Laurie Wiltsey and her dog Maggie in front of the coffee shop she now runs

Make Tracks for Maggie’s Mug

Castlegar coffee shop under new ownership and has something for all tastes.

The new owner of Maggie’s Mug says that after 30 years as a chef, she “went out on a limb” to realize her dream of owning her own business.

Laurie Wiltsey spent the past five years as head chef at the Black Rooster before the opportunity came up to purchase the coffee shop formerly known as the Kootenay Roost, at 502 Columbia Ave, just down the street from City Hall.

“It was time for a change,” said Wiltsey on Monday, Aug. 12. “I took possession on June 1 and think that with consistent hours, it will be a success.”

Beyond ensuring customers are able to get what they want, when they want it, Wiltsey is also looking forward to creating a bigger menu in the charming little shop.

With a Red Seal certification, she has the knowledge and expertise to whip up everything from a wide selection of hot and cold beverages to paninis, sandwiches, loaves, cookies, and granola bars.

Her newest creation, a chorizo and egg breakfast scone, is quickly becoming popular for early risers heading to work who zip through the convenient drive through.

“My banana bread is a good seller, too” she said. “There’s one regular who comes in every day — sometimes for two pieces.”

Canterbury and Oso Negro organic, fair trade coffee, Italian sodas and many more specialty beverages are already on the menu but will soon be joined by one and two-person meals like lasagna, shepherd’s pie, soups and chili when fall approaches.”

My favourite thing to make depends on what time of the year it is,” said Wiltsey, who obviously takes great pride in what she serves to her customers.

“I think soups will be popular in the fall and winter because I’ll offer them by the cup; the cups I use keep them very hot.”

At a total of just 300 square feet, the two buildings that make up the popular snack stop could easily be missed if you were to blink while looking for it.

“Maybe I should paint it bright red,” laughed Wiltsey.

Fortunately, there is usually ample street parking right in front and groups of regulars generally have no problem finding a seat either inside or at the picnic table.

Though Maggies’s Mug, named in honour of her faithful black lab cross companion, is currently a one-woman operation, Wiltsey said she can already see she may have to hire staff at some point.”

It can get pretty busy,” she said, smiling. “But so far I haven’t had cars lined up onto the road.”

You can “Like” Maggie’s Mug on Facebook at or give Wiltsey a call at 250-365-4866. Hours for the shop from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday.



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