Philip Perry

Philip Perry

Parksville coffee shop name honours First Nations

Coyote’s Coffee owner also travels the world to look for the best beans; Mexico is next

Amber-Lea Marie

Special to The NEWS

Co-founder and owner of Coyote’s Coffee since 2005, Philip Perry spills the beans while talking success and the story that he and his wife, Nancy Perry, pour into every cup of coffee.

“It’s kind of an intriguing little story, just a modest one of sorts,” said Perry.

“It was a Sunday and we were talking coffee and I turned to Nancy and asked, if we had a coffee shop, where would you have it?”

While en route to brunch, the Perry’s passed the Departure Bay area in Nanaimo where they found a building on Stewart Avenue that was for sale. Needless to say, six weeks later they coined it their first coffee bar — three other locations to follow in the Nanaimo region, one still at Duke Point.

“I didn’t want to call it Phil’s Coffee Shop,” said Perry, of how the name ‘Coyote’s Coffee came to be.

“Over the previous couple of decades I had been involved in working with First Nations across Canada as a psychologist.  After doing that for a few years, I was given the name Coyote,” Perry said.

“Coyote is a trickster. In the Native folklore, it tricks you into looking at different realities,” said Perry. “So that’s why I named it Coyote’s — to honor the experience that I’ve had in the First Nations world.”

The proliferation of coffee shops in Nanaimo increased — Perry suggests there were 17 coffee shops when he first opened one in 2005 to more than 60 about three years later.

“It started to change the whole marketplace,” said Perry. “So we decided to do more wholesale, and then developed this facility (Coyote’s Parksville location).”

Though the Perrys still have a retail location at Duke Point, they decided to phase out their remaining locations in Nanaimo.

“You can’t sell wholesale coffee and do retail in the same backyard. You have to do one or the other,” said Perry. “Duke Point we kept because we’re not involved in anyone else’s territory.”

A self-described international coffee connoisseur, Perry travels throughout Central and South America, learning and involving himself in the nature of organic coffee harvesting and scoping out coffee beans from family owned and operated farms.

“I’m travelling a lot more now because I’m going directly to farms,” said Perry. “I’m going to Mexico, the Chiapas Region, on January 5 (Thursday).”

Perry said there is an artisan component and a science to roasting coffee beans.

“If you have really good coffee, you don’t want to roast out the flavors,” Perry said.

Depending on Perry’s travel schedule, Coyote’s Coffee offers roasting classes in addition to blind coffee and tea tastings.

“On the last Saturday of every month, we put on five coffees and five teas. People come in and they’re invited to taste and rate,” said Perry. “What we think we like really influences what we really like.”

Coyote’s Coffee is located at 30-1499 Huntley Road in Parksville. Call 250-619-9296. They are open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and are closed Sunday.

You can visit them on the web at  www.coyotescoffee.ca.