When I was 15, I worked at a drive-through organic cafe and juice bar. I saw how healthy food and friendly service could make people happy, and I fell in love with the vision of owning my own cafe—a place where people could gather to eat and live well.
In pursuit of this dream, I left Hood River and spent six years studying international cuisine and restaurant management. I also received a certificate in Holistic Health from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York. On graduation day, the school asked us what we wanted to be doing in 5 years. In front of 3,000 people, I stood up and said “I’m going to have a cafe and juice bar, and I’m going to help people change their relationship with food.”
Three years later I became the new owner of this cafe in White Salmon, WA. In my naivete´, the first thing I did was completely change the menu. I added fresh, made-to-order juices, and I added kale to almost everything. I removed many popular items from the menu and replaced them with new choices I thought would be better. I was committed to giving people something awesome that they couldn’t otherwise get. I wanted to help them start their day full of energy so that our community could thrive.
As you can imagine, in the process I lost sight of some of the things that people really wanted. My vision got in the way and my over-ambition led to inconsistent food quality and service (exactly what I swore I would never let happen!). I learned the hard way how difficult it can be to run a restaurant in a small town. In short, I failed…big time. I became overwhelmed and exhausted, and after a couple of tough years, I had to close the cafe. I was deeply in debt, and painfully humbled.
On the day I put the “For Sale” sign up in the window, locals began knocking on the door and saying “We need you in this community.” A few of my regular customers sat down with me and offered ideas for how the cafe might work…if that indeed was what I really wanted to do. People were incredibly generous and supportive in so many ways. That was when I learned that it really does take a village, and that it takes an open heart and a willingness to receiving help. The people of this town really stepped up for me and for the North Shore Cafe. I will be forever thankful for that. Truly thankful.
So here we are, back open again, and another year serving fresh, healthy food. A lots of people have invested a great deal of time to get us here, and they’ve done it knowing that it might not work. We have a great staff and we are taking the best of what people enjoyed from the past and each year we are slowly adding to it.
I am so appreciative of each person who supports us by making the North Shore Cafe part of their life. We want you to walk away feeling nourished, so please let us know if there’s any way we can better serve you.
PS: We want you to walk away feeling nourished, so please let us know if there’s any way we can better serve you