Aaron Flies, co-owner, of River Maiden Coffee in Vancouver is in touch with his customers – and the culture of Clark County’s biggest city.
Flies (pronounced “flees”) and co-owner Melissa Layman are veterans of the Clark County cultural scene. They have had multiple presences in Vancouver over time, currently with two locations (one downtown and one in east Vancouver).
River Maiden prides itself on a high level of coffee-making. They use Stumptown beans and feature baristas who can either pull a traditional shot for your favorite beverage or serve the ultimate drip coffee from an original (before Starbucks) Clover machine.
Their sense of humor reflects that sophistication, as they often tout Vancouver-related slogans on stamps that adorn the side of their travel cups. Turns out, those stamps have been used as test marketing campaigns for a couple of popular T-shirts.
Their latest work, “The Couve Abides,” is sheer genius (no apologies for the editorializing). It follows on the success of their longtime “Vantucky Strikes Back” shirts (right). Both take a tongue-in-cheek, but heartfelt look into Vancouver’s second-city psyche (to Portland) without giving an inch.
Clark County Blog caught up with Flies at River Maiden’s Devine Road location and he explained it all:
“Vantucky Strikes Back” was our first one,” he said. “We wanted to show a little bit of pride of Vancouver and a little bit of pushback (to the use of the term as a derogatory one). That one went really well. We were Star Wars fans, so it really went together. We’ve had a great run.
“A lot of people said they wanted something with The Couve in it and we wanted to keep a pop culture theme, so we came up with “The Couve Abides,” which for Big Lebowski fans they know that’s a play on the Dude Abides.
“And I think that fits too, just like Vantucky Strikes Back. I think for a lot of people in Vancouver, we’re in the minority and we just have to be a little more copacetic about being in the metro area and I think we are. I think a lot of people are laid back here, so I thought it was a perfect fit.”
It’s a fit that comes in multiple sizes and can be purchased at both the Devine Road location and at the company’s “Dripster” location on Main Street in downtown Vancouver. If you want one, you’d better hurry. Since stocking the product over the weekend, they are going quickly.