Story by Ken Levy, Photos by Jim Peterson
Hot coffee, fresh food, and social empathy are among Heather Andrade’s offerings at The Perks of Life coffee and baked goods shop in Eagle. That empathy comes from her desire to help those in the community who may be struggling to make ends meet.
“A couple of years ago I adopted a ‘pay what you choose’ system,” she said, which lasted over a year. She says she wanted anybody “to be welcome to get a cup of coffee even if they can’t afford it.”
That program evolved into a “pay it forward” program, where people can buy someone else a cup and a delicious pastry or sandwich. Anyone can donate toward it, and anyone can take from it.
Either way, The Perks of Life lives up to its name. Andrade is primarily the baker, focusing on made-from-scratch fresh pastries. Scones, muffins, and cookies are baked fresh daily. You can also choose breakfast burritos and quiche to perk up your day.
“We rotate our quiche, and always have a couple, and sometimes a third or fourth on the menu,” she said. “We do our own granola and we try to keep it simple. We’re big on quality and we’re picky eaters. We like good food!”
Her sister Amber Allen makes all the homemade soups, potato salad, and sides. “She’s amazing,” Andrade said. “I leave the cooking to her. It’s really nice to have fresh soup and potato salad with different options all the time.”
One of those recently offered was her own unique creation: an Italian sausage kale soup.
For lunch, choose from nearly a dozen sandwich combinations, including customer favorite “The Barnyard.” It comes with turkey, bacon, provolone cheese, avocado, tomato, red onion, and sprouts with your choice of ranch or bleu cheese dressing.
It’s the “perfect combination of sweet and spicy, it’s all over the place,” she says.
Perks also offers Reubens, BLTs and tuna melts along with The Greenbelt, featuring sprouts, cucumber, tomato, red onion, and avocado, with provolone cheese and basil mayo. Salads include Cobb, chef, and spinach.
Andrade uses local ingredients whenever possible or available. Come summer, she’ll be buying fresh produce from local organic growers.
For the Reuben sandwiches, Andrade announced that “soon, we’re going to start making our own sauerkraut.” As summer approaches, a new salad and more fresh sandwiches are also in the works.
Perks rotates its beers, with seven brews on tap, mainly from the Northwest. They offer local bottled wines as well.
And beyond the wonderful food is The Perks’ philosophy:
“Our vision is to create a space for everyone from all walks of life, to connect in a warm, comfortable environment,” she said. “We believe that some of our deepest needs are for connection, community, and contribution.”
And a great breakfast or lunch.
140 E. Iron Eagle Dr. Suite 130 | Eagle • 208.939.7809 • perksoflife.com