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Bellingham’s Black Drop Coffeehouse Announces New Partner

(Press Release)

January 12, 2014

BELLINGHAM, WA ­ – The Black Drop Coffeehouse expanded its ownership team in fall 2014 with the addition of Ryan Siu, a veteran barista of the shop. Joining as owner­operator, Siu will work alongside Stephanie Oppelaar, who was hired as a barista in 2004 and has been owner of The Black Drop Coffeehouse since December 2009. The two were co­workers for three years until 2010, when Siu left to serve in the Peace Corps in Bulgaria.

“I am excited to have Ryan back from his travels and embarking on a new facet of his time at The Black Drop as an owner,” shared Oppelaar. “His enthusiasm, attention to detail, and passion for coffee have always been an asset, and his love for Bellingham fits with our commitment to be an inclusive, community­focused business.”

Siu began at The Black Drop after finishing his degree at Western Washington University, and quickly developed a love for coffee. His passion grew as he absorbed coffee knowledge from the shop’s team, attended regional coffee events, and competed in the Northwest Regional Barista Competition.

As a Peace Corps volunteer, Siu supported small business and tourism development in the Rhodope mountains for two years. Following his service in Bulgaria, he moved to China to teach English to kindergarteners, and quickly acquainted himself with a coffee shop in Beijing. It was through this shop that he reignited his love of coffee and made plans to visit San Ramon, Nicaragua, through an organization called Planting Hope.

 “The draw was the educational outreach [Planting Hope] did with the coffee farming communities,” shared Siu. “Through that outreach I was able to see my first coffee plant, taste its fruit, and see the devastation leaf rust can cause. I also got to meet many different people in the coffee industry and learn about the coffee chain process.” “These interactions helped me realize that my passion is in sharing great coffee with customers, so I contacted Stephanie about returning to The Black Drop as it had played a significant role in my life.”

Siu officially took co­ownership of the shop on September 29, 2014.ocated in downtown Bellingham, The Black Drop Coffeehouse strives to provide high quality coffee and personal customer service to make exceptional coffee and the experience of drinking it accessible to anyone. The Black Drop strongly believes in the value of community and service, and strives to donate resources of time, money and volunteerism to its neighborhood, local residents and customers.

To learn more about The Black Drop Coffeehouse, visit http://blackdropcoffeehouse.com or call (360) 738­3767.

Tobias Osterhaug

Tobias Osterhaug

Tobias is a full-time contributor to Bellingham Business News, covering local business events, tech news, and advice for job seekers in the Bellingham area. He graduated from Western Washington University with a double major in History and Chinese Language & Cultural Studies, and has previously worked as a coordinator in Western’s Writing Center.

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