WEST YELLOWSTONE – Millions of people pass through West Yellowstone to see our first national park and as it turns out, thousands each year also visit for a great cup of coffee.
This Montana Made report features Morning Glory Coffee and Tea, a business that thanks to technology not only has Yellowstone in its backyard — but also the rest of the planet.
The West Yellowstone entrance to Yellowstone National Park is the most popular entrance to the park, in the summer and in the winter. But right now, it’s completely gated off.
That’s a challenge for businesses in the town of West Yellowstone that have to sit back and have a cup of coffee and wait until the tourists come back when the roads reopen for over-snow for winter or for the cars in the summer — or do what one business does — simply roast the coffee and sell it elsewhere.
“Where every corner store there were roasters and brewers and every community had those things. So we wanted to be able to be a manufacturer and create a product in an area that we love living, and we wanted to be able to share that with the world. And in West Yellowstone that was an easy thing,” said Morning Glory owner Chris Burke.
What isn’t easy was convincing customers you roast good coffee in a place known for bears and bison — not for beverages.
“In a traditional marketing you’re right, we’re not in the most the best place for that type of focus. But social media and the internet have opened that up and made again a larger world more local,” Burke explained.
“We were early adopters to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and linkedin, and all those platforms. We’ve over time built an audience of about 56,000 followers and a reach of about a million-and-a-half impression a week,” he continued.
“And we’ve created a conversation with people that either want to come to montana or who have been here abd enjoyed their experience. And we’ve got the product that kind of goes in between that. I’ve always said that our brand, Morning Glory’s brand is not traditional.”
Morning Glory’s brand is Montana and we promote montana as such and then our coffee our product is a part of that that brand part of that experience when people come to montana and enjoy both hopefully,” Burke said.
“I’ve always been of the belief that the only wrong way to drink coffee is to not drink it at all. And that it should be quality, comfort, and good taste and that’s what our focus is,” Burke said.
“To create a quality product we start with an ethical and sustainable buying practice and then we go from there to create products people are going to actually enjoy on a lot of different levels,” he concluded.
Morning Glory Coffee started out as a traditional coffee shop but Burke soon discovered roasting and selling the coffee over the internet meant he and his wife and two sons could do all the work without having to hire additional staff to sell and brew coffee out of the shop.
Thanks to the internet, Morning Glory Coffee and Tea is technically open 24-7 and it may just take a few hours for Burke and his family to get an order ready to ship.
Click here to check out Morning Glory Coffee and Tea.
-Chet Layman reporting for MTN News