LARAMIE – What’s in a name? For Sara Rising, putting her name in the limelight as the name of her business reflects confidence in her vision.

The Rising Café held a ribbon-cutting Monday, May 20, attended by coffee-lovers from the Laramie Plains Civic Center, where the café is located, the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance, and friends, relatives, and business associates.

“I really wanted a local, community-oriented business. I didn’t just want to be competitive, I wanted it to be collaborative,” Sara said. “I reached out to all sorts of different vendors within Laramie, seeing if we could work together in one way or another.”

Her research paid off. She has arrangements with several Laramie-based companies: The Rising offers Bernie’s Burritos; H & S Coffee Roasters, roasted right here in Laramie; her aprons were made by Bren Lieske at Patch Ranch; Ardent Photography did a promotional photo-shoot; all the signage was created by Digital Blues; coming soon are baked goods from Golden Prairie Bakery; and she is working with the Big Hollow Food Co-op as much as possible for items used in her baked goods. Sara also thanked Abundance Creative Arts for shared space and great support.

“I really tried to keep it local,” said Sara.

Owner Sara Rising serves a cup of Joe to a guest at the ribbon cutting on Monday, while guitarist Nick Oceanak entertains the crowd. (LaramieLive photo/TOM KOCAL)
Owner Sara Rising serves a cup of Joe to a guest at the ribbon cutting on Monday, while guitarist Nick Oceanak entertains the crowd. (LaramieLive photo/TOM KOCAL)

Sara was formerly the assistant director of the child care facility at the Civic Center and was familiar with space where her café is located.

“I saw the space and knew it was unused. I knew that a lot of parents probably like coffee, so when I mentioned the space to the director of the center, she jumped on board and said, ‘This place needs a coffee shop!’ It happened really fast from that point, but I didn’t rush. I gave myself 2-1/2 months to prepare.”

Sara also uses Vegware to serve your coffee and delectable menu items. Although not a local source, Vegware is a specialist in compostable food service dinnerware. The cups, bowls, and spoons used at The Rising are plant-based, made from renewable or recycled materials, and can be composted with other food waste.

“I am trying to get as local, fair-trade, and organic as possible. Ethical food is really important to me. The three biggest culprits are coffee, chocolate, and bananas. I would like to at least offer those three things and other ethical products as much as possible.”

Sara said H & S Coffee Roaster’s co-owner, Coulter Sunderman, was not going to sell coffee to her establishment until he was certain she would do a good job.

“He’s all about the science of coffee beans and brewing. He put in the filters; he did all the measuring; he made sure I had the right equipment. It is very important to him, and the result is good coffee.”

Coulter is the Roastmaster and green coffee buyer for H & S Coffee Roasters, was at the ribbon cutting for his newest client. In its fifth year in business, Coulter said that it is a unique type of business for Wyoming.

“It’s sort of serendipitous how it all came about. I was approached by my current business partner, Joshua Heien, at first, for consulting. But when he started talking about roasting coffee, I said, ‘You have to bring me in on this.’ I love roasting coffee. There’s something very interesting about the variables to roasting coffee, doing it really well, and finding people to work with when purchasing coffee all over the globe. The bringing it here, and being able to put it into a supportive community – that’s important to us,” said Coulter.

“What I like to hear as a business owner is people who want to know about the product itself – the quality of it, where it comes from, who produces this product, and what are they being paid. Those were the questions that Sara asked. She wasn’t asking about the price, or minimum purchases or contracts. She was asking who is farming this coffee, and how was she going to be sure that she’s doing the right thing,” Coulter said.

“When she came to us asking those questions, we knew she would be a future client because that’s how we operate as well. When we keep the value high across the distribution chain, we end up with a wonderful product like she has at the café. And she’s done that for all of her vendors. The combination of great food and great coffee is going to be really nice for this location. And it’s a great location. They’ve really done a lot here in the Civic Center to cultivate community. That’s what it’s all about.”

Her family has been very supportive as well as the businesses and organizations housed at the Civic Center. Her husband, Larry, put in a lot of time and work at the café.

“If I have to put in some work baking late at night, he’ll come here with me so that I’m not alone! I am completely supported by my family.”

Her two sons, 10-year-old Emmitt, and 7-year-old Ambrose want to help as much as they can, as does her 15-year-old step-daughter, Treasure.

The Rising Café is located at 710 Garfield St. on the main level of the Laramie Plains Civic Center by the 7th and Custer St. entrance. For more information, visit The Rising Café FB page.

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