West Plains Roasters continues to serve community

By Emily Driskel, Reporter

Before the pandemic caused the community to practice social distancing, West Plains Roasters in Cheney was able to seat many people in their lobby. Walking inside, people are seen chatting with friends while sipping their coffee. 

The past couple months have brought many changes for small businesses due to the pandemic. With the local coffee shop originally opening on Nov. 25, 2019, Andy LaBolle said that the biggest shift was opening up to start business again. The coffee shop had to reevaluate due to the transition. 

“We had to bring in new things with the intent and hope that it would end up being our next potential opportunity to stay alive…” said LaBolle. “So we definitely brought in things, started using mobile orders, phone orders … because we definitely wanted to be respectful and responsible. So those are one of the ways we stepped up and I think we saw a tremendous response from our community.”

Founder Andy LaBolle has always enjoyed creating coffee and the relationships made within the community, according to the shop’s website. West Plains Roasters roasts coffee with the purpose of connecting communities. 

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Courtesy of West Plains Roasters

LaBolle said that his wife’s family has been in Cheney for over 30 years and a lot of their friends live in the community. Some of his friends wanted to do something for the school district, and they originally bought Betz elementary teachers drinks. When they did not see a huge response, they decided to buy the school district’s drinks.

“We were just so excited to be part of that blessing but it helps serve our business as well,” LaBolle said. “It was just this really cool connection we made with our friends.”

Between two days, around 120 people from the school district showed up, said LaBolle. 

West Plains Roasters has values to serve the Cheney community. 

“Since we really genuinely love Cheney and we are here for the long term, for us, it is to utilize our space to facilitate serving others from all entrepreneurs or businesses that are doing things with excellence,” said LaBolle.

west plains
Courtesy of West Plains Roasters

Recently, West Plains Roasters has partnered with a local flower farm to provide flowers in the lobby. 

“The flowers were a great idea because no one could sit in our lobby, so what an awesome opportunity to turn our entire lobby into a flower field and to serve the [Cheney community],” LaBolle said. “That’s actually my sister-in-law’s farm so that was really cool.” 

West Plains Roasters continues to support the community in any way they can.

“We are doing some stuff for graduates in high school that weren’t able to obviously walk or experience that kind of awesome final end to highschool,” said LaBolle. “We are doing a ton of donations there.”

The coffee shop has worked with other schools, the fire department and a few grocery stores. 

“We have been able to just do some simple things there and just finding as many opportunities to serve wherever we can,” said LaBolle. 

One of West Plains Roasters values is to love people by doing actions with excellence. 

“We just want to offer incredible quality but really the goal is to love people well within the context of our industry,” said LaBolle.