New coffee shop expands family business network


Rob and Mariah Carpenter have opened a new coffee shop on 24th Street West.

The Carpenter family is once again expanding its business adventures in Billings with the addition of Black Dog Coffee House. The coffee shop will officially open to the public on Friday, June 30.

It is nestled in with The Joy of Living gift shop and Sanctuary Spa and Salon, the other Carpenter family businesses, located on 24th Street West a couple of blocks north of Grand Avenue.

Kris Carpenter opened Sanctuary Spa and Salon in 1998 and hasn’t stopped bringing new and exciting services to Billings. In 2010 she opened The Joy of Living gift shop, and last year she opened a second gift shop downtown, next door to Big Dipper Ice Cream.

Now Kris is handing the reins over to her son and daughter-in-law. Black Dog Coffee House is owned and operated by Kris’s son, Rob Carpenter, and his wife, Mariah Carpenter. Mariah gained valuable experience running businesses as the manager of The Joy of Living since its inception. In fact, Black Dog Coffee House will be located in the former Joy of Living building, next door to the current one at 1528 24th St. W.

Mariah also credits Kris with being her and Rob’s sounding board, lending her business expertise as the couple has worked to remodel and transform the former gift shop into a cozy coffee house. The concept of adding a coffee house to their string of businesses made sense right away.

“We have always been coffee lovers and have always wanted a coffee shop in our area,” Mariah said. “We knew it would be the perfect complement to our other businesses.”

As for the fun name, they didn’t need to look far for inspiration. The couple’s dog, Dante, is a small, black Lhasa Apso who has been their constant companion for 11 years. Mariah said dogs and coffee shops foster the same values—companionship, loyalty, love and connection.

Black Dog Coffee House will be serving Stumptown Coffee, based out of Portland, Ore.

“We chose Stumptown, first because it is amazing coffee that we always seek out in our travels,” Mariah said. “But we also love it because they care about the farmers they work with and do a lot of direct trade.”

Black Dog Coffee House will also feature teas from Portland-based Smith Teamaker, the creator of Tazo Teas. The shop will offer on-the-go items as well as pastries and Doh-Dohs, the shop’s signature mini donuts. The Doh-Dohs will be made fresh every hour and will be served with cinnamon and sugar or frosting.

Rob and Mariah are hoping to create a coffee shop with a vibrant, warm, welcoming atmosphere. Mariah said their main goal is to have a space where people can meet and connect and give their neighborhood a place to come and sit on the patio and enjoy a great cup of coffee.

“We are so excited to add to the Billings community,” Mariah said.

The Black Dog Coffee House will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Clients of Sanctuary Spa and Salon and The Joy of Living are invited to stop by for a soft opening on June 29. More information on the coffee shop can be found on their Facebook page.

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