Detour! Wilderlove Coffee Co.

30 Apr

Welcome to the original beginning of the Alleghenies tour! First, let’s rewind a bit. Habitual readers will remember that I started this leg of the journey in Sherman’s Valley. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. Don’t get me wrong, I loved their offerings and the beauty of the valley itself. It made a great beginning. However, it’s not how things were supposed to start out. See, the first stop on the long road into the mountains is the river town of Duncannon, PA. There are probably a lot of people who wouldn’t define the beginning of the Alleghenies as right here by the Susquehanna, but they ain’t bloggin’ the way I’m bloggin’.

Besides, Duncannon is a town built around the mountains, both literally and figuratively. The Appalachian Trail crosses the Susquehanna River and heads south towards Maryland after passing straight through downtown. Outdoor supply stores and hostels are everywhere in the area, and a new brewery is coming downtown sometime during the summer. Art-loving vagabonds pass through the town all the time, especially in late spring and early summer when trail hiking hits its annual peak. The only thing missing in this hive of travelers was a coffeehouse, a curious oversight given the ready-made bohemian community in this semi-hippie town.

This coffee shop took a long time coming, and it took a circuitous route. I actually visited back in late November, thinking it was open. After all, Google Maps clearly showed it here, and when I looked up Wilderlove Coffee, the shop was definitely open. Turns out Google Maps was only partly right, and the Wilderlove Coffee I found open was a coffeehouse of the exact same name…in Texas. Apparently, our Wilderlove declared the name first by a hair. Spilling the tea might be ironic on a coffee blog, so that’s all I’ll say. Fall of 2021 was not the easiest time to open a thing, so the hoops they had to jump through kept their opening date illusory for a long time. The upside to the confusion was that I got to meet the owner Caleb back then. Now, I got to meet his wife and sister. Yes, this is definitely a family affair and that goes a long way to explaining the tenacity of these entrepreneurs.

More good news: They are having events! There’s been music and there’s going to be more music. There are also clubs and meetups and connections being forged with the Harrisburg arts community. Especially if I have anything to say about it, and I do. They’re also planning to slowly ramp up their hours, which now stand at 6:30 AM to 2:00 PM on Thursday and Friday and 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM Saturday. The interior is lovingly painted with murals and it has just enough nooks and crannies for privacy. Again, it’s an idea whose time has come, and I’m be-wildered (because Wilderlove, get it?) that a coffeehouse like this hasn’t been present since the beginning. Better late than never.

How was the coffee? Asked and answered. In a classic case of things coming full circle, the coffee they serve is local…Sherman’s Valley Coffee. Yes, the very coffee I actually started out “Alleghenies leg” with. OK, I won’t just link you back to the earlier review. Anyone can brew the same roast in myriad ways. These folks did a rather splendid job roasting. Oftentimes, when a new coffee shop opens, there’s something of a learning curve involved. Caleb and company are obviously experienced brewers. This blend was called “Bruce’s Expresso Blend (Full City) Medium Roast.” That’s a mouthful, and so was the coffee itself. It felt like a nuttier Americano but without the tinny taste that usually comes with an Americano. That gets a thumbs up from me.

Now, most of you will probably have noticed that I didn’t post for a whole month when I said I’d be completing this leg in April. Well, Pennsylvania weather happened. If you don’t live in the Keystone State, we’ve been alternating between heat waves and blizzards since late March and the mountains got hit hard by snow and ice. And wind. Especially wind. Since getting blown off the road would have cut the journey short, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor. Hopefully, I’ll be getting back on the road in May. Keep your fingers crossed and stay caffeinated.


the exterior…

the interior…

the artwork…

the town…

the downtown…

the first allegheny?…

the message…



Leave a comment

Posted by on April 30, 2022 in Uncategorized


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: