We first met Erica Noel Koenig when she competed for Thanksgiving Coffee Company & Six Degrees Coffee Service at the 2013 Southwest Regional Barista Competition.

DONA now serving Matcha
DONA chai, specialty coffee's other half
DONA tea, Equitably sources teas and tisanes
DONA Cardamom Rose


“Since then,” Koenig told us in an email, “I was hit by a car on my bike, had to come home to the small town I grew up in, ended up in a wheelchair for 3 months, regrew some nerves and bones, learned how to walk and make coffee again (all my rosettas are still lopsided), stayed in said small town I grew up in, got back on my bike, and was asked to run/design the coffee bar for a new shop in town.”

“It’s been one helluva a year.”

That coffee bar is The Bean Pedaler, located at 420 Main Street in Cañon City, Colorado. The cafe shares space here Red Canyon Cycles, a full-service bike store dedicated to serving the robust cycling culture of Colorado’s Lower Arkansas River. It’s peak bike season now, so The Bean Pedaler is open, having completed their build-out earlier in 2014. We spoke more with Erica Noel Koenig about her new project, bringing “Big City Coffee” to the outdoors paradise of south central Colorado.


advert new rules of coffee now available


What kinds of coffee are you offering?

We are currently slinging beans from Pablo’s Coffee in Denver and Chromatic Coffee out of San Jose. Bringing single origin and light roast coffees to a town that was all about dark and covered with syrups has been interesting, but fun.

How’s coffee life in Cañon City?

Watching baristas learn how their palates work, getting customers excited about coffees, and serving signature drinks and well-made caps has been a blast. We have held TNTs and our baristas and mechanics love to educate curious customers on coffee and all of its wonderful nuances.


Our shop is located on picturesque Main Street in Cañon City, CO. A small town known for its prisons and giant bridge (Royal Gorge), but now making leaps and strides in promoting its outdoor adventure recreation. Nestled between the opening of the Arkansas River Big Horn Sheep Canyon and the plains of southern Colorado, this little town is continually in tourist season. Which makes this the perfect place to serve what the locals around here call “Big City Coffee.”

How has your shop been received so far? 

So far our epic build-out (our owner did 95% of the work and our friends did the other 5%) has been received well by both locals and tourists alike. We certainly love what we have done with the space that used to be a vacuum shop.


The bicycle/coffee combo was at first a real foreign concept around here (“that’s a strange combo” is something we heard a whole lot before our doors opened) but we sure like it.

Oh, and I am getting myself ready to compete next year.

The Bean Pedaler is located at 420 Main Street in Cañon City, Colorado. Follow them on Facebook.

Photos in this feature courtesy of Alyssa Steele.

banner advertising the book new rules of coffee