Bugwood baristas working at their downtown location. (Contributed photo)

Bugwood baristas working at their downtown location. (Contributed photo)

Bugwood Bean transitions all the way to Bugwood Coffee

Tom learns the story of Bugwood Bean

Bugwood Bean transitions all the way to Bugwood Coffee

I remember meeting this dynamic couple at their wedding on Averling Coalmine road back several years.

They just seemed like they would find their niche as they joined forces to journey along through this complicated and fascinating world of ours.

Nick and Mika met by chance on the beautiful islands of Haida Gwai and that fateful encounter created a union that was prepared to tackle the ups and downs of life together.

Lets get some goats, lets grow a garden, lets do some paddling and lets start a coffee shop at the airport.

This is how it started with the birth of Ruby Mei and the creation of Bugwood.

The Town of Smithers offered the contract and when the plane was coming and going business was humming. Unfortunately that plane only came once or twice a day and this family was growing.

Can we move downtown and bring our inspiration with us?It seems like we can according to Nick and Mika. Certainly there will be opposition but with the help of our friends and alot of negotiating, town council started to see the potential for success.

Of course it took several packed houses of supporters attending council meetings and eventually the concept took hold.

This validation of using street culture as a pollinator of business was A new notion.

Having coffee on the street with no walls. People buying houses in the coffee lines, connecting. And along with the inception on Main street, Max was born to complete the family.

So that’s the story and everyone lives happy ever after. Well not quite. Life has its ways of keeping you in the game.

Home schooling, soccer, and other interests encouraged Mika to step away from the day to day. She tried a stint life guarding at the pool. Then a new opportunity presented itself and Mika jumped into municipal politics with a convincing win as councillor for the Town of Smithers.

Nick continued to forge ahead always looking for ways to improve on this somewhat seasonal business. Maybe we can Roast our own coffee beans, maybe we can sell to local stores, gas stations and camps.

Then came the biggest challenge, COVID-19.

After 9 years keeping the door open at the shop on Main street, business was suffering. Staff was shrinking and customers were working from home. The street became quiet and it was time for Nick and Mika to reinvent the program.

What would you do, shut down, change professions, not these people. It was time to get serious and turn the coffee making business from a local enterprise into a regional operation. “We have produced a quality product that can go anywhere. We have invested in a high end Roaster and developed quality careers for our staff,” says Nick.

The Highway 16 corridor is open for business and Bugwood Coffee is going to be a drank from Rupert to P.G. and all stops in between. We are sharing our coffee knowledge with our new friends along the route.

Bugwood Bean, the old pine beetle has flown and Bugwood Coffee has landed. And to boot we have regained our magic employee number of 8.

“We are very proud of our product, proud of our employees, and very proud to say our beans make a good cup of coffee,” says Nick.


Bugwood Coffee Crew. (Contributed photo)

Bugwood Coffee Crew. (Contributed photo)