In just more than a year since opening, Craft Coffee House, tucked behind Midland Avenue in downtown Basalt, has earned a dedicated and passionate following by serving much more than a great cup of coffee—which is, of course, perfection (try the macadamia nut milk latte). Owner Dri Liechti focuses on craftsmanship and community, always seeking new ways to enhance human connection in the space (which feels like a hipper, more eclectic version of your living room). Craft’s baked goods—everything from rustic pastries to gluten-free banana pumpkin bread—are made from scratch in-house every morning. Patrons adore the inventive avocado toast on thick, fresh-baked sourdough, and the homemade, toasted bagels with whipped cream cheese and chives and topped with honey-smoked salmon and scrambled dill eggs. All ingredients support local farmers and artisans.
Liechti, originally from Southern California, began her career in San Francisco with Lululemon and spent two years in Arkansas opening two Lululemon stores before she was assigned to the Aspen location. It was there Liechti met Vancouver, British Columbia’s Mitchell Holdsworth, who was studying at the University of Arkansas. The two moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in August 2018 and opened Craft a little more than a year later.
Liechti’s goal is to create an employee-owned business. She currently supports more than 40 makers, farmers and artisans, and employs two full-time and six part-time employees. In the spring of 2020, during the onset of the pandemic, she, Holdsworth and friend Patrick Sullivan launched The Source (thesource.delivery), an online platform to shop and order locally sourced goods to be delivered. “It’s our amplified version to support our makers, farmers and artisans,” says Liechti. Craft’s retail portion of the coffee shop sells goods from the same makers. Furthering its reach, the coffee house launched a dinner series—Crafted Sundays—over the summer to support local chefs and bring Basalt a new way of dining. Sushi night features Paonia chef and sushi chef veteran Lorin Pope (@rice_and_easy), who features beloved North Fork Valley produce, proteins and teas with premium imported, sustainably caught fish.
Coffee shops have always fostered conversation, but Craft aims higher. “We want to grow community and reignite the spirit of supporting local and sustaining a wholesome economy,” says Liechti. 132 Midland Ave., Rear Space, Basalt, 970.977.9916, @craftbasalt