the Highway 16 that can draw road tourists. My husband and our team of family and friends renovated and produced a very pleasing atmosphere to complete our plans. I want to put people first, it’s our way to give back to this special community we live in. I want to be sustainable, care about the products we make, have concern for the garbage we produce, work towards a greener lifestyle. My daughter loves coming to the cafe and helping out. The staff really like working with her. This lifestyle we can have as a family while operating a cafe is important to us,” said Elizabeth
“You sound so sincere and it’s refreshing to find someone that truly loves their job and loves where they live,” I said. “Running a coffee business in the summer can be challenging , what do you plan for the winter months?” I asked. “Well, we have already had our first wedding catering contract and we ran an Arts Alive Gallery for three weeks showcasing local Houston talent. Who knows what winter will bring, we will look for other opportunities and events. Maybe a local musician could draw their fans for coffee and dessert. This is what we want, the chance to create and evolve,” says Elizabeth.
“We have been in business now five months and Kyle has decided to leave his very good job and join the team. We have been so fortunate to have family resources and some amazing student workers this summer. We are very grateful for the support of our former Canfor employers, the community and our friends and family,” says Elizabeth “ We are also open seven days a week with extended hours to provide our customers with more opportunities for a good cup of coffee,” said Elizabeth.