I first met Micha and Jennifer Cameron-Lattek when they wrote to tell me about a brave and way cool project they were starting in Berlin. Though they were living in Berlin, Micha ”who is German ”and his wife, Jennifer ”who is from Portland, Oregon ”knew how great brewed coffee could be. They just couldn’t seem to find manually brewed coffee to their liking where they were living.
So they opened a cafe called Filter. And for coffee, they wanted to use their favorite. The only problem was, it was on the other side of the ocean. Portland-raised Jennifer loved Stumptown Coffee though, and she loved it so much that they convinced Stumptown to sell to them, and ship to them, all the way in Berlin.
With such a focus on Berlin in the brand-new issue of Barista Magazine (December+January), we thought it was a perfect time to check in with Jennifer and Micha to see what they’re up to. I knew the main part of the story ”they left Berlin in 2012 to buy the already existing Street 14 Coffee in Astoria, Oregon. And things have gone well ”very well, in fact. They staff some of the best baristas in the country (Cabell Tice, anyone?), they have plans to expand their space to include a full kitchen and bar area, and debut a menu to match offering dinner and craft cocktails, and the couple is thoroughly enmeshed in the seaside city community, having built the business from four employees to 14 in two years.
œWe have received amazing warmth and encouragement from this community, says Micha.
He’s not just talking about well-worn punch cards from loyal customers. Street 14’s clientele are actually investing in the business.
Street 14 Coffee is working with Community Sourced Capital, a small business lending platform, to raise a loan for a kitchen buildout and expansion through December 28, 2014. By claiming one or more Squares ”$50 units of the larger loan for this project ”supporters lend money to this small business, which will be repaid over a maximum of three years. This project will allow Street 14 Coffee to hire more kitchen staff and turn into a full service café offering local and sustainable food, including a new evening menu with craft cocktails.
“We felt that raising a loan through a community platform is an incredibly rewarding way for us and our community to connect and create something together,” says Micha.
Jennifer explains that the time is right, right now, and she and Micha feel Street 14 is in a terrific position to make this jump. “After a busy summer and fall, it’s time to make a little more elbow room, says Jennifer of the open kitchen that currently caters to a dining room which seats 35 patrons. œThe space next door has just become available and we believe this is the right investment to provide jobs and be part of the exciting revitalization of downtown Astoria.
Oh, and yes, they still serve Stumptown Coffee.