SALT LAKE CITY – Something’s brewing again for entrepreneur and two-time Olympic medalist Shannon Bahrke Happe. The Lake Tahoe native, who now calls Salt Lake City home, is expanding her three-year-old Silver Bean Coffee Company, opening a flagship retail coffee shop at the bottom of Big Cottonwood Canyon just off I-215. Bahrke Happe was joined by fans and fellow Olympians Friday for a grand opening celebration.
Bahrke Happe, who won an Olympic silver medal in moguls skiing at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, capped a star-studded career with the U.S. Ski Team last February winning bronze in Vancouver. She is the only U.S. freestyle skier in history to win two Olympic medals.
The Silver Bean Coffee shop was a natural extension for the Olympic medalist and her now husband Matt Happe (they were married in October). The two started Silver Bean Coffee in 2007, building a roasting business and selling Silver Bean Coffee to friends, online and through selected coffee shops at resorts around the country.
The new Silver Bean Coffee shop is at a convenient location for skiers coming and going from Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon. It’s located just off exit 6 of I-215 in the Old Mill shopping and entertainment complex just off SR190. On ski days it’s one of the heaviest trafficked roads in Utah as skiers and snowboarders head up to the Cottonwood Canyon resorts of Brighton, Solitude, Alta and Snowbird.
“The idea for Silver Bean Coffee came together over coffee with friends after a great day skiing,” said Bahrke Happe. “So we wanted our first actual coffee shop to be in a location where skiers could stop by on the way up to the mountains and come back in the afternoon and share stories of their day skiing.
“Coffee is more than just a beverage, it’s really a culture. And it goes hand-in-hand with the sport I love.”
Always true to fellow skiers, Silver Bean Coffee has built its line of specialty roasts around other Olympic athletes with a variety of signature blends. There are 28 blends including many tied to Olympic medalists including Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, Julia Mancuso, Billy Demong and Bryon Wilson, who was on hand to try a cup of his Bryon’s Bronze.
Bahrke Happe’s husband and business partner, Matt, is a native of Nebraska. He came to Utah to ski, opening a highly successful bike shop (Revolution) to pass time between ski seasons. He combined with Shannon on the entrepreneurial venture which has been very successful.
The new coffee shop has a comfy, contemporary feel, friendly staff, tasty treats, and, of course great Silver Bean coffee. It really is the perfect place for skiers to stop on their way to and from a fun day in the canyons. Among those in attendance for the grand opening was ski jumping World Champion Lindsey Van, who also has her own blend. Other athletes at the opening included aerialists Emily Cook, Dylan Ferguson and Scotty Bahrke, plus skeleton Olympian Zach Lund.
The two-time Olympic medalist and 2003 World Cup champion retired after last season. And while she spends plenty of time around the coffee roaster and entertaining skiers in the shop, she can also be found helping future stars in the sport she loves.
“I love people, which is one of the reasons I’m so excited about being in the Silver Bean Coffee shop here,” she said. “But I also want to help young athletes enjoy the sport like I did for so many years. So you’ll still find me coaching at the Utah Olympic Park in the summertime or up on a moguls course during the winter.”
Silver Bean Coffee’s new Cottonwood Canyons store is open daily at hours convenient for skiers. For more information, checkout Silver Bean Coffee at Facebook.com/silverbeancoffeeco.