Where coffee, art merge together

Cafe Artista features commissioned art pieces, jewelry from up-and-coming Moscow artists; coffeeshop also serves espresso drinks, tea

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COLE QUINN

The owners of Cafe Artista, a mother and daughter duo, opened the coffee shop after a storefront in downtown Moscow became vacant.

ELIZA CALLIS, Evergreen reporter

Moscow is home to many small businesses, but the mother and daughter duo who own Cafe Artista has a unique position in town.

The cafe on Moscow’s Main Street sells local coffee and food while featuring up-and-coming artists’ work for consignment. 

Lisa Bafus, Cafe Artista co-owner, said she and her mother, Bev Bafus, are long-time Moscow residents and run Cafe Artista since 2013.

Their goal as business owners is to share a creative atmosphere with customers to enjoy local coffee and fresh food, she said. Their menu features a variety of coffee and espresso drinks, tea and pastries. 

The walls of Cafe Artista are filled with an arrangement of art and jewelry for sale from small artists. They are always looking to showcase young artists trying to get a foot in the door, Lisa said. 

Lisa began her business expenditures selling jewelry and crochet goods at farmers markets. After growing tired of the complications stemming from selling at markets, a vacancy opened on Moscow’s Main Street, so Lisa and Bev decided to open the cafe. Bev always had a passion for coffee so a cafe suited both their interests, and they decided to open Cafe Artista, Lisa said.

“I’ve always wanted to run my own business. It’s been a dream of mine since I was young, since high school,” she said. 

Bev and Lisa each have their own tasks in the business. Bev works full time in bookkeeping and focuses on the finances for Cafe Artista. Her work with the cafe is to help support her daughter’s dream, and it has gone better than expected, Bev said. 

“It’s always harder than you think it’s going to be,” Bev said, “but it’s also more fun at the same time.”

Lisa and Bev place a high value on the strength of the Moscow community, Lisa said. Cafe Artista sells locally roasted coffee from Kamiak Coffee Company, which is based in Moscow, and sells Irish Spike’s Unique Hot Sauces — also rooted in Moscow. They aim to treat their community like family. 

“I think the thing I love the most though, is how tight-knit the city is and how ready they are to support a small business,” Lisa said. “We’re all set on rising up and supporting each other.”