Alison Schoonover cleans up after the noon rush at a new coffee shop called Sacred Grounds located inside the Andrew Hope Building on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Alison Schoonover cleans up after the noon rush at a new coffee shop called Sacred Grounds located inside the Andrew Hope Building on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau’s newest coffee shop holds grand opening

Juneau’s newest coffee shop has a name, thanks to a crowdsourcing effort, and is holding its grand opening today.

Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop, located in the Andrew Hope Building, has been open since April but is welcoming Juneauites in from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday for a ribbon cutting, free food, drinks and prizes. The first 50 customers will get a gift bag of coffee-related items.

The name Sacred Grounds came from a public naming contest that was open to anyone in the community. About 170 submissions came in, with a variety of creative names such as Sovereign Tea &Coffee, but Central Council Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (CCTHITA) President Richard Peterson said Sacred Grounds was too good to pass up.

“Being Alaska Native, ‘Sacred Grounds’ really plays (well) with us,” Peterson said, “and then the double entendre … it just had one of those charming rings to it.”

Peterson was one of four CCTHITA officials who went through the name suggestions and made the choice. The others in the group were Property Manager Elias Duran, Deputy Chief Operating Officer Ken Truitt and Communications Coordinator Raeanne Holmes.

The shop features free wi-fi, a 15 percent military discount and a 10 percent discount for all local, state and federal government employees. It also has a walk-up window where pedestrians walking along the Willoughby Avenue sidewalk can stroll up and order coffee. Soon, the shop will have an outdoor seating area. Sacred Grounds is selling store-bought snacks at the moment, but Peterson said the shop will eventually make its own food.

The house blend is a special one from Skyaana Coffee Co., a Native-owned roaster located in Klawock. Syaana won the 2016 Path to Prosperity Contest, which honors Southeast Alaska entrepreneurs and businesses. Skyaana is the Haida word for “to be awake,” and its coffee does the trick, Peterson said.

“We’re really proud of it,” Peterson said. “It’s great coffee. We have really great baristas already.”

There’s more than just coffee at the shop, though, as Sacred Grounds features a new drink every day. This Thursday’s special was a “chocolate strawberry,” made of white chocolate powder, strawberry, white milk and chocolate milk combined with two or three shots of espresso.

Sacred Grounds is part of the CCTHITA effort to increase employment training and opportunities for tribal citizens. Along with Sacred Grounds, CCTHITA is running a coffee shop at the tribe’s Vocational Training &Resource Center on Hospital Drive. That location includes barista training, which is available both online and in person.

In addition to those two shops, Peterson said CCTHITA would want to add another one down the line. CCTHITA is working to get a cultural immersion park off the ground, where visitors can learn more about Tlingit and Haida culture. Though it’s still a long ways away (Peterson said they hope to have it open by 2019), it would likely include a third coffee shop, bringing more jobs to tribal citizens and bringing more coffee to town.

• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at

More in News

(Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast for the week of Nov. 27

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Angie Flick (center), finance director for the City and Borough of Juneau, provides details of an early draft of next year’s municipal budget to Assembly members as City Manager Katie Koester (left) and Budget Manager Adrien Wendel listen during a Finance Committee meeting Wednesday night in the Assembly Chambers. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Assembly members prepare to retreat so they can move ahead on next year’s budget

“Very draft” $190 million spending plan for FY25 based on status quo has $1 million deficit.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Monday, Nov. 27, 2023

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

The front page of the Juneau Empire on Nov. 30, 2005. (Photo by Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of Dec. 3

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Cheyenne Latu (left), a pharmacy technician at Ron’s Apothecary Shoppe, and business co-owner Gretchen Watts hang a poster at the front counter Thursday announcing the store’s closure after Dec. 6 as Jessica Kirtley, another pharmacy technician, works at the front register. The nearby Safeway supermarket has agreed to take the prescriptions of all customers as well as hire all of the independent pharmacy’s employees, according to the co-owners who are retiring. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Ron’s Apothecary Shoppe closing after nearly 50 years as co-owners retire; last day is Dec. 6

Safeway taking over all prescriptions and offering jobs to all employees, according to owners.

Attendees at the Friends of NRA — Juneau’s banquet in 2019 talk near auction tables at Centennial Hall. The fundraising event is resuming Saturday after a four-year COVID-19 disruption. (Photo courtesy of Friends of NRA — Juneau)
Friends of NRA — Juneau fundraising banquet returns Saturday after four-year pandemic absence

New Zealand hunting safari, signed Ted Nugent guitar among items being offered.

Wade Bryson, a Juneau Assembly member, explains why he favors giving local businesses a “sales tax holiday” for at least one day next year, targeting Feb. 29 as a suitable date, during the Assembly’s Finance Committee meeting Wednesday night. The committee voted to hold onto the proposal for further study rather than sending it to the full Assembly. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A local sales tax holiday? Don’t pack your shopping bags yet

Proposal to waive taxes for a day or two each year isn’t a quick sale to most Assembly members

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Choir members rehearse Tuesday night for a Bach holiday concert at Ḵunéix̱ Hídi Northern Light United Church. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Quartet of Bach compositions joins lineup of local large-ensemble performances this season

Concerts this weekend part of resurging “wealth of riches” by choruses and orchestras, director says.

Most Read