Since his arrival last May, David Thomas has jumped into Gustavus community life with both feet, introducing his own roasted coffee brand, Sentinel Coffee, and initiating a number of new activities here. He has taken over the editorship of the Strawberry Point Pioneer, our local newspaper, started a “slow food” recurring event, and begun a monthly foreign film showing. What a great addition to the town! His energy and ideas add new enjoyment to our lives. Read on to learn of the niche he is building for himself here.
David moved here because his wife, Louise (known as Lou,) a marine biologist, got a job at Glacier Bay Park. A Juneau woman, she was hired as a whale ecologist, arriving here in November of 2015. As David was working for the legislative session, he waited until it was over to move. The couple found a cabin to rent from Karen and Larry Platt near the Good River, through the recommendation of a friend.
Actually, David had been here before. Gustavus was the first place in Alaska he visited. After completing a job in 2001, he returned to his birthplace, Massachusetts, and got a job as a bar manager. However, he decided he wanted to travel again. He looked for work on CoolWorks.com, and found a job working as a server at the Bear Track Inn for the summer of 2001.
After leaving Gustavus behind, David started a small coffee shop in Woodstock, Vermont, traveled the country in an RV and finally wound up on the Oregon coast, where he set up another coffee shop. The Oregon coast taught David surf kayaking, hitchhiking, and pastry-making. It is also where he met his future wife, Lou. David’s Ye Olde Green Salmon Coffee is still open to this day, owned and operated by David’s original business partner. A well-known eccentric hippy joint, David always insisted of the Green Salmon, “We are not hippies!”
In the summer of 2010, he went with Lou to the Pribilof Islands, where she had a job as a biological technician. That summer he worked as a volunteer. David and Lou were married on October 3, 2010, and went to New Zealand for the winter. In the summer of 2011 they started doing the fur seal count together as part of a “mark and recapture” study with NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) in the Pribilofs.
David has an established coffee business in Juneau. This business is not his first experience with roasting coffee. His operation is small. He services 6 cafes in Juneau, and caters to individual customers on a subscription service. At present, he returns to Juneau every Monday on the ferry and comes home again on Wednesday. On his ferry-rides, he does bookkeeping and paperwork. In Juneau, he does his deliveries with a helper, as there are lots of stops. They deliver to homes, offices, the six cafes, and Bartlett Regional Hospital. Besides coffee, David carries 20 different types of tea and a chocolate sauce to die for.
To Stephanie Shor’s satisfaction, David took over the newspaper, the Strawberry Point Pioneer, in November of 2016. His goal is to make the Continue reading