Puyallup: Sumner

Craft 19 brings ‘infusion of energy’ to Sumner

Waldo Dagan, left, and manager Jake Davis recently opened Craft 19 in Sumner.
Waldo Dagan, left, and manager Jake Davis recently opened Craft 19 in Sumner. Staff photographer

It’s been a highly anticipated, welcomed addition to downtown Sumner.

On Oct. 12, Craft 19 Espresso + Creperie opened its doors on Main Street.

“There has been an overwhelming response from the city,” said owner Waldo Dagan. “The city was ready for something different.”

As an internal medicine physician originally from the Philippines, Dagan came to the U.S. to further his education. After joining a practice in downtown Sumner, the 50 year-old Dagan established his roots in Sumner.

“I fell in love with Sumner,” he said. “It’s a quaint and beautiful city.”

He is hopeful that the new coffee shop will bring an upbeat feel to the town.

“It’s bringing an infusion of energy to the downtown core,” Dagan said. “We want to collaborate with the city and other downtown merchants to make the downtown more appealing.”

Dagan’s cafe serves coffee roasted right in Sumner at Dillanos Coffee Roasters.

“It’s a local company we should be proud to highlight,” he said.

The cafe’s ties to the community don’t stop there. Manager Jake Davis hails from California, but his wife Kristen grew up in Puyallup. Originally, Davis was looking to work at Dillanos once the couple relocated up to Washington to establish their own roots, but it quickly became apparent working in sales wasn’t his forte.

“After my interview at Dillanos, we both agreed that I was better at building teams and establishing businesses rather than being in sales,” Davis said.

Fortunately for Davis, his wife worked at Anthem Coffee in Puyallup with Bryan Reynolds back in the day when it was a Forza. Kristen connected her husband with Reynolds, and Dillanos also mentioned Davis, a barista from Stumptown Coffee in Los Angeles, to Reynolds. As a consultant to Dagan to help launch Craft 19, Reynolds ultimately connected the duo.

“I had a Skype interview with Bryan and Waldo, and we all saw eye to eye,” Davis said. “It was a dream come true. A week later, we flew up and saw what our lives would look like here. There are great people coming together and I wanted to add my own experience. I wanted to be a part of it. It seemed like the right fit, and it’s all coming together.”

Crepe chef Natasha Gunia also jumped on board with the Craft 19 team. She graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, but most recently she worked at a cafe in New Orleans for seven months where she had to create a new type of crepe every day.

Gunia created her own recipe for the crepe batter. It took at least five or six tries to perfect her batter, she said. More important than the batter, however, is her fluid and delicate technique which she taught all 14 staff members at Craft 19.

“I wanted to give them room to make it their own,” she said. “They did incredible. They all caught on so quickly.”

Since opening, Gunia says the pumpkin crepes, a chicken, bacon and artichoke flavors are the most popular.

“I combined food classics and favorites to create a whole new love,” she said. “A crepe is art you can eat. The plate is your palette.”

More importantly than the espresso and the crepes, Dagan wanted to create an atmosphere where customers can build community in Sumner.

“We want to create a place where customers can get to know each other in a well crafted experience around coffee and crepes — to enhance the community and provide comfort,” he said.

Craft 19 Espresso + Creperie is located at 1201 Main Street in Sumner.