At age 19, Amanda Stanaway purchased the iconic South Store, a focal point of the Scholls-Sherwood area

by: COURTESY OF RHEA MAKIARIS - Amanda Stanaway plays guitar in her Sherwood home. In 1997, Stanaway purchased the South Store building and still owns it today. Her new passion has been playing music and performing in concerts.You might call Amanda Stanaway a Renaissance woman of sorts, a restaurant-owner turned musician turned social entrepreneur. Not that you could hold her to any one venture.

While still a teenager, Stanaway owned a successful Beaverton coffee cart that she parked in the front of the Murray/Allen Safeway store. But each day on her way home from work she would pass the historic South Store with one goal in mind – to someday purchase the iconic building as the spot for her future café. So she stashed away profits from her coffee venture and waited.

“I’d go by and I’d go, ‘I love that building,’” she recalled of the iconic structure on the corner of Scholls Ferry Road and Highway 219.

One day, Stanaway said she mustered up enough courage to ask the owner about the building.

“You know, the building is for sale, honey,” said the former owner.

All the while, Stanaway was attending George Fox University where she eventually received a degree in economics, continuing to sell coffee from her cart.

“Right after college is when we bought the South Store, which was 1997,” said Stanaway, a 35-year-old Sherwood resident.

At the tender age of 19, Stanaway and her former husband learned the ins and outs of owning a business, spending the rest of 1997 and 1998 renovating the structure.

“The South Store has always been in a condition of needing repair,” she said, noting that a building inspector once referred to the building’s charm as opposed to its structural deficiency.

The short history lesson of the store is that Ella Adams, a female entrepreneur, used to sell a variety of products from her Scholls home, dreaming of someday earning enough money so that she could build her own store. When her husband returned from the Alaskan Gold Rush in 1903, he did just that.

Stanaway (who customers knew as Mandy) owned the business from 1999 to 2007, selling it when her daughter Amelia was 2 years old. She still owns the 4,500-square-foot building, which was once leased out for a short-lived stint as a pizza parlor.

“I kind of crashed after that,” she said of selling the South Store Café.

by: COURTESY OF DAVE GILMORE - The iconic South Store Cafe sits on the corner of Highway 219 and Scholls Ferry Road. The cozy little eatery was once owned by Amanda Stanaway of Sherwood.But the birth of her daughter put her in touch with her artistic side.

“I started playing music,” said Stanaway, noting that she would practice when her daughter was in bed. “I had never really explored that side of myself.”

Growing up as a member of the Friends Church (whose members are commonly known as Quaker’s), Stanaway played piano as a child and would later learn to play the guitar.

Today she teaches private music lessons, teaching young people how to sing, play guitar and piano. One of her students, singer Jaidah Moullett-Dozier, won first place in her division for the Small Town, Big Talent contest.

“She’s fantastic,” Stanaway noted about Moullett-Dozier.

In 2008, Stanaway recorded her first album, “Artist’s Proof,” an effort that one fan described as “gutsy folk” with country, blues and folk influences.

Her second recording effort, “Indian Summer,” will come out next summer.

Several years ago, Stanaway met Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame at a fund-raiser benefiting Nicaragua. The two became friends and last April she had the opportunity to tour five states with Yarrow, joined by the singer’s son Christopher.

“That man is driven to work,” she said of Yarrow. “What a wonderful human being.”

Some of the audiences the trio attracted during the tour were as large as 2,000 people. The irony is that she’s played with as few as four people in an audience, something that she says doesn’t depress her because, “There’s a wealth there. There’s not a deficit.”

It was Yarrow who was the first to call Stanaway an “activitist” with Stanaway simply saying her goal is to inspire people to live whole lives. She tries to situations and think of ways to make it better.

Stanaway will perform a concert at the South Store Café on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, she created the Song Circle, a regular gathering of area musicians with the group’s next performance set for Jan. 18 at the North Valley Friends Church in Newberg. Proceeds will benefit the Nambirizi Primary School in Uganda, a small country school of 357 students.

She plans to continue performing at open mic nights on Sundays at Clancy’s in Old Town and can also be found around the area performing under the name of Amanda Christine. She recently led children in sing- alongs at the Sherwood Family YMCA as part of the group Amelia Rose and the Cheesecutters.

Today, Stanaway not only performs music but does consulting for small businesses as well as specializing in social entrepreneurship where she has established relationships with groups as varied as churches all the way to pharmaceutical companies.

“It’s been great,” she said. “The purpose of it is to create economic opportunities for artists and small businesses.”

One of her successes has been a church in upper Manhattan where she has helped the pastor come up with entrepreneurial concepts.

“I’m a huge concepts and visions person,” she said. “Your vision is the only thing that can make you successful.”

Now Stanaway is working on a memoir that has a working title of “Scraps,” a four-year endeavor that she hopes to publish at the end of 2013. The title comes from the fact that there have been so many times in her life when she’s been handed a pile of scraps and has used them to make something bigger and better.

“It’s largely about the South Store,” she said, “and what it took to get it open.”

Stanaway said it begins as a historical piece about how the store came to be but it’s largely a coming-of-age story.

The last part of the book is about tapping into the artistic side of her personality, saying she’s found there’s really no timeline for pursuing art and self.

“My hope for the book... that is a big question,” she said. “I plan to tour the book with music. It is my hope that my journey helps others to realize and follow their own dreams and paths.”

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