By Melissa Huber, I-O Reporter
The National Coffee Association describes the origin story of the coffee bean as starting in the highlands of Ethiopia. A goat herder noticed that his flock would act particularly spirited after partaking of a berry from a specific tree. After the goat herder relayed his story, the head of the local monastery made a drink with the berries and found that it could keep him awake for long hours. Thus, coffee was born.
Anna and Andy Pollard, owners of Folklore Coffee on Main Street, often used folk legends like this to help teach English to the African people while living on a small island off the eastern coast of Africa. It was the origin story of the coffee bean, and the deep connection they already had with folklore in general, that led them to name their new coffee shop Folklore Coffee.
This plays in nicely with the setup of their establishment, which is well suited for telling stories. It features comfy sofas for those looking to stay a while, plus several different tables to choose from, depending on the size of your group. The idea was to create a community gathering place that encouraged the telling of stories and communing with each other, and on that they hit their mark.
Folklore Coffee offers a diehard coffee menu complete with three different current brewed coffee options (Brazilian, Rwandan, and Colombian Decaf) that are all roasted in house and are brewed using a pour over method. Guests also have the option of traditional lattes, iced and blended coffee, and a traditional macchiato, to name a few. There are fresh pastry options and paninis for the lunch crowd, which feature the likes of turkey with cream cheese and cranberry horseradish sauce, and three cheese pesto, among others.
The origin of Folklore Coffee began in late November of last year after the Pollards moved back to Montana. They had long been formulating the idea of opening a coffee shop, and after considering many different locations around Montana, landed on the one in Conrad.
By April of this year they had the keys to their current location, and the arduous task of bringing the place to life began. The lack of a door made building and remodeling tricky, and sheetrock and materials had to be brought from the Fourth Avenue entrances until others were constructed.
Passion is the lifeblood of this establishment, as coffee is something that is near and dear to both of the Pollards. Andy Pollard began his long history with coffee in high school when he worked for different cafes in his hometown of Lewistown. He later managed a coffee shop in Billings.
Anna, formerly Pearson, is a Conrad native who graduated from Conrad High School, and is also the current Assistant Director at the Public Library. The fresh made pastries and treats at Folklore Coffee are her creations, including the bread used for their paninis.
In their new establishment you will notice a few interesting things that show their passion for the bean. To the right of the register is the red coffee bean roaster that Andy uses to roast all of their coffee beans. On the counter is a large cold-brew coffee system that takes 12 hours to “brew” and makes for a smoother, less acidic cup of coffee. They use this for their iced and blended coffees.
On July 18, Folklore Coffee celebrated its Grand Opening. Close friend of the Pollard’s, Jon Aldrich, served as the musical guest for the plethora of patrons.
Be sure to stop in at Folklore Coffee on Main Street, Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They can be reached at 406-450-4146, or check them out on Facebook.