Category Archives: Our Coffee Shop

Goodbye Red Caboose

It’s been said that the number 7 signifies a completion of some kind: a divine mandate has been fulfilled.

After 7 successful years of business, Red Caboose will be closing the doors this Sunday, May 20th.

The building/business was sold in 2016 so although I have known about this day for over a year, I still write this post with tears in my eyes as I have loved the Red Caboose as many of you have.

I’ll be completely honest. I didn’t want to move to Montana. I was living the dream [so I thought] in Nashville, Tennessee. I was singing/ writing/recording and learned much about photography from some of the best in the industry…..all the things that I’ve loved doing since I was little.

What changed my mind about Montana?

After my dad unexpectedly passed away, I was reminded how short our life is here on earth. I laid my career and dreams down…..& followed my husband’s lead……to Whitefish.

I had no idea what my days would hold for me here, I actually believed that I’d be working a 9-5 office job in a basement with no windows. For real. That’s what I initially envisioned would be waiting for me here.

Man, was I wrong. So wrong.

It didn’t take long for me to see that there was an obvious void in our community. This town needed a family-friendly, late night spot where people could gather, talk about life, and recharge for a new day without taking up a table at a restaurant [I waited tables for years, and I know the way to making money is turning those tables!]

From day one, the vision for the Red Caboose was to provide a warm and inviting place that offered late night hours and a change of pace. Even when our last customer came in at 8pm…..we would still close at 10pm. We never closed early. Eventually people caught on, trusted us and began to share their evenings with us, and it was so amazing to witness this happening.

The 5-year-olds are now turning 12! What an honor it has been to see the kids in our community grow up. We’ve been part of many birthday parties, anniversaries, date nights, family vacations, proms…..and it’s been a great privilege knowing that we’ve provided the space and electrical outlets for you to build your own careers and dreams!

I had no idea what to expect after I turned on the open sign on that grand opening day, other than I wasn’t sure who would come in for frozen yogurt on that cold February day. I didn’t know I’d fall in love so easily with Whitefish, our community and operating a cozy little coffee  + frozen yogurt shop. I can honestly say this adventure far exceeded my expectations in every way.

I’ve put my heart and soul into the Red Caboose and although this is an extremely bittersweet season for me, it’s time to re-direct my focus on raising my own sweet babies and tending to other creative ideas that have been put aside over the course of the past few years, yet burning in my soul. I am at peace with this season and I look to my future with great anticipation.

Thank you for opening your heart to a Nashville transplant who laid some roots down on Central Ave in Whitefish…..who went against the grain and brought in Stumptown Coffee from Portland, OR.

In the beginning, many people questioned whether frozen yogurt would make it in Montana, where we see more snowflakes than sunshine. It was never just about the frozen yogurt and I wholeheartedly believe our regulars, the ones who caught on to the bigger picture would agree.

As my team of baristas have heard me say at some point in every single staff meeting……

we are more than frozen yogurt & coffee.”

The Red Caboose was a vehicle to bring people together. It was a beautiful thing to be part of. I am forever thankful to have been entrusted with such an assignment. Life is truly enriched by service and loving well. We all have hopes, dreams, pains & joys.

I’d love to see you, hug you and hear how the Caboose has been part of your life. Feel free to shoot me a message &/or swing by this weekend. The kids and I will be around, soaking in every last bit of our time left at the shop.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Thank you for supporting our family and business. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for doing life with us and loving us well.

As we navigate this season of change, please keep us all in your prayers. I truly believe the best of days are ahead of us……we’re just taking one step at a time right now.

Continue to follow along on our family adventure…..the Red Caboose Instagram & Facebook pages have always been a place where we’ve shared our lives. We’ll continue to do that! You can also follow my personal Instagram page as well…..for more day to day updates and future happenings.

Can’t wait to share what’s next……

XO,

KELLI

photo by Jeremiah & Rachel

Pumpkin Art At The Red Caboose

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A few years ago, I posted about this Pumpkin Craft….and to this day it has been pinned over 600 times!  Needless to say, those thumbtack pumpkins back in 2011 were a huge hit……and continue to be so today.

Well, my dear friend Carrie and I collaborated on another seasonal theme for my coffee shop, Red Caboose. Im actually really behind on blogging our last few collaborations, but still plan to show you our work here real soon. It’s always a pleasure to work alongside Carrie….dreaming up ideas and seeing it all come to fruition by way of late night installations. Always a good time. Always.

Keep It Simple. This seems to be my goal each season [and I really do believe that my employees say a little prayer for simplicity as well!]. Carrie and I both loved the concept of using upholstery tacks on pumpkins and thought of making a cute phrase for the fireplace mantle. We decided “WE LOVE COFFEE” would be perfect and oh so appropriate, being that we proudly serve Stumptown Coffee.

For this project we used pumpkins, upholstery tacks and thumbtacks (purchased at Home Depot), glitter and paint. Oh, and a hammer just in case some are little more tough to push in.

I free handed the lettering and Carrie just started with an outline of the heart and then filled it in….she used over 200 thumbtacks for the heart!

After the tacks were set in place we painted the stems with our favorite Martha Stewart paint and added glitter before it all dried. These glittery stems are my favorite!

Using upholstery tacks and thumbtacks has become one of my favorite ways to decorate pumpkins. The possibilities really are endless!

PUMPKINS PUMPKINS, EVERYWHERE!

My friends Darci & Arden of Beargrass Gardens surprised me with a beautiful illustrated, decoupaged and painted pumpkin, which I included below. It sits on our coffee bar. A sweet little glittery deer on a pumpkin? Yes, please!

We also used a pumpkin as a menu board, to display our Fall drinks.

Enjoy a peek inside our cafe…..and a few faces of our amazing baristas!

Happy Fall Y’all! xoxo

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Red Caboose TSHIRTS!

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I haven’t been that great about blogging a huge part of life, which is the adorable frozen yogurt + coffee shop that my husband and I own and operate. CRAZY, huh?! Well, heres to sharing more about the Red Caboose…..

For the first time ever [I know, crazy!] we printed Red Caboose Tshirts! We collaborated with Tyler Thorney on the art and had the privilege of working with Seneca Press as our printer. I absolutely love how these turned out. We printed on the softest American Apparel tee I could find. It’s perfect.

If you’re not local, but you’re interested in purchasing a tee…..EMAIL US: hello at red caboose frozen yogurt dot com
I’ll ship one of these out to you ASAP! Only a few sizes left in each size….so don’t miss out, we won’t be printing more tshirts till after the new year. You can’t say I didn’t warn you!

I grabbed a few of our staff for a quick photoshoot out behind our shop….we seriously have a great team. I mean, how adorable are these baristas?!?

Follow us on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, TWITTER

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// Photos edited with The Lightroom Collection by my friends over at A Beautiful Mess

Christmas Time At The Red Caboose

One thing that I love about having a brick and mortar shop is dreaming up ideas and decorating for the winter and summer seasons. We don’t have large windows gracing our entrance so we’ve got a small storefront space to work with, but the real magic happens inside!

My dear friend, Carrie helped me put together our “Winter Theme.” Being that winters are pretty long here, I don’t create a heavy “Christmas” theme because I like to keep things up for the entire season. However, we always have a bit of Jesus gracing the walls….always.

JOY TO THE WORLD. This is our anthem this year. Details included marquee lights, map paper and a few many many many strands of marshmallows and cotton balls. It was simple, but definitely labor intensive. I have the best team ever…..and they did a fantastic job hanging lights and executing quite a few DIY projects for me. I love how creative our staff is….it’s kinda becoming a pre-requisite for employment….must love coffee and have a knack for DIY’s!

Here’s a peek inside the Red Caboose……and if you’re ever in town, please let me know! I’d love to say HELLO to you! I seriously love getting to meet fellow bloggers and Instagrammers who visit Whitefish!

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Portland Adventure

Last month we drove to Portland, Oregon for another coffee training at Stumptown Coffee headquarters. This time we brought Chelsea [one of our fine baristas] along with us. The last time we were there, Ezra was just 3 months old….so it was fun to adventure the city with our curious little man this time around.

Our trip also included a super windy day at Canon Beach. The view was spectacular, but we’ll definitely have to visit again on a more calm day…..sand was flying around everywhere and we almost lost Ezra’s stroller with him in it- as the wind pushed him down the beach! Yikes!

Oh I love Portland…..such beautiful scenery, creative people, so much good food and fabulous coffee, of course. A few of our favorite stops included Salt&Straw and Goorin Hat Co.

I actually left my camera at home, but thankfully we were staying with a photographer friend, who was kind enough to let me take her camera out for a few days. Here are a few details from our trip….including a rare portrait of just Reed & I [iPhone photo, yes….but we are finally in a photo together].

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