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The Grind is a place to enjoy food, coffee, and community

by: Barbara Adams, Sydney Drinkwater stirs a coffee drink at The Grind, a new coffee house located on Highway 224 next to the Estacada Clinic.

Seven children, including an infant, a new realtor license, and a new restaurant-Robbie Foster has a lot on his plate.

The Grind Coffee House at 105 SW Highway 224 in Estacada opened in early June.

'We open at six in the morning and stay open until nine at night, because we wanted a place where people can go to later . . . it seems like Estacada closes down at 5 p.m.,' Foster said.

Foster, 38, was the youth pastor at Estacada Christian Church for nine years. In February he decided to make a life change. He left his job, worked toward getting his realtor license, and with the help of his wife, Shana, and his family and friends, spent three months preparing to open The Grind.

'We wanted to create a place that we would want to go to,' he said. 'We love coffee, so we wanted a place where we could have good coffee, and a place where we could relax and visit.'

Foster grew up in Port Angeles, Wash., where he owned and operated a restaurant called 'Silver Screen Café.'

'Our restaurant was voted the best milkshake on the peninsula because we made old-fashioned, real ice-cream shakes. So we had to bring that here,' Foster said.

Foster found an old-fashioned milk-shake machine to use at The Grind, where they offer a wide variety of flavors, including chocolate malt, carmel-apple and espresso. 'It's something else-you gotta try it,' he said.

The Grind is building a breakfast menu; they now offer breakfast croissants. For lunch they serve specialty pita sandwiches, Panini sandwiches (an Italian sandwich made with vegetables, cheese, and grilled or cured meat), salads and soup. All-fruit smoothies are also served. Strawberry, strawberry-banana, northwest berry, pina colada, wild cherry and cranberry smoothies all come with no added sugar and have only 125 calories, said Foster.

Leather furniture, comfortable chairs, round tables that accommodate a small group and small, intimate tables for two make The Grind an inviting place for people to come to. Free wireless Internet access is available for those with laptop computers, and a drive-up window is open for those on the go.

Foster said he wants to provide great food and drinks at The Grind, but he also wants to promote community by creating a place for people to come to and enjoy one another's company.

'I wanted to do something that had to do with relationships,' he said. 'I had a vision. This place is about whoever is here. It's been amazing being here and building relationships with people I wouldn't have in the church. It's been really fun. We love the community and we love the people.'