When Angie Keefe and Courtney Marshall attended high school, they were crosstown rivals. But then fate intervened as both decided to attend the University of Puget Sound, where they soon became close friends.
Years later, after having traveled the world and working side by side, they put their heads together to figure out how they could open a coffee shop. When the right opportunity presented itself, the pair snapped it up and opened Gig Harbor MarKee Coffee Shop and Wine Bar on March 10.
“It is something we’ve always wanted to do in Gig Harbor, and when I moved back 18 months ago, we said, ‘Let’s do it,’” Keefe said.
Both women have backgrounds in the restaurant business, and with a burst of optimism and a great deal of hard work they opened the establishment to rave reviews and a whole lot of customers.
MarKee, which is open seven days a week, serves coffee, wine, beer and food. Keefe wants the community to know is that the business is owned by locals.
“We are making a lot of our own food, and we partnered with Poverty Bay in Federal Way,” she said. “Their values are similar to ours, using all direct trade coffee. Direct trade is very important to us, and we want to have a great relationship with our roaster.”
The duo is also donating $3 back to the nonprofit Fish Food Bank of Gig Harbor for every pound of coffee that they sell.
“We want to give back and be very connected to the community,” Keefe said.
The two owners are busy training their baristas with the focus of making every cup of coffee special — MarKee specializes in latte art as well. The business also makes its own chocolate sauces that go into mochas as well as its own Chai.
Customers can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at MarKee, and Friday and Saturday nights bring live music. This coming weekend, MarKee will feature The Shy Boys.
Keefe and Marshall each have a husband, young children and extremely busy lives.
“Our lives are packed but it is good,” Keefe said. “Courtney and I thrive on being busy and doing the thing that we love. We say in Gig Harbor we’re just a friend away from knowing everybody. It is a small town and we want to give people a place to connect.”
Keefe and Marshall also came up with a mission state for MarKee: “To enhance the lives in our community by connecting with our guests; establishing intentional partnerships to support community giving that will create a significant impact and setting the standards of excellence by providing an unforgettable and inspiring experience.”
Gig Harbor MarKee Coffee Shop and Wine Bar is located at 5275 Olympic Drive NW in Gig Harbor, next door to Harbor Greens.