Shelby Balmer has dreamed of opening a coffee shop since she was young. In January 2021, she did so in Ormond Beach with Pine to Palms.
“Since I was around 15 years old, I thought, one day I’m going to move to Florida and open a coffee shop, and use coffee beans from back home,” Balmer said.
Balmer is from Washington state, and regularly visited her dad in Florida before moving here. But every time she visited, she missed the coffee from Washington.
Now, all the coffee beans she uses are shipped weekly to Ormond Beach from Olympia, Washington — a journey that inspired the name of the shop.
Before opening Pines to Palms, Balmer was an aesthetician, but that work started to cause her eyestrain.
A doctor told her that if she ever wanted to heal, she needed to take a break and let her eyes rest, she said.
That pushed her to open her coffee shop at 1450 U.S. 1, Suite 400, in Ormond Beach.
Two years later, Pine to Palms is not only a coffee shop but a venue to aid other local businesses.
Balmer said keeping things local is her goal. She hosts monthly pop-up shops for local vendors.
“We like to make sure we only have three or four vendors at a time to really spotlight each of those individual businesses, because I know what it’s like to start from literally nothing,” Balmer said. “This is a big way for me to try to help others out.”
The shop offers coffee, Italian sodas, lemonade, tea and tea lattes as well as Lotus, a natural energy drink made from lotus flower extract, cascara, green coffee beans, super fruits and other botanicals.
The most popular drink on the menu, Balmer said, is the white mocha, which is made with Ghirardelli white chocolate powder.
In keeping with her mission to support local businesses, Pine to Palms also sells baked goods from Kneading More Sweets, an Ormond Beach bakery.
The collaboration between the two business started around a year ago, said Kim Fairweather, owner of Kneading More Sweets.
"It's wonderful [the collaboration] because you get to meet new people, and Shelby and I have developed a friendship," Fairweather said.
Inside the coffee shop, there’s also a small boutique Balmer created during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The boutique started online, but after Balmer opened the shop, she started adding some of her designs there, beginning with a single rack and progressing to occupy a whole section of the shop.
"I love going to Pines to Palms, not just for the drinks but for the atmosphere," said Emily Stepniak, a frequent customer. "All of the baristas welcome everybody with open arms, and they give great drink suggestions! The fact that they remember what type of drinks are my favorite just blows my mind."
Balmer said she cherishes her customers and staff and wants to always make them feel welcome.
“They (the customers) could come in one time, not see me for a week and most likely, nine times out of 10, I’m going to remember that drink, remember they came in and supported me and my dream," Balmer said.