The Valley Social: Bringing Coffee and Culture Together
An idea that percolated in the mind of owner Dan Whillans as he sought to ease himself out of the hectic pace of outdoor education, The Valley Social is a fresh take on the coffee shop concept. Initially formulated as a brunch food truck intended for Ontario’s Madawaska Valley, the business actually took shape as a mobile coffee bar in a converted Boler trailer in Fernie, BC.
Originally from the Ottawa Valley, Whillans had heard the call of the mountains and with a $500 gift from a mentor set out west with a friend. After one summer serving coffee from his Boler, a competition caught his eye. Write an essay; win a coffee shop. As odd as that seemed, it was legit. A White Rock coffee shop was up for grabs. Dan obliged, submitted and won. Albeit he won the business not the premises. Arriving one afternoon in White Rock, BC, he was told: “It’s yours when we close the doors at 4pm.” Packing everything he could salvage into a truck, he drove the entire contents back to Fernie and began renovations on a new downtown location where everything has a story— from the wall made from kiln separators to the wooden light fixtures over the bar.
Blending small-town familiarity with big city vibes, The Valley Social is a place to meet, to do business, to connect. Embracing the popup culture and a spirit of inclusion, the location has hosted feature dinners and a vendor market, and is home to the Fernie Pride Society’s monthly ‘Beers and Queers’ socials. Featuring artisanal coffee from Fernie’s own Rooftop Coffee Roasters and with a team of passionate baristas, the goal is to elevate Fernie’s coffee culture and offer a space where everyone feels welcome.
Come. Sit. Relax.
562 2nd Ave | 778-519-5272 instagram.com/thevalleysocial