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Mountain Home coffee owner brews inspiration

Brie Thomason, 24, poses in her coffee shop. From designing the menu, to pouring in long hours, running the coffee drive thru is her passion (Courtesy Brie Thomason).

A constant stream of brewed coffee and eager customers fill the drive way of Brie'sta Coffee every morning.

There's a reason why it's one of the hottest coffee spots in town---and it's not just the drinks.

"They want to feel apart of the Brie'sta family, and we want them to," said Brie Thomason, the owner and founder. "We've been the first to know about pregnancies, we've been the first to know about deaths."

Immediately, customers are greeted with a smile and welcomed by Brie's staff of nine. And if you're a regular, it's not uncommon to already have your daily drink order done before you even make it to the front window.

Making each customer feel valued is something Thomason says she's instilled in all of her employees. Viewing her business as a way to serve her community and others, she's worked hard to build up the coffee shop to its current state.

"It came at a cost," said Thomason. " I often joke that I skipped my 20's."

Thomason was only 20 when she opened up her shop's windows. With little resources and no employees, she did everything.

She pushed 14, 15, even 16 hour work days---both opening and closing the store while also working on school work for her degree.

"I had never pushed myself to those limits before," she said.

In fact, the night of her 21st birthday, Thomason says her mom found her inside a closet bawling. She was so tired, the thought of going out for dinner was exhausting.

But that week, Thomason decided to film a video for a friend. In it, she looks tired, trying to balance running a business while studying for finals week. Looking back, Thomason says the girl in the video is fueled on something more than just caffeine: Passion.

"To see that girl, and to see what she's going through and to think it's worth it," she said. " If I could have looked back, I would have told myself: "just keep going." I'm so glad I pushed through that moment---so glad I did. Because life right now is beautiful."

Beautiful, and maybe a bit busier in the months to come. That's because what's currently a dirt lot in Mountain Home, will soon house a second location of Brie'sta.

Bri admits there will be challenges opening up her second shop---her employee number for example could possibly double. But despite that, she knows she's been able to get through it all before.

And at the end of the day, Brie'sta is a lot more, than just coffee.



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