When I think of the word bounty, the word harvest automatically pops into my mind. I see a basket full of fresh produce with tomatoes, cucumbers, loaves of fresh bread, and a variety of other colorful items. It’s the perfect name for one of Shoreline’s newest sit down coffee spots, The Bounty on 15th Ave in North City. I remember stopping by there when it was Hotwire. It was dingy but quaint spot back then and I’m sure if it were still here today, I would stop by there.
I recently went into The Bounty to interview Elena DeLisle-Perry and was happy to see how nicely the new owner has done remodeling the place. It’s upscale and feels like it’s built to last a while without needing any repairs. I personally like the stream of cars flowing past on 15th Ave, but James has some nice insulation in his shop, so the traffic isn’t bothersome. I love the giant wood tables which ring of an old style tavern where you can sit with others, without them feeling like you’re intruding on their space. All the same, I feel like in this place, customers want to be social. While I sat waiting for my interview with James to start, a customer I’d never met struck up a conversation with me which lasted about 20 minutes. I haven’t had an experience like that in a coffee shop in quite a while.
James is new to Shoreline as a business owner, but he grew up in Edmonds and went to college in Shoreline, so opening The Bounty is more like a welcome home. The quintessential Seattleite, James grew up in coffee shops and opened his first coffee cart in the U district when he was still in his teens. He talked his sister into buying a coffee cart on the Ave when he was 22 years old after deciding the traditional education route wasn’t his best subject. He didn’t stop there though, he spent many years as a real estate agent, and almost 5 years ago, he opened a brick and mortar coffee shop in Wallingford.
His expansion plans kicked into high gear when Attorney Gary East (Who owns the building and is on my list of people I want to interview) approached him and asked if he would be interested in the space. Apparently Gary’s vision for North City involved having a coffee shop in this location.
The North City area is as much “downtown Shoreline” as the Aurora corridor is. “It has that feeling like it’s changed and it’s going towards being a more walkable place, kinda small business area” James tells me. He also says there’s a 160 unit apartment building going up across the parking lot which he hopes will create a nice surge in foot traffic.
I felt quite at home sitting in The Bounty, so I asked James about the decor. He did it himself. James has done plenty of remodeling in his life, so he was able to see how to build it out to get the feeling he was looking for. “My style is kinda laid back”, he says, and that comes across nicely in the layout.
I’m the first to admit, I’m not much of a coffee drinker. I usually only have it when I’m really sleepy and I have to go out, but I drink plenty of tea and my 12 year old loves steamed vanilla soy milk, so I end up in coffee shops regularly. The Bounty helps keep the Seattle Coffee/Live Music scene alive. Thanks to James’ designing, the space is well laid out for a band, and he has been very supportive of local talent.
I know for me, until I had a chance to talk to James, to me The Bounty was a new coffee shop in a location I’d been to before. But now, after hearing his story and meeting this humble guy who’s doing his best to bring something good to North City, I have to admit, I’m more drawn to the place. There’s a magnetic connection between us as members of the community. I know James wants his place to thrive, but he’s relying on us to give him feedback.
“One of the things I value most, the most important thing you can do is learn to know yourself, and I think I put a huge focus on that in my early 20’s and up until now, and that’s been the payoff for me; Knowing my limitations, and knowing my strengths, and letting those work for you”.
I congratulate James on finding something he loves and making a life around it. If you’re feeling stuck, or need some new inspiration, stop by The Bounty. While you’re there, have a seat at one of those oversize tables, say “Hi” to a stranger, and let it sink in. You’ll find yourself in a place dreamed up by a guy who created a life of magic, community, and joy for himself, and in so doing, created a place for you to be who you truly are.