Coffee stand owner values support from the Estacada community, opens new location

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Planet Cup of Joe owner Leanne Van Winkle (left) is back at the coffee stand after taking time away to care for her daughter.

After taking time to care for her daughter, Planet Cup of Joe owner Leanne Van Winkle is giving Estacada residents their morning caffeine boost once again. Now, she and her employees are doing so at two locations.

In addition to the location at 581 N.E. Main St., last month Planet Cup of Joe also set up shop at 375 S.W. Zobrist St., the former location of Sunrise Java in the NAPA Auto Parts parking lot.

Van Winkle noted that because she was hoping to expand her business and Sunrise Java owner Lucie Aimar was interested in retiring, the sale came at a good time for both of them.

Van Winkle had stepped away from the coffee stand when her 6-year-old daughter London was diagnosed with spina bifida last year.

She added that both customers and employees were very supportive during this time.

"Our customers have become like family, and they knew something was up," Van Winkle said, noting that both Eagle Creek Saloon and Key Bank hosted fundraisers. "They never left our side and always asked how we were doing. Our employees were completely supportive. They didn't miss a beat. I don't know how to put my gratitude into words."

After having brain surgery in April and spinal surgery in August, London is enjoying being in kindergarten at River Mill Elementary School, where she started in January.

With her daughter in better health, Van Winkle wanted to return to Planet Cup of Joe on a regular basis, but didn't want any of her employees to lose hours.

"I didn't want to take anyone's spot. They had all been there for me," she said.

She decided to "think outside of the box," and approached Aimar about the possibility of purchasing her business. As it turned out, Aimar was interested in retiring. Planet Cup of Joe's second Estacada location officially opened Thursday, Jan. 4.

The expansion comes at a valuable time for the city.

"It's a good time to branch out," Van Winkle said. "Estacada is growing."

Like Planet Cup of Joe's Main Street location, the Zobrist Street location will serve coffee drinks, smoothies, flavored Red Bull energy drinks and other items.

Van Winkle noted that the establishment's popular coffee drinks include the white chocolate mocha and the white chocolate americano. The UFO smoothie, which features blended oreos, is popular among the cafe's younger visitors.

The flavored Red Bulls are also "extremely popular."

"We started out with regular (Red Bulls) and now we've branched out to more candy flavored ones, like the jolly rancher and the ranger," Van Winkle said.

Many customers have stopped by Planet Cup of Joe's new location.

"It's picked up a lot," Van Winkle said. "If we're too busy at the other one, people can swoop down here and miss the school rush. All of our employees live in Estacada, so they can cover shifts at either (location). It's functioning well."

She added that Sunrise Java giftcards and punch cards are being honored at the new location.

Van Winkle has worked at Planet Cup of Joe since 2003 and is excited to be serving the Estacada community once again.

"It's been so nice to see customers and old friends and meet new people, and build more community relationships," she said. "We want to serve and get to know people."

She added that good customer service is the coffee shop's number one goal.

"We want to make sure people leave with the best drink. We want them to leave happy with what they want," she said.

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