Katz! Coffee and Used Books
Family-owned and operated since 1947, Katz! Coffee and Used Books holds an offering of local flavor. Nestled in the heart of Lynden, the storefront appeals to locals and tourists alike with its warm ambiance and friendly faces. The shop offers a vast collection of books at low prices, drawing Lynden visitors in with the smell of fresh coffee roasted in-house.
As you amble along downtown Lynden’s quaint Front Street, you’ll come across a narrow shop wedged amongst other small businesses. Inside, time seems to slow. The cozy furniture and soft lighting soothe the senses, eliciting a deep breath—or many. Shelves of books pull visitors deep into the shop, where you’ll find hidden reading nooks. As you read, light music and hushed conversations fill the ready silence. It’s a perfect getaway not too far from home—with no expectations and a feeling of wholeness and peace.
Owners Ken and Sherri Stap took over the shop upon the retirement of Ken’s grandfather, John Stap, in 1987, leaving their teaching jobs in Florida soon after getting married. With kind eyes and a ready smile, Michigan-native Sherri, 56, admits she’s not much of a reader, but visitors can credit her for Katz!’s out-of-this-world coffee. It was Sherri’s idea to bring coffee into the shop, and, when a gift shop in town began to offer the same Fidalgo Specialty Coffee beans, begin a successful roasting adventure. You’ll find Sherri or one of two employees holding down the fort at any given time, while Ken, 62, works as the information technology specialist for Western Washington University’s psychology department.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND
Once a Christian bookstore, Katz! still has a large section for the religious reader, from marriage to finance and education to family. Fiction titles appear in tall shelves that stretch in layers to the back of the space. Though the collection is largely modern paperbacks, you can find classics and beautifully aged hardcovers displayed in between. After you’ve found a book, order from a selection of coffee and cold drinks. Don’t be surprised if you’re blown away by the fantastic espresso—it’s fresher than you’ll get at any chain coffee shop.
Sherri has a soft spot for espresso. Behind the counter, she experiments with ingredients and flavors. The espresso is blended from a tried-and-tested combination of African, Indian, and Central American beans, creating a rich, robust flavor that’s neither bitter nor overpowering. Lately, she’s gone away from traditional milk, instead combining almond and coconut with a splash of half-and-half. Sherri’s current favorite flavor is a pump of lavender with a bit of vanilla, just enough to come through the espresso flavor.
515 Front St., Lynden
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