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TTwo words come to mind to describe the Saddlecreek Coffee Company, a local business – community and cafe.

Saddlecreek, located at 28212 N. Tatum Boulevard, Suite D6, Cave Creek, strives to offer more than just a quality blend of locally sourced coffee beans. The popular place, owned largely by entrepreneurs Jim and Julie Prendergast, champions of donation, said Heather Evanoff, operating partner of Saddlecreek Coffee.

“Saddlecreek, at its simplest level, is a community organization designed to meet the needs of the community, support it and be a gathering place for the community,” explained Evanoff, who manages day-to-day operations with his colleagues at operation. partner Rachael Cebalt.

“This is what has always been planned.”

Coffee exists to ‘serve (our) community’ and is seen as a ‘social enterprise to make people feel good and give back to those in need’.

The company has partnered with many nonprofits, as well as other local mission-driven businesses. Saddlecreek donated to the Cave Creek American Legion silent auction, volunteered for the annual Horses Help fundraiser, and organized a backpacks drive for AZ Helping Hands.

“We have worked with schools. We have worked with churches and other nonprofit organizations, ”said Evanoff. “We always try to be there whenever someone needs something. We allow our space to be rented out for small business owners who need a place to meet.

Community efforts aside, Saddlecreek’s menu is also a crowd pleaser.

The cafe offers delicious treats ranging from breakfast including omelets, Nutella pancakes, burritos, pressed paninis and bagel sandwiches, to lunch dishes including cobb salads, herbed marinated chicken wraps, breakfast burritos and turkey bacon sandwiches.

Saddlecreek, of course, also serves espressos, coffee, and tea.

In April, North Valley Magazine – the sister publication of Foothills Focus – named Saddlecreek the best coffee in the North Valley, describing it as a place to go for a “caffeine boost, breakfast to start the day, or lunch. “.

Evanoff’s counterpart and close friend Cebalt added that Saddlecreek strives to source local and organic ingredients.

“We try to source as much local and organic produce in terms of food service,” Cebalt said.

She noted that Saddlecreek’s emphasis on hospitality is also what sets it apart from the competition.

The cafe staff pride themselves on getting to know customers on a personal level, Cebalt continued.

“Like 75% to 85% of people, we know their names and their life history,” the operating partner said. “We know what they drink and where their kids go to school, not in a scary way. It’s about personal relationships – that’s what sets us apart.

Evanoff echoed his partner’s sentiments, saying their employees “learn more about your life, (we) cheer you on when there’s something to celebrate.”

The morality and eagerness of both operational partners to connect stem from their experience as front-house servers, they explained.

“Rachael and I both have hospitality backgrounds,” Evanoff said. “We knew what made our job enjoyable. It’s when you get to know someone. It’s fun to take care of someone. We call it a “server core”.

“When you take care of people, profit will follow. “

The company was formed around 2013. Jim and Julie Prendergast purchased the coffee in 2014 before donating it to their church, the Scottsdale Bible: North Ridge Campus.

When the church could no longer devote the time and resources to manage Saddlecreek, the Prendergasts bought him out and recruited Evanoff as director.

“I really just had that gut feeling,” Evanoff said of his decision to work with Saddlecreek.

Cebalt, who at the time worked in a “9 to 5 office job”, quickly followed suit.

“I missed being standing, talking to people and seeing people face to face,” Cebalt said. “I wanted to be a part of it to see the growth, so I asked to become a partner and here we are. “

Despite the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, operational partners have agreed that Saddlecreek is ahead.

“He’s shown so much growth over the past four or five years,” Evanoff said. “It was so well received. We worked our buttocks. We’re not perfect, but we try to answer perfectly, that’s important.

Saddlecreek recently launched a wine, beer and cocktail list, expanding the company’s credit as a multidimensional cafe.

The new menu items were the result of “demand” from community members, Evanoff explained.

“As a cafe that runs on a deficit without a drive-thru, we need to be a little more creative,” she said.

Saddlecreek offers a menu of four beers, four wines and four cocktails. Although drinks have yet to be added to the menu, the company is starting to campaign for the products on social media.

The Saddlecreek Café is open 6 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday; and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

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Norma P. Rex

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