The co-founders of Aroma Coffee sit on the porch of their new coffee shop. From left to right: Kelsey Wilson, Sara Cox and Emily Ridout. Contributed by Emily Ridout.

The co-founders of Aroma Coffee sit on the porch of their new coffee shop. From left to right: Kelsey Wilson, Sara Cox and Emily Ridout. Contributed by Emily Ridout.

Fall City’s first coffee shop, Aroma Coffee, opens Sept. 11

The shop has been 13 years in the making.

After 13 years, Fall City’s first coffee shop will hold its grand opening on Sept. 11.

Aroma Coffee has been a long time in the making, said co-owner Emily Ridout, who’s opening the shop with fellow locals Sara Cox and Kelsey Wilson. They’re opening at 33429 Redmond-Fall City Road, a historic house on the west side of the small town’s main strip.

But like much of Fall City, regulations surrounding septic systems have hampered their ability to move quickly. When they approached the former building owners 13 years ago, they knew there was a large amount of drainage fields to manage and upgrade.

“We always were trying to find somebody who could do the work,” Ridout said.

The previous owners, she said, weren’t ready to invest the money to ready the building for businesses. So the project was put on hold indefinitely. The building later went on the market, and sat unsold for more than five years, until 2017, when Ridout and her partners decided to give it another go.

They started posting on social media about their dream coffee shop. The Nelson family ended up taking an interest in the project and purchased the building.

Septic plans were drawn up and permit applications were submitted to King County. Eventually the county gave them the go-ahead to start the needed upgrades in 2018. They also received approval from the historical society for the project last fall to renovate the storied building.

Everything was lining up for an April opening, Ridout said, until the pandemic ripped through King County.

The team had a difficult choice: open then, or wait.

Ridout said they want the coffee shop to be a place where the community can gather. It has a backyard, and they hope to start holding music events and farmers markets. They want it to become a cornerstone of the community.

“While we’re making all these decisions, we really had to challenge ourselves. Do we believe in our mission so much that we’re willing to take an even greater risk,” and open in a pandemic, Ridout said.

But after thinking it over, the team came back just as committed as before. They signed the lease in May and began the build-out process. Ridout said they’ve been supported by volunteers, the community and the Chamber of Commerce.

“We didn’t have to change everything for COVID. We’re literally opening in the midst of it,” Ridout said.

Along with craft coffee, the trio is hoping to offer a food menu. They’re planning on opening Sept. 11, with a ribbon cutting at 6 p.m. They’ll be following public safety regulations around social distancing, and will be offering takeout.

“We feel really comfortable with what we’re going to be able to provide,” Ridout said.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Business

Stock photo
Grocery store workers have right to wear Black Lives Matter buttons

National Labor Relations Board ruling against ban by Kroger-owned QFC, Fred Meyer

Sno-Valley Chamber CEO Kelly Coughlin; Lucas Haines, Volition Brewing owner and current President of the North Bend Downtown Foundation; North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland; Rob and Laurie Wesorick; Celeste Coxen; Wendy and Chris Stone. For information on this new venue, contact Chris Stone at
Pearl and Stone Wine Company opens tasting room

Pearl and Stone Wine Company’s new tasting room held its grand opening… Continue reading

Big Island Poke in Renton (courtesy of The Intentionalist Facebook page)
Small-business advocacy group wants you to try minority-owned businesses and put it on their tab

The Intentionalist is opening up $400 tabs for folks to use this weekend at select businesses.

Wells Fargo opened a new bank branch July 29 at 250 Bendigo Blvd. S. in North Bend. Pictured left to right: SnoValley Chamber Executive Director Kelly Coughlin; Wells Fargo employees David Vu, Zuleyka Corro, Chris Hansen (back row), Roselyn Osuagwu and Jacob McBride; North Bend Councilmember Mary Miller and North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland. Photo by Conor Wilson/Valley Record
Wells Fargo opens new branch in North Bend

Wells Fargo opened a new bank branch July 29 at 250 Bendigo… Continue reading

Here’s how Buckshot Honey got its name

Snoqualmie business celebrates first anniversary after opening during pandemic.

Eastside King County restaurant owners discuss challenges with U.S. Rep Suzan DelBene at Pomegranate Bistro in Redmond. (Photo credit: Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)
Restaurant owners discuss labor difficulties with U.S Rep. Suzan DelBene

Experienced service and kitchen staff are reportedly hard to hire as food service reopens.

Dave and Buster's restaurant and entertainment venue looks to hire 130 people to staff its Bellevue venue, set to open in August. Photo courtesy Dave and Busters.
Dave and Buster’s hiring 130 for August opening in Bellevue

Dave and Buster’s restaurant and entertainment venue opens in downtown Bellevue on… Continue reading

Contributed photo
Katie Podschwit, Dorie Ross, Kristen Schumacher, Heather Dean and Julie Chung, owners of Chickadee Bakeshop, Heirloom Cookshop and Snoqualmie Ice Cream are opening a new location in Snoqualmie this summer.
Three Valley businesses team up for Snoqualmie venture

Snoqualmie Ice Cream, Chickadee Bakeshop and Heirloom Cookshop will soon be opening in Snoqualmie.

Images of dishes from Issaquah’s Umi Cafe posted on the SMORS page. (Photo courtesy of Kristen Ho)
Facebook page promotes minority-owned restaurants across Puget Sound region

Miya Nazzaro used to be a member of Facebook pages that were… Continue reading

Fuzzy Fletcher's Buffalo Bladeworks workshop. Contributed by Fuzzy Fletcher
Former Snoqualmie mayor branches into knife making

Fuzzy Fletcher is no stranger to tools. He’s been a toolmaker and… Continue reading

North Bend’s Taste of Sno-Valley energy bars win award

Sno-Valley’s Cynergy energy bar won the New Product Award from the Specialty… Continue reading

The Moe Vegan food truck serves meals at the city of Kent’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 21, 2020. Sound Publishing file photo
King County fire marshals offer regulatory relief to food trucks

39 fire authorities have reportedly agreed to standardize fire codes and inspections.