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Woman-owned Westmoreland coffee shop to promote books, artists

RITA A. LEONARD - Christie Gryphon is the new owner of Westmorelands Rose City Coffee Company, on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue - here shown with some of the local artwork on display. Christie Gryphon is the new owner of Westmoreland’s Rose City Coffee, at 7325 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue. “We have a new logo now, and are planning more creative ways to support the community,” she says. “We’re teaming up with nearby Wallace Books to build a ‘take a book/leave a book’ reading corner for our customers. We also feature the work of a new local artist every month, and raise funds for several charities.”

Rose City Coffee Co. is a small woman-owned coffee roaster and cafe, one of only a few in Oregon – continuing the tradition of the shop it originated in, Nancy Duncan’s “Schondecken”, across from the Sellwood-Moreland Post Office, before it was purchased and moved south on Milwaukie Avenue a couple of years ago.

“We micro-roast daily, and sell our coffee to 28 local grocery stores,” Gryphon explains. “I want to give back to the community and help support other women in business. All our coffee beans are organic and fair-trade, and come from woman-owned farms in such places as Mexico, Peru & Papua New Guinea. We buy our beans through the Cafe Feminino Foundation, which helps enhance the lives of women and their families in coffee-producing communities throughout the world.”

A native Portlander, Gryphon took ownership of Rose City Coffee in March. She immediately began a program to connect with local artists to help showcase their efforts. “Each artist displays their work here for a month, with a one-day ‘meet the artist’ event,” she explains. “On that day, they can choose a favorite charity to support, and five dollars from every bag of coffee sold here goes toward that charity.

“Recent recipients include Raphael House, Women of Wisdom, and the Sellwood Middle School Foundation.”

Visitors to the Cafe praise the pastries and coffee sold there. They also appreciate the easy ambiance, book and kid toy corner, and displays of artwork. “In Mid-June, members of the Moreland MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) met here to chat and fundraise,” says Gryphon. “We consider suggestions, and this summer we’re adding gelato and summer drink specialties.”

Stop in to visit Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 503/236-8234, or go online to: www.rosecitycoffeeco.com