One of the newest additions to the drive down Ruston way is the Point Ruston Public Market. The market shows off a plethora of vendors that aim to bring multiple people together for different purposes. It features a butcher, florist, bakery and many more. In the midst of COVID-19, an open-air market presents a unique opportunity for local businesses.

Ryan Siu, retail trainer and shift lead from the Dancing Goats Coffee Bar — the market’s featured cafe — talked about some of the struggles his and others’ businesses have had during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The biggest effect that COVID has had on cafes has been limiting indoor seating,” Siu said. “We just started indoors eating last week at the downtown Olympia Dancing Goats for the first time since mid-March. The only other notable aspect is putting up barriers, a.k.a sneeze guards, to better protect baristas. Otherwise, the COVID protocols that have been implemented have changed our workflow but nothing that is a huge hindrance. The same goes for the pop up. We have had to change some things about how we arrange things but that isn’t anything too difficult.”

Dancing Goats originated in Olympia and has been serving coffee since 1988. In the near future, the coffee shop will have a permanent location in the market. 

Formerly a competitive barista and coffee shop owner, Siu has been working at the Dancing Goats pop-up. Siu explained that with this being the shop’s first expansion north of Olympia, they hope to make themselves known in the Ruston and Tacoma community. 

“Our pop up shop in the Point Ruston Public Market is just a way of introducing us to the neighborhood and get people who we will be serving on a regular basis,” Siu said. “As the Public Market is going to have a year round grocery store this offers us a chance to act as both a coffee shop but also as a place to pick up your weekly bag of beans. This location in particular is a great spot to be a part of an up and coming neighborhood. We are super excited to be a part of the Point Ruston community and look forward to serving them delicious coffee every day.”

Siu continued by speaking about his personal experiences working at the market, and the chance it gives him to share the brand as well as his craft with people. 

“We get a chance to talk with people, let them know who we are and how long we have been around. We also get to answer questions about the Public Market which helps me feel even more a part of the community as locals don’t know what is happening with that space. When we get the espresso machine up there it will be easier to share our passion and skills but now we have made sure we are knowledgeable about our coffees and their tasting notes. I am surprised by the amount of people who are already familiar with our brand but we are engaging with lots of people who haven’t heard of us.”

When asked what else was coming up for the Dancing Goats, Siu said they have some new drinks and recipes they will soon be adding to their menu.

“We have a new Ethiopia Guji Shakiso. Currently, our drink specials will be different recipes crafted by our baristas,” Siu said. “I know that we have a gingersnap involving molasses, powdered ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg but others will be forthcoming.”

The Ruston Public Market is open 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.– 6 p.m. on Sunday.

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