The Whirlybird Gets the Worm: New Family-Owned Coffee Shop Opens in Chippewa
Whirlybird Coffee opens inside Dove Healthcare building
There’s a whole latte love brewing at the new Whirlybird Coffee shop in Chippewa Falls. What started as a long-time dream between Liz Van Aarde and her mom, Loralie Wallerius, is now a reality, and they get to work together with Liz’s sister, dad, and husband.
When they went to the old Lake Wissota Bakehouse (inside Dove Healthcare) to purchase a commercial dishwasher for Loralie’s other business, they discovered that not only was the spot exactly what they were looking for, but the business was selling all of their equipment in the space.
The family, originally from Cornell, were spread across the country for the past six years but came back together in Chippewa Falls to help make Whirlybird Coffee a reality.
“I’m a foodie, I like to cook and try new things,” Van Aarde said. “The coffee shop part of it is about the people. We love people and we want to make their day. Coffee is just something that does that.”
Whirlybird’s coffee menu isn’t your average Joe. They brew Wonderstate Coffee, an all-organic brand based in Viroqua, Wisconsin, that uses solar power energy and ethical business practices. (SHIFT Cyclery and Coffee Bar is the only other place in the Valley to brew Wonderstate Coffee.)
Whirlybird has your lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, smoothies, teas, and much more, but it’s their coffee specials that have people flocking back.
One of their Whirlybird Specials, called the Knee High, is particularly unique. Why? ’Cause it’s a corn latte. Whitney, Liz’s sister, came up with the idea for a corn-flavored latte, and while Liz was hesitant at first, it has quickly become a favorite among their customers.
“We were making the menu and I kept saying, ‘We should add corn to that,’ for everything because I love corn and I think it improves things,” Whitney Wallerius said. “I saw this other coffee place in Indiana and they had a corn latte and I knew we needed something like that.”
They will be selling coffee flights in the very near future, too, so you can try all of their specialty drinks. Coffee flights have become a huge trend on social media and Whirlybird will be one of the few places that sell them in the area.
They also have a breakfast and lunch menu with things for everyone, including wraps, sandwiches, salads, and rice and quinoa bowls.
Whirlybird is all things that give Liz and Whitney nostalgia for their childhood, which is why some of their menu items have nostalgic names. The “2007” latte on their summer specials menu has little flowers on top to represent a bedspread set that Liz had when was little. Even the name Whirlybird is full of nostalgia.
“We grew up out in the woods and had maple trees everywhere, and we would always play with the little whirlybird seeds,” Van Aarde said. “After we had decided on the name and chose this location, we realized that all of the trees in the parking lot are maple trees and those whirlybirds fall everywhere. It’s like it was meant to be.”
Though the family is still working through all the kinks of the new business, they are very excited about where Whirlybird could go in the future and all of the people they’re going to meet.
"Sometimes coffee shops can feel a little stuffy, and we don’t want that,” Van Aarde said. “We want to know our customers, we want to know their names, know their orders. Just love on people and have good food and drinks to go along with that.”
You can learn more about them at whirlybirdcoffee.com and visit them at 2829 County Highway I, Chippewa Falls, right inside the south entrance of the Dove Healthcare Facility.