by Natalia Dutt, AmeriCorps Member
On any given day walking down Front Street, the smell of amazing coffee and a killer soundtrack comes spilling out of Tip Top Coffee: a place that seems to have always been part of this community. Cade Archuleta, the brains behind the operation has been able to create a place that seems timeless, but it took a few years and some serendipitous acts of the universe to bring this beloved coffee shop to Thomas. Cade found his way to Thomas the way many others do: unexpectedly. Having traveled all around the country and world after graduating high school, a friend of his ended up moving to Thomas and encouraged Cade to join. It was shortly after this he met his wife Carrie at an Avett Brother's concert and with that Thomas became his home. Though he continued to travel for work, when Carrie became pregnant he decided he wanted to stay in Thomas full time. He began working in a coffee shop in Davis and started to learn the ins and outs of running a business such as this. When the owner decided to relocate, Cade and Carrie decided it was time to take on the venture of business owners for themselves. Having an already established shop, it was easy for them to begin running it, but they were able to see ways to make it even better. Having started what are now the famed Friday Burger Nights, by just grilling out in the summer and inviting friends over to the shop after hours, he saw the potential to bring this business to Thomas and establish something even more successful. Having noticed the empty space that is now Tip Top, he and Carrie thought this would be the perfect spot to take on this venture. With the possibility of a huge kitchen for burger night, a bar, space to create some killer coffee the thought of making their own coffee shop began to come to fruition. Growing up on the east coast, Cade had always hung out around coffee shops “pretending to be Jack Kerouac” as he puts it. He wanted to bring that vibe to the small mountain town of Thomas. He wanted to provide a space that people can feel at home. Having been part of the Thomas community for around 10 years, he has seen first hand the revitalization of the town. Having come here with only the Purple Fiddle, Flying Pig, and the antique shops inhabiting the main street, he was able to see how the teamwork of the community and local business owners to create a thriving home was truly working.
Cade attributes a lot of the success in creating the atmosphere that you find in Tip Top to the other local business owners on Front Street. It was a huge team effort to get the space ready, with Nathan (of White Room) building a lot of the beams and booths, while Seth (of Creature) spent many a late night with Cade and Carrie talking about the possibilities that Tip Top could bring once opened in Thomas. When the doors opened seven years ago they had a clear vision about what they wanted. More often than not you will see his son Oliver behind the counter helping out his parents in the best way he knows how, so Tip Top has always been a place where kids are welcome. They wanted to create a place where the locals can feel at home, and a place where tourists will feel just as welcome. When people visit Tip Top they can expect only the best products. Cade has made it his mission to only carry things that he believes in and are still benefiting small companies- talking personally to the owners of the products he buys for Tip Top, he provides nothing but the best. This could be why Tip Top was just named best coffee in West Virginia by Food and Wine Magazine. Though many people called him crazy for bringing a business to Thomas way before it was the thriving town that it is today, he knew he would create something that would be successful. He and his wife have created a place where the employees have fun, locals can feel right at home, and kids can be unapologetically themselves. Thomas is lucky to call Cade and Carrie members of its community.