Bennett Urban Farm Store turns a year old and comes to Forest Grove

The word “homemade” truly describes Mark and Rene Bennett’s jam and organic coffee roasting business.

Bennett Urban Farm Store celebrated its first birthday in June and is now selling at the Forest Grove Farmers Market, a program of local nonprofit Adelante Mujeres. Although the Bennetts might be the new kids on the block, Rene has been making jam for more than 25 years.

They hand-pick all their berries and make their jams one batch at a time. In 2012 their daughter purchased some green coffee beans online and they got to work roasting them on the kitchen stove, setting off all of the smoke alarms.

“After that first roast, we were hooked. We’ve roasted in a pan on the stove, hot air popcorn popper, an old fashioned ‘Whirlybird’ stove top popper and a rotisserie basket on a propane BBQ,” Rene said. The operation was eventually relocated to the backyard so as not to continue exhausting their smoke alarms.

“We bought a 30-pound box of beans, thinking that it would last us for about a year,” Rene added, but after only two months of friends and family demanding more, the couple decided to go into business. Instead of searching for a store front, the Bennetts kept things simple and true to their vision of making small batches straight from their home kitchen. They decided to certify their domestic kitchen and spent most of last summer securing the licenses needed to produce out of their home in Hillsboro.

The Bennett’s classic jams and tasty coffee bring great nostalgia to their customers. “People have told us that it reminded them of when they were young during war times when they got green coffee beans through rations and how they remember their mother roasting coffee in the morning or how they used to make jam with their grandmothers and mothers,” noted Rene. “It is so wonderful to be able to help bring these memories back and to share with others how good fresh coffee or jam is.”

You can find Bennett Urban Farm Store coffees and jams every Wednesday at the Forest Grove Farmers Market as well as Hillsboro Tuesday Marketplace, Hillsboro Saturday Market and online at

Kaely Summers is manager of the Forest Grove Farmers Market.

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