Updated: Jul 21
Guest Post: By Marina Berryman (The Strawberry Inn Property Manager)
My husband Dan and I moved to Strawberry right in the middle of the pandemic. That was quite an interesting time for me (Marina) to begin my dream career as the Property Manager at The Strawberry Inn. It was, in retrospect, the perfect time for Dan to make his dream a reality and open up an upscale coffee shop in a windmill at The Strawberry Inn in the tiny, unique town of Strawberry, AZ. Dan was able to source high-quality products, craft deliciously unique recipes, develop a genuine rapport with locals and travelers alike, and make a name for Windmill Coffee!
Here are some highlights for us from the last year:
We were able to buy a home in Pine and started really settling into this beautiful community.
We were able to purchase 2 motorcycles to assist with transporting staff to and from Home of Hope Orphanage in Burundi, Africa; this is the orphanage we helped to start and continue to support.
We figured out a fantastically flavorful chai recipe.
We created a magical Strawberry Mocha.
We expanded our hours of operation to 6:30am-1pm weekdays; 6:30am - 4pm Fri, Sat, Sun!
We have had some excellent local bakers provide us with sweet treats on weekends.
We have added some delightfully refreshing lemonades and fizzes to the menu along with a few new Italian soda flavors.
We also experienced some spectacular weather! This winter we were snowed in for the very first time and walked to the Windmill right down the middle of the snow-covered Highway 87.
And now, most recently, we went through an uncertain 10 days with the Backbone Fire raging just 2 miles from Strawberry. The town was evacuated but Dan chose to stay behind, protect our home, watch over The Strawberry Inn and keep Windmill Coffee open. He was able to serve coffee to firefighters and first responders who stayed at The Strawberry Inn. Thanks to a generous donation of espresso beans from Press Coffee, he was able to continue offering free coffee to fire personnel and first responders who worked to contain the wildfire.
Now, the town has quietly returned to normal. Dan will arrive early in the morning to open up the Windmill. We are grateful for this place we live and do business in, thankful for the community connections we've made, and are hoping that the rest of the summer will bring visitors seeking mountain breezes, radiant sunsets and, of course, Windmill Coffee.