Ariana Vandersnick and Andrew Fritz are a coffee power couple. We chatted with them about all things coffee roasting ahead of the opening of their new brick-and-mortar location set to open later this summer.

Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

How did you two “get smart” about coffee? What kind of work did you do to get ready to open Daylily?

Andrew: I started in coffee a long time ago working at a chain. At the time, I was living in Watertown, and I found Coffea in Sioux Falls. I would drive down on the weekends just to come drink coffee, and on a whim I just asked if they were hiring.

  • The person I was talking to, unbeknownst to me, was the owner. She got me an application, and offered me a job pretty quick.

Soon, I took over roasting, and since then I've been obsessive about it. I dove into it headfirst and learned and read as much as I could. Later, we moved to the west coast. I got a job roasting for Proud Mary Coffee and was the head roaster for the United States.

Ariana: I was working as a barista at Harriet and Oak in Rapid City. I moved to Sioux Falls to be closer to my family and got a job working at Coffea as well.

  • Because of Andrew, I started to explore the qualities of coffee. His excitement really intrigued me, and it just encouraged me to get to know more. That's just kind of the start.

We met in 2018, went to Portland in the beginning of 2021 and moved back to Sioux Falls at the beginning of July 2022 to start Daylily.

We’re all about simplicity here. Can you describe what makes a good cup of coffee in 10 words or fewer?

The quality of your cup begins at origin.

What's your morning coffee routine at home?

Andrew: For the most part, every morning we brew a cup of coffee – like a pourover – and we split it.

We know it's a rough day if we need more that one cup of coffee.

What’s something you think people most often misunderstand about the process of coffee roasting or about how coffee gets from plant to mug? And if you could educate them, what would you say?

Andrew: Spend money on quality coffee.

I know that sounds sales-y, but a good product isn't easy. It doesn't just naturally happen.

Your roaster, or wherever you're buying coffee from, should be able to tell you more than what country the beans came from.

How does Daylily Coffee source beans?

Andrew: Over the course of my career, I've made a lot of connections and freinds in the coffee world – internationally and across the country, and I am kind of starting to tap into those resources and work with people who are on the same page as me.

  • Our goal in the future is to, with every coffee on our menu, to have a personal relationship with the person who grew it on some level.

If you could snap your fingers and have one of Daylily’s drinks appear in front of everyone in town, what would you serve?

Andrew: I would do a very simple brew of coffee, but a coffee that's really expressive and clean and different than what most people's concept of black coffee is.

Ariana: I'd also do a black cup of coffee that, ideally, would taste of ripe peaches, some sort of citrus and have a very clean and refreshing sweetness.

You’re opening a physical store on 8th Street soon. Tell us a bit about that, what folks can expect and when you’re looking to open.

Ariana: We are looking forward to announcing some sort of a date for opening.

We'll have a seating area and a tasting room which will be open a few days a week to start.

  • In this space, it'll be really lively, vibrant atmosphere. You'll hear groovy toons. You'll see us working on the roaster, bagging beans and possibly baking as well.

It'll just be a really nice gathering space.

Anything else you want the fine people of Sioux Falls to know about you, Daylily or supporting local coffee roasters in general?

Ariana: We really want to invest in this community, and we're excited to share our perspective.

  • We know that we're joining a community of already great local roasters, great local coffee, and we're just excited to be part of that.

Andrew: In my mind, coffee itself is not about the cafe, shop or the people running it, it's about the people who are making the product.

  • Our hearts really, really lie with people in producing countries and at origins, and all we want to do is share the stories of producers and their hard work.