Note: This story ran in the Spokesman Aug. 23, 2017. We are posting it online because of the update on Honey and Pine that is running in the April 17 Spokesman.
The city of Redmond’s business-friendly atmosphere isn’t just a draw for manufacturing and light industrial companies. Honey and Pine Coffee Company, Redmond’s newest coffee stop, was drawn to the area because of an open-arms attitude to new businesses.
Brooke Brown, from Keizer, had previously been in negotiations with the city there for almost nine months before finding the Redmond location available on Craigslist. She signed the lease June 29 and opened the same day. She wanted to open a coffee stand for more than a year and a half. She also wanted to create a new business model.
With planning and supplies already arranged, the only thing left to find was a location, which made opening in Redmond as easy as moving to the area from Keizer.
“It’s been a lot of fumbling around and figuring things out on my own,” Brown said. “It’s been difficult at times and there’s been a lot of learning, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Brown gets her coffee from Capital City Coffee Roasters, out of Salem, who allowed her to create her own blend unique only to Honey and Pine. She explained her coffee as Third Wave, a term defining coffee as an artisanal commodity coined in the late 1990s. She described her coffee as having a smooth toffee-like flavor due to the artisanal roasting methods used for the beans she chose from Capital City Coffee. Even though she boasts specialty artisanal coffee, her prices are still competitively; a popular 16 oz. white chocolate Mocha is $4.
“I want to make sure I’m giving quality espresso blends,” Brown said. “I wanted to have a coffee where someone could order an Americano and still feel like they are getting a treat.”
She has been in the coffee industry since she was in college, where she graduated from Western Oregon University. She managed a coffee shop while she was a student and fell in love with the industry. She was going to continue education in nursing school but decided to take a chance and open her own business.
“It was either apply to nursing school or open a coffee stand,” Brown said. “So nursing is kind of my plan B.”
The connections she built during her times as a coffee stand manager have influenced what type of coffee she wants to offer.
Honey and Pine gets its name from a sweetener sometimes used in coffee, honey, and a native Oregon plant, the pine tree. The idea came after Brown brainstormed things she liked that were a part of and surrounded her coffee shop. She hopes to open stands in other areas in the future, Nectar and Palm in tropical areas like Hawaii and Molasses and Magnolia in the south. But she said that is yet a dream.
“I don’t ever want to go corporate though,” Brown said. “I love the hometown feel and I really love to get to know my customers.”
Monthly latte specialties are among some of the offerings at Honey and Pine. Lattes currently available are Turmeric, Cascara, Lavender and Honey. September’s latte will be Lemon Cream. Brown said the flavors are unique to Central Oregon since she had to change some of her recipes based off requests. The Turmeric latte was one she didn’t expect to serve in Central Oregon, but she said it’s a pleasant surprise to be able to offer a wide variety of drinks. She also partnered with Sisters Bakery, where she picks up fresh pastries daily. She said the selection is different every morning based off what the bakery is focusing on for that day.
“I try to keep up on all the latest trends so we can offer our customers what they want,” Brown said.
She also offers the common staples for coffee stands like an Americano, which is shaken not stirred, as well as smoothies and Italian sodas. Brown sources her ingredients to West Coast companies, including David Rio Tiger Spice Chai and Orca Spice Chai, which donates portions of proceeds annually to the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Also offered at Honey and Pine is a wide array of alternative milks like almond, soy or rice.
Brown’s goal with Honey and Pine Coffee Company is to offer customers the type of high quality coffee offered at a cafe, in a drive-thru setting. She said she doesn’t mind taking her time with each customer either because interacting with her customers is one of her favorite parts of the job.
“We have fresh pastries and we price our drinks low for the high quality, we aren’t trying to make a profit off of people, we want to provide a quality product,” Brown said. “And it’s gratifying to be the light in someone’s day when they get their coffee.”
— Reporter, 541-548-2185, email@example.com