by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Matthew Perry, owner of Oregon Citys Big Dog Coffee Shop, was chosen as the chamber of commerce's New Member of the Year.Although Matthew Perry, owner of Big Dog Coffee Shop on Molalla Avenue in Oregon City, said he is not a traditional businessman, he does know that his business plan includes being an active part of the community.

Two recent events support that — Perry was chosen as this year’s New Member of the Year by the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce, and his shop is hosting an art show installed by Oregon City High School’s Art Club, now through the first week in March.

“They needed a place to do this with no charge, and it fills my walls with art,” he said. “The community needs to support kids in high school so they can make better decisions, and the kids need to know that the community is a community.”

His customers love the show, he said, adding that his favorite piece is “Better Late Than Never,” depicting the classic White Rabbit character from “Alice in Wonderland.” The painting, by Maggie Atchley, features a real working clock.


Perry, an Oregon City resident, opened Big Dog Coffee this past June and named the place after his dog Jagger, a 240-pound English mastiff.

He put his business plan together as a project in a class at Clackamas Community College and took over the building after another coffee shop closed.

He was in the U.S. Army for four years, where among other postings he spent one year in Afghanistan. He was in the Oregon National Guard for another eight years and spent nearly two years in Iraq. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, he saw “enough action,” Perry said.

He is a member of Oregon City’s No Solider Left Behind organization and has worked with them on various events over the past year.

He would like to open another location in Oregon City and noted that he is “not here to make a million dollars, I am here to make a life” for himself and his family, including his five children.

A coffee shop is the “only retail shop where you can hang out and socialize,” Perry said, adding that his goal for Big Dog is to make it a place “that is comfortable and a place to relax and take a break.”

Fast Facts

Big Dog Coffee Shop, 107 Molalla Ave., Oregon City; 503-655-3200.

Hours of operation: 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

To view menu of coffee, tea, smoothies, sandwiches and pastries, visit

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