Our Story


“You’re f*****d!”

Just some local advice we received upon opening a coffee shop and roastery in the small north Idaho town of Clark Fork. That was back in two-thousand eighteen.

Seriously, were we?

Are we?

What would possess a couple that was kind of at a low point on the scale of things-working-out to start a business in a town of a few hundred people? I’m thinking of three pretty good answers right now.

First, for the love of coffee! When you can’t get a good cup of coffee for miles and miles and miles and miles, that’s a serious problem. Serious. Problem.

What do businesses do?
We’re told they solve problems. Besides, we’re DIYers and our coffee budget was ridiculous. Something had to be done.

Second, we moved to this town with a certain ethos. We were going to live where we wanted to live and do what it took to live there. With four kids and a dog depending on us, there were probably saner options. Neither of us are known for our firm grasp on sanity.

Third, coffee, conversation, people and ideas, they just work so well together. Coffee shops have a long history of fostering relationships and hosting mental ping-pong matches. On the long list of things you could get yourself into for the sake of a living, you could do so much worse -so much worse (vomit collector at a theme park, that’s a real gig).

So, to sum up. We love coffee. We love the place we live. We love the people we get to meet along the way.

We could bore you with a lot more detail, but...

Oh, are you still reading? Well, here goes -in dynamic third person narrative fashion!

Dustin and Robynne met in Phoenix. Neither one of them belonged there (no offense Phoenicians), but they made some friends and had some fun. It was during this time they started roasting coffee. Their first venture was a small one. They sold their coffee in a little artsy community that no longer exists, called Roosevelt Row. It wasn’t long before they got married and spun the old globe (eh, Google Earth) to find an exciting place to start a new adventure together. They bought a 6x12 enclosed trailer, sold everything that wouldn’t fit, and packed two kids in the back of an SUV with the dog. Also, Robynne was somewhat pregnant at the time.

The date, July 3rd. They drove 24 hours straight, trading off as they went. They arrived on July 4th, joking that it was their independence day. Where they arrived is also part of the adventure. They’d picked the place sight-unseen. Actually, they’d picked the place without any investigation beyond the map. For the first three weeks they camped.

Then, they moved into a hotel. It turned out that housing wasn’t the most available thing to come by. What they found was a cabin built by a French trapper in the 1880s. By this time Robynne was even more pregnant and beginning to question her mating choices. Dustin tried to reassure her by stuffing paper into the walls of the cabin where the chinking was missing so as to keep the winter wind from blowing through.

The marriage survived the winter. They also added a kid to the mix.
They looked for something more permanent, something with wallier walls and hotter heat. Several people they met mentioned a little town called Clark Fork. More specifically, they talked about a little church there.

Robynne and Dustin started driving the family around the lake every Sunday to attend this church. They fell in love with the folks and with the town, but there wasn’t a place nearby to rent. Then, all of the sudden there was a place. It had walls and a woodstove and it suited them just fine.

The fourth (and last) child was born right there in that house on a snowy night in January. She was born with a heart condition that required surgery before she was a year old. It was right around this same time that the family was struggling financially and considering starting Scotchman’s with the support of some dear friends in their church and community. That time is quite a blur. It added a sense of urgency to the endeavor. It is also the reason Scotchman’s Coffee supports Mendedhearts.org.

It’s been a few years. Those are just some of the highs and lows. If you want to hear more, or just sit back and be entertained, you’ll have to stop by the shop. There’s rarely a dull moment.