Thomas Hammer offers smiles, signature drinks – The Daily Evergreen

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The Pullman location is part of the PNW chain, but built by and for the locals

BROWN MASON

Thomas Hammer Coffee is located at 400 E Main St. in downtown Pullman.

Editor’s Note: This is the second story in an ongoing series featuring the many cafes in downtown Pullman, before a tasting in November hosted by the Pullman Chamber of Commerce.

In 2010, Thomas Hammer Coffee opened and became the only Pullman café at the time to roast its own coffee.

Company CEO Thomas Hammer opened his first café in 1993 with Bud Barnes. Today there are 19 stores in addition to their headquarters in Spokane.

Some of their signature drinks include El Diablo and Jackhammer, said Shelby Molinar, director of Thomas Hammer here at Pullman. Molinar started working at Thomas Hammer’s Moscow site in 2014 before being transferred to Pullman after the Moscow site closed.

Jackhammer is a coffee drink with chocolate and cinnamon. Thomas Hammer offers traditional drinks like americanos and lattes, as well as a rotating number of seasonal options called LTO, or time-limited. Seasonal drinks available now are cold maple cardamom infusion, pumpkin cream and cinnabon chai.

“Honestly, the quality of the coffee helps us stand out,” Molinar said. “We basically roast our own coffee in Spokane. It’s just really good. Even simple black coffee drip.

Molinar said the Spokane roasting site receives all orders from the sites. This means they roast the right amounts for each store instead of creating excess coffee, which means every store is stocked with fresh beans.

Not only is quality coffee important at Thomas Hammer, they pride themselves on their customer service. When Molinar started working for Thomas Hammer, she was impressed with the way they treated people and how they took the time to prepare each drink specifically for the customer.

Molinar said Thomas Hammer’s staff really get to know the customer. Once someone has ordered a drink, staff usually call each other by first name with the customer.

Chris Wilson, pastor at Pullman, said he loved Thomas Hammer’s environment and customer service was always friendly. He said the coffee is way better than a lot of places and not too expensive.

“I would recommend the El Diablo,” Wilson said. “It’s a spicy drink. I’m a pastor who recommends the El Diablo so you might not want to take it out. It is a kind of spicy drink with cinnamon and cayenne pepper.

When Wilson was in Spokane for his son’s medical issues, he was able to visit the Thomas Hammer Cafe as there was a place in the hospital. He said it was comforting for him to be able to order his usual drink during a difficult time.

Jessica Abercrombie, barista at Thomas Hammer, said people come to the store to study and get away from home. She noted that Thomas Hammer’s space is unique. The store is very spacious with larger tables for groups who wish to study, smaller tables for individuals and chairs for groups to sit and chat.

“All of the baristas here are very happy to help anyone, and they are very welcoming,” Abercrombie said.

Abercrombie said their favorite coffee is Afternoon Delight, which contains caramel, sea salt and lavender. The drink is truly unique and “super, super delicious”.

The pandemic has been difficult for Thomas Hammer as they have had to reduce their hours of operation due to limited staff, Molinar said. The store just extended its opening hours this week.

Positive support from head office and the local Pullman community helped the store weather the pandemic.

Molinar said that although Thomas Hammer is based in Spokane, it is still a local business at heart.

“We are locals ourselves,” she said. “We love working at Pullman and being right in the middle of town and offering a really good cup of coffee or a burrito for breakfast. We’re here for everyone’s coffee needs.


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