Interview with owner Sami Smith
It’s dark, and you’re journeying through the cold, treacherous roads of Camrose when suddenly you see a cute little cabin in between a motorcycle retailer and the Ford dealership. You approach the cabin and notice that it is a coffee shop. Seeking shelter from the brutal -40 weather, you head towards the cafe to drink a hot cup of coffee.
You enter the cabin and you are greeted with a warm welcome by a group of baristas. You order a coffee and a chocolate chip muffin. You get your cup and freshly baked muffin as you take a seat to indulge. You take a sip, and you think to yourself “wow, this coffee is the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT).”
A little cafe with a chill atmosphere and folksy theme, essentially a caffeinated oasis where liberal arts students can go to indulge, relax, and have a good time.
In an interview with Sami Smith, the founder of the unique coffee shop, the Medium learned about what inspired the inception and launch of this project.
What inspired you to launch this shop?
I always loved the atmosphere of coffee and how people come together and take a step outside of their busy lives to sit down and connect with people.
What’s the meaning behind the name?
GOAT stands for “Greatest of All Time”. It is a cool name and goats are fun. But, there is also a reference to the historical roots of coffee, and how it was discovered by a goat herder whose goats ate from a coffee bush and got hyper. When he brought the coffee berries to the monks of his village, they believed it was an evil fruit, so they decided to burn it, which let off an awesome fragrance. So, they then decided to smash it up, add it to hot water and drink so they could stay up during their prayers.
Why the location?
There is nothing on this end of town, it is very industrial, and there is a lot of people working here, but there is nothing here for them. People drove all the way to the other side of town to get to Starbucks. And the thing is, if we were located at another end in the town, we would compete with Starbucks whereas here it’s our little world.
What would you say is the unique theme about GOAT that sets you apart from other coffee shops?
We care about relationships, and we care about people. Also, I am a certified worldwide barista and I train the staff by the certification standards. We care about the quality of our coffee.
What’s the sandbox for?
We are partnered together with FT (local construction company), and they have an outreach program called Operation Sandbox, which provides sandboxes to kids in the community. We decided to install one outside of our entrance for families to bring their kids to play while they enjoy a cup of joe.
What is the brand of coffee you guys use?
We are currently using Kicking Horse which is roasted and brewed in British Columbia.
What does GOAT have to offer to the Augustana community?
I like to think we are on trend with the attitudes of our generation on being minimalistic, living in small spaces, and caring about quality coffee. All of our products are fair trade and organic which are aspects that many students appreciate.
What drink would you recommend?
Depends on your love for coffee, personally I like a long black Americano, but if you want a milky coffee, a flat white is also good.
University students are often addicted to coffee or tea, and GOAT provides both along with sweets that coincide with dietary needs. If you like a coffee shop that isn’t too far away, provides you with non-dairy milk, and also makes you feel like you’re in Bon Iver music video, then GOAT is the place for you.