Coffee Corner: A perfect blend of coffee and community

Newest downtown coffee shop Manny’s Coffee House offers locally-sourced coffee, pastries, comforting atmosphere

Kees+Hoek%2C+Audrey+Berry%2C+Brendan+Chabot+and+Devi+Johnson+enjoy+some+coffee+at+Mannys+Coffee+House+on+Nov.+11%2C+2021%2C+in+Pullman.

MASON MARON

Kees Hoek, Audrey Berry, Brendan Chabot and Devi Johnson enjoy some coffee at Manny’s Coffee House on Nov. 11, 2021, in Pullman.

FRANKIE BEER, Evergreen Photographer

Editor’s note: This is the final story in a series featuring the multiple coffee shops in downtown Pullman, ahead of an event on Nov. 18, hosted by the Pullman Chamber of  Commerce. All downtown coffee shops will be offering a variety of deals and specials.

Coffee brought Immanuel “Manny” Montelongo’s family together — and he intends to do the same for the Pullman community. 

Montelongo opened Manny’s Coffee House in August 2021 and said it has been the best experience of his life. 

“I’ve been drinking coffee since I was like seven,” Montelongo said. “It was something that always brought my family together, so we created a business model geared towards bringing people together into a family-friendly, loving environment.”

Montelongo said he incorporates the Pullman community into every aspect of Manny’s Coffee Shop. Everything in the shop from the coffee to the pastries is locally sourced from Pullman and the greater Washington state. 

Montelongo serves Colombian coffee roasted in the Tri-Cities by Highpocket Coffee Co. He said the coffee shop in his hometown of Prosser, Washington, served Highpocket coffee, so he grew up enjoying their products.

Montelongo said he knows the name of each person involved in the roasting process, from the coffee bean pickers to the roasters. 

“We know the history of the coffee: where it comes from, where it’s sourced and its journey to the Tri-Cities,” Montelongo said. 

The pastries at Manny’s Coffee Shop are sourced from Jacobs Bakery in Uniontown, Washington. Montelongo said he is also talking with Rancho Viejo about collaborating on breakfast burritos in the future. 

Manny’s Coffee Shop offers many unique drinks that customers will not find anywhere else on the Palouse, like Big Trains, a blended iced coffee drink. The shop boasts over 80 varieties of syrup flavors from cupcake to cucumber: the most syrup flavors of any shop from Pullman to Lewiston, Idaho.

Each member of Montelongo’s staff and family have their own signature drink. Montelongo said his custom drink is a green apple, blue raspberry Red Bull that “tastes like a jolly rancher.”

Barista Teddy Grogan, WSU pre-veterinary animal sciences major, said his signature drink is an Italian soda with strawberry and cream. 

“When you mix it together it just reminds you of your childhood,” Grogan said. “Everyone I’ve made it for agrees with that.”

Manny’s Coffee Shop also offers seasonal drinks like chai tea, which Montelongo said pairs well with the gloomy weather. Baristas make a special Cinnamon Toast Crunch chai with cinnamon and caramel.

Montelongo said the vibrance and joy radiating from the staff also contributes to the comforting atmosphere of Manny’s Coffee Shop. 

Jaeda Matheson, WSU criminal justice and biology major, said she liked the “study vibe” of the shop and that it was a perfect place to do homework outside of her home. 

Students can even book a private room in the shop free of charge, as long as they buy drinks. Montelongo said the other day, students from an anatomy class studied at the shop for 6 hours, fueled by pastries and coffee. Customers can also lease out the entire building by contacting Montelongo. 

Montelongo said he hopes to expand Manny’s Coffee Shop to the Tri-Cities area, as well as Moscow, Idaho. He would also like to begin nonprofit work. 

“We’ve been blessed to be successful in this first venture, so we want to start giving back to our community and hopefully set up mental health resources,” Montelongo said. “I myself had some really big struggles through the pandemic with my mental health. A hotline or a center where you can just talk to somebody would have been wonderful back then.” 

Grogan said Montelongo’s dedication is what makes Manny’s Coffee Shop successful. 

“A young guy opened a Hispanic-owned coffee shop in the middle of the pandemic. It was a crazy time for businesses, and he did it,” Grogan said. 

Montelongo said he loves that there are a multitude of coffee shops on Main Street and that he has enjoyed working alongside them. 

“I have some kind of connection to all of these other companies, and I’m just glad that we’re able to join forces together and create a downtown coffee center where you can go anywhere to get quality coffee,” Montelongo said.