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Espresso available drive-through style

by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - Co-owners Jay and Michele McKague stand in front of the kiosk that is now open near Shortys Corner. Co-owners of the business, not pictured, are Jess and Renae McKague, and the trained staff includes all of the children of both families.If any business could be described as a “family business,” it would be Rocket House Coffee, which is having its grand opening Friday, May 24, beginning at 5:30 a.m.

The now-open drive-through coffee kiosk cannot be missed. It is bright yellow and is located at Shorty’s Corner, near Firwood Road and Highway 26, a couple of miles east of Sandy.

The new business is new to the McKagues — Jess and Renae and Jess’ brother, Jay, and his wife, Michele, as well as both families’ young adult children.

All McKague family members, including the young adult children and their parents, received barista training from Mt. Hood Roasters of Rhododendron, which is the brand of coffee and espresso that is served at the Rocket House.

Mt. Hood Roasters was chosen, Michele said, partly because it is a popular coffee, but also because it is a local area business that supports local schools and youth activities.

Owning and operating a business is not new to Jay or Michele. Jay owns a construction company, and Michele co-owns a preschool in Boring. While they are at their first jobs, their children will be operating the daily shifts that begin just after sunrise (5:30 a.m.).

Jay was happy with the visible location, while Michele had noticed there are few coffee kiosks in Sandy or to the east of the city. The only other kiosks nearby are off the highway west of Sandy.

People have been talking to the McKagues about starting this business because they say they would like a place to pull off the highway on their way to Mount Hood, without stopping to get out of their car in Sandy.

Among the drinks available at the Rocket House are a variety of coffees, including a double-shot espresso for the daring and a Caramel Rocket for people who want to experience the comfort of the McKagues’ signature drink.

A side note here: The 12-ounce Caramel Rocket will be the featured drink at Friday’s grand opening. All day, the drink will be available to Rocket House Coffee visitors at a significantly reduced price.

The menu includes a group of drinks for kids as well as an expanded menu for adults that includes PMS Mocha, which is heavy with chocolate (chocolate milk, chocolate whipped cream, chocolate sauce, coffee and chocolate sprinkles). Real coffee drinkers might want to try the High Octane drink, which incorporates regular coffee with one to four shots of espresso, depending on the drink size.

In addition, there are coffee accessories available such as Joe’s Donuts and fresh muffins and cookies.

Michele said local residents and passers-by will find that her family members are trained and friendly baristas. And if they haven’t already, customers also will discover the high quality of Mt. Hood Roasters coffee.

“We want to provide a friendly place for people to get their coffee in the morning,” she said, “on their way to work or up the mountain. We’re excited to be here at Shorty’s.”

The bright yellow kiosk housing Rocket House Coffee is at Firwood Road and Highway 26.

Hours are 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with late-night Fridays keeping the baristas there until 7 p.m.

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