The easiest way to tell if a coffee shop is popular is whether or not there are people lined up outside its front doors in the morning, waiting for it to open.

If that’s any indication, then The Grind has certainly earned that distinction.

Shanna Foster and her husband, Robbie, started the business in 2006 in downtown Estacada, and it’s still going strong.

“It’s been amazingly steady, despite the ups and downs of the economy,” Foster said.

This wasn’t the Fosters’ first foray into business. The family owned a restaurant in another town around 20 years ago. When they decided to set up shop in Estacada, the Fosters wanted to create a comfortable atmosphere for customers.

“Everyone is greeted with a smile,” Foster said. “We make sure people feel welcome.”

Word of mouth helped grow the business and draw its loyal customers. The Grind has nine employees at this point, including the Fosters’ 18-year-old daughter, Jordyn. At least a couple of the employees have been at The Grind since the beginning.

May through August are the busiest months, with more smoothies, iced drinks, frappuccinos and lunchtime salads being sold. But Foster describes the business as being fairly steady year-round.

“We’re thankful for that,” she said.

The most popular menu items at The Grind are the Almond Joy and White Russian coffee drinks. For breakfast, bagels, biscuits and gravy, croissants and muffins are offered. Lunch options include salads, paninis, pits and gyros.

The drive-through at the side of the building is responsible for about half of The Grind’s regular business.

Foster and her husband, self-described coffee connoisseurs, want only the best quality for their customers. As such, they proudly serve coffee from Portland Roaster.

Aside from Jordyn, the Fosters have seven other children. Their 17-year-old son Darik already is helping with some of the accounting for the business, and their 11-year-old son Justin also has expressed interest in making his contribution some day.

“Some of our kids are looking forward to working here,” Foster said.

The Grind is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.

For more information, call The Grind at 503-630-7700.

Contract Publishing

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