Downtown coffee shop takes pride in locally sourcing fresh ingredients

RAPID CITY, S.D. – There is nothing more enjoyable on those blistery cold days than a nice warm latte. But you’ve probably never thought of how important freshly roasted espresso beans are to the flavor of the beverage.

The importance lies solely in the chemistry of coffee beans. As soon as the raw beans are roasted at high temperatures, the natural flavors and aromas start to degrade. The process of roasting the bean, changes the chemical structure through the buildup and release of carbon dioxide.

After a time, they begin to lose desirable flavors, and accumulate stale tasting flavors.

Alternative Fuel Coffee House avoids the stale bean conundrum through their partnership with Dark Canyon Coffee.

Dark Canyon Coffee is a local favorite specialty coffee company, that provides fresh roasted Arabica coffee beans to their partners which include Alternative Fuel. The espresso beans are then ground fresh, assuring the smooth taste that coffee drinkers come to expect – and skipping the process of shipping, handling, which ages the beans.

Alternative Fuel not only provides customers with locally roasted espresso but provides fresh local ingredients for their recipes.

“If you use your local sources, you are not only helping the local community, the local economy but you are helping yourself,” said Patti Griffin, owner of Alternative Fuel.

Griffin is a strong advocate for shopping local, especially when it comes to what she sells in her store. She believes that by supporting locals, it helps her business grow.

For instance, support via advertising from a local student – rather than a telemarketing call may bring in more of their friends, family & acquaintances of that student or team. Building that sense of community and mutual support is a concept that the Griffin’s run their business on.

“Support us so we can support the community,” says Griffin. This is a cycle that keeps small businesses running – shopping locally rather than at big-box stores helps stimulate the local economy by keeping more money in the community.

In the summer, Griffin takes bringing fresh ingredients to her customers to a whole new level – she, along with the help of Blake, her husband of 23 years, and their kids, grow as many of the vegetables themselves as they can.

“I’m really proud to be able to put our garden on your table,” says Griffin.

Griffin brings in fresh vegetables for the salads and sandwiches: lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, onions, spinach, chives, etc. Making sure they are at the peak of their flavor and provides her customers with the homemade food and baked goods that keep them coming back.

“I try to make things [for the shop] we eat in our home,” says Griffin. “My philosophy is, if I don’t like it, I won’t make it, therefore I won’t offer it.”  She carried on explaining that she does make exceptions to this rule, mostly through the addition of onions to recipes for the store. “My husband likes onions and our shop; like marriage is a partnership.”

To learn more about Alternative Fuel visit

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Categories: Local News, South Dakota News