Owners: Manuel Ainzuain & Shayna Ferullo
“It’s more than just a cup of coffee,” says Snowy Owl Owner Manuel Ainzuain. After moving to the Cape from San Francisco to be closer to family, Ainzuain found himself looking for the type of coffee shops he frequented in California, but kept coming up short. So, he took matters into his own hands and opened up the Snowy Owl in 2015. For the Snowy Owl family, it’s all about community, sustainability and lifting up and supporting local businesses. “It’s not about competition. If other businesses are doing well, so are we,” says Ainzuain.
At the Snowy Owl, customers can feel, and taste, the respect for the coffee bean that Ainzuain has instilled in his employees. “We are very conscientious of buying good coffee beans, and we are careful to make sure the places we buy from are organic and fair trade. If we do something wrong here with the roasting or the brewing process, then we ruin what the farmers worked so hard to make.” A commitment to the environment can also be felt throughout the cafe.
From eco-friendly straws to discounts for those who bring their own cups, the Snowy Owl is making strides to bring eco-friendly solutions to the Cape. “We have a higher responsibility as a business because we are a place where we can educate people,” says Ainzuain.
Named to honor his late father, who developed a special affinity for owls during his battle with cancer, the Snowy Owl features owls hidden throughout the cafe. The winter Ainzuain and his family first moved to the Cape was serendipitously the same winter that he happened to hear about snowy owls returning to Nauset Beach, and the name became a symbol of good energy and luck for the business. Ainzuain also sports a snowy owl tattoo on his right arm, so that his father will always be his right-hand man.
For Ainzuain, the Snowy Owl is all about making connections. From connecting to coffee farmers in his home country of Peru, to helping people connect in the shop, Ainzuain hopes to foster a sense of community within the cafe. For that reason, keeping the business open year-round was a no-brainer for him. “I think there’s a lot of local people who need the businesses for community purposes, for social engagement and to appreciate good products,” he says. “I think we can provide a good quality product and service year-round.”