Local Spirits: Hillary Davis of Roast & Toast

Roast and Toast

January 14, 2020

Welcome to the new venue of Local Spirits, a stage for local folk and downtown life on a local page. We begin with our first installment.

We begin this foray at Roast & Toast, sitting with supreme coffee roaster, Hillary Davis. Tucked into the last booth underneath a new David Pickett original, I begin the segment with her agreeing to be the guinea pig for this new endeavor.

What would people in Downtown Petoskey like to know about you?

Well, I’ve never had a job off of Lake Street.

How long have you been downtown?

I’ve been down here for fifteen years. I worked a year for Grandpa Shorter’s and some time with Spice Merchants. I’ve been at Roast & Toast for fourteen years.

Do you have any quirks?

Oh boy! Oh, um… Ben walker do I have any quirks?

Ben stands at the table, coffee cup in hand, smirking.

She drinks wine and has corks.

Hillary turns red.

I do love wine and I do save the corks. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them. I do have five different pairs of glasses, and these red ones are my favorite. You might as well have some color.

What do you like about working downtown?

The community.


I’ve built my relationships downtown. Business, friendship, and even my marriage.

Which was recent, correct?

Yes! October of 2019. 10/19/19!

What else about downtown?

There’s lots to offer. You can always find whatever you need. 

What is your favorite thing to do at Roast & Toast?

Chat with regulars. Well, really, chat with guests, but typically it’s regulars.

Do you have a funny memory at Roast &Toast?

Um, yeah. One time someone dropped an egg, then drew X’s on the shell for eyes and put it on social media asking if anyone could put Humpty Dumpty back together again. We poke fun at our mess-ups. If you can’t find the fun, why be here?

What’s it like working with Mary and Ben?

A TRIP! Actually, the Keedy’s have been amazing to work for. One weekend around the 4th of July, I mean we got lines out the door, and Mary hopped on the work line, she smiled and did a little dance. One of those moments, like, here we go! She does so much to bring the fun. Ben does the same. Keeps the mood light when we’re overwhelmed.

What’s your favorite thing to do when not downtown?


Like how much?

At Nubs Nob, I ski two nights and two days per week as my Ski Patrol commitment. Then I have three race nights, but Wednesday is my favorite night. That’s the team that’s pretty much just there to ski for the beer.

Well, there you have it. Our first Local Spirits. And thanks to Hillary Davis for agreeing to the first interview and first chance to make this column next in line for the Pulitzer. Per usual, Ben Walker somehow noses in and gets a quote, but more importantly, does anyone have a video of Mary Keedy dancing behind the counter!?

Roast and Toast coffee shop in Petoskey Michigan

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