Creative Cups! Kam Coffee Talk, 2019 in Review

My logo is a picture of a coffee made at Red Beard Café!

For those wonderful people who follow my community blog, you know I don’t write blogs about myself. My joy comes from collaborating with the people of Kamloops (and sometimes beyond) to publish stories and voices I think are significant and interesting to the rest of us.

So many special voices have shown up to contribute this year and I am thankful for every one! Every story is unique; every perspective is illuminating in some way.

When I was about 20-years-old I was living Revelstoke, BC. My great, intelligent and creative friend Emily was living there too, in a tiny old downtown house, then jammed between businesses that had cropped up over the years as the town was developing.

Both being tree planters, Emily and I had the winters off. She decided to spend one winter learning the art of pottery. She had grown up in the Kootenays, surrounded by artistic minds. She chose to make coffee mugs, that is forming them, drying them, painting them and finally baking them.

I would stop by and there she would be, her hands in clay around her wheel, her dark hair in disarray, The Be Good Tanyas playing from her vintage record player.

Her mugs started out lopsided. Yet she kept them and painted and baked them anyway. The next phase was mastering the handles. Some were too big and some were too small. She kept them all. She loved them. She painted each one with sunflowers, ladybugs, plants, hearts, you name it.

The end result was a cabinet full of what I lovingly called ‘ridiculous cups’. I would stop in for coffee, excited to open the cabinet and choose my mug. There was a wide, colorful array of mugs of all shapes and sizes, all patterns, all with mismatched handles. It was perfect, an experience that still makes me smile; each mug was perfectly imperfect.

This is similar to the excitement I feel when I look over the contributions and collaborations that made have made up Kamloops Coffee Talk this year. Each story is like a unique, handcrafted coffee cup, lovingly made and completely beautiful in its own way.

The most popular article of the year: Missing Man Ryan Shtuka’s Mother Opens Up About Her Emotional Journey

2020 is almost upon us. We stand together at the beginning of a fresh new year, full of hopes, dreams and potential. What creations are soon to form on Kam Coffee Talk? What brave contributors are going to say ‘yes!’ when I ask them for their stories?

Thank you to those who read, share, contribute and send me ideas and references. If you have ideas for stories and/or series for Kam Coffee Talk, 2020, please leave a comment or email me at

In the meantime, Happy New Year! Feel free to check out the list of 2019 blog posts, choose your favorite mug, and enjoy reading about someone in our community!

*Kam Coffee works in partnership with The Big Edition, our local street paper that works to assist our most at risk community members. You can pick up a paper at most coffee shops near you, or help support our cause at

A street paper owned and founded by Glenn Hilke

Let’s chase down our dreams this year, and continue to look after the people around us, cheers!

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