It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Why, thank you, PDX eater! We are honored!Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 2.10.34 PM

We were proud to be included in their list of places to get holiday baked goods, and we hope you’re inspired to come try our treats out this festive season. Need a tray of cookies for a holiday party?

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How about a Buche du Noel for something really special? We L-O-V-E breaking out the cookie cutters and pastry bags, and whipping up sparkly treats, so come by and place an order (in person or on the phone is always the best way to reach us)!

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And while you’re in the neighborhood, pick up a tree!

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Right around the corner from our shop is another one of Woodlawn’s best kept treasures – The Dekum Street Doorway. Visit for chicken  or wild bird feed, winter veggies, and now CHRISTMAS TREES! They’ve got all shapes and sizes, whether you’re looking for a 5-footer or a tiny table topper for an apartment. AND you get a free cup of cocoa from US with every tree purchase from them. Win-win!

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 2.29.45 PMWe can’t believe another year is coming to a close, and or how lucky we are to be a part of this community. Thank you to all of our loyal customers who make coming to work, brewing coffee, and baking up treats such a delight. Happy holidays to you and yours!

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Food, Farms, Friends, and Fun!

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IMG_6722If you don’t know about Plate & Pitchfork, you should check out their website. Basically, they bring together local farms and local restaurants to host incredible dinners in farm setting. And they do it to raise money for worthy agricultural related organizations. We were honored to be asked to create a dessert for a Plate & Pitchfork dinner again this year, working alongside our great friends from Firehouse, and utilizing the summer-fresh berries from our P&P partner farm, Smith Berry Barn. Wine pairings from Brooks Winery rounded out a night of amazing flavors in a beautiful setting.

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While we prepped for dinner, we caught glimpses of folks peeling off from the farm tour to grab a ripe berry straight off the plant, city people gingerly feeding the goats and chickens, and smile after smile despite the punishing heat. As the sun went down, and a gentle breeze ushered the guests towards their seats, the setting was nothing short of magical: white linen-topped tables nestled between rows of fruit trees, heavy with fruit, platters of gorgeous food, clinking wine glasses, and lots of laughter.  In a business that is demanding of time and energy, it’s nice to stand out in an orchard, where so much of our food gets its start, and remember why it is we do what we do.

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Smith Berry BarnFor Emily Squadra, our kitchen manager, it was a bit of a dream come true.

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“It was so fun to have the opportunity to design a dessert course for a farm dinner. There was an abundance of fruit to choose from, so I decided to use as many as possible, creating a summer fruit trifle,” Emily says. “I added a little more Oregon flare by making a spongecake featuring local hazelnuts.”

She created the trifles in mason jars to make it look extra farm-y, and easier to transport.

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“It was so nice to work out in the field, surrounded by the plants and trees that yielded the fruit we were using.”

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She was also stoked to have the chance to work with Matthew Busetto and Kate de Pape from Firehouse.

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“We worked together as a team, and it was really cool to see how they do things on the other side of Dekum Street.”

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As the sun dipped behind the trees, and the crescent moon made its impressive appearance, I think we were all looking forward to the next time we could cook for people in such a naturally beautiful setting.

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Who Brews for You? Barista Profile #4: Kelly G.

I know a lot of you have been waiting to see a profile on Kelly, our longest tenured barista. She has been with us nearly three years, and has lit up the place with her megawatt smile, charm, and wit ever since (and no, she did not pay me to say that). If you don’t know her well, or you were wondering why you heard her humming Jingle Bells in August, here is your big chance.

Q: What’s your favorite drink to make?

Kelly: Just a simple little latte. Or at home I like a good french press or a cup of aeropress. [Ed. note: if you’re not familiar with the aeropress, it was once referred to as looking “like it was pieced together with parts from a Habitrail set”]

 

Our favorite description of Kelly: "A dirty old man in a pretty lady's body."

Our favorite description of Kelly: “A dirty old man in a pretty lady’s clothing.”

 

 

Q: Easiest way for a customer to get on your good side?

Kelly: Come in a lot! I love coffee, but people are the best part of my job. I love learning your names, what you drink, what you do when you leave the shop. Some of my closest friendships started across that counter.

Q: Easiest way for a customer to get on your bad side?

Kelly: Ask me how to use the internet. I barely know how to use the internet myself! Just be grateful I don’t run the shop because you’d all be waiting in line for hours while I calculated your change on my abacus and then tucked your dollars and IOUs into my old cigar box.

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A laugh that makes you want to be funny.

 

 

 

Q: Secret passion?

Kelly: I love all things Christmas. It’s my favorite movie genre. It’s my favorite music genre. “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” is my go-to shower song. Year round.

Q: Favorite pastime?

Kelly: Reading! It’s almost my ONLY pastime. And I love to talk about books. That’s another way to get on my good side.

 

Cheering up the  caffeine-deprived morning crowd since 2012.

Cheering up the caffeine-deprived morning crowd since 2012.


 

Q: Describe your perfect day.

Kelly: My perfect day always starts with fresh coffee at home, in my pajamas, with a good book, sitting on the heater vent. And ideally somewhere in there I’d see my mom, but that doesn’t happen often enough.

Q: What you like most about working at WCP?

Kelly: Laughing! It’s the most fun I’ve ever had at work. And it allows me to really exercise my OCD tendencies.

 

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For Your Listening Pleasure

Sundays around here just got a little bit better. About a month ago, Woodlawn resident and fiddle player Michael Durkan decided to give his roommates a break (he practices, alone and with bandmates A LOT), by bringing his fiddle up here. He set up shop on our patio, hoping not to disturb anyone. It only took us a tune or two to ask him to come inside, so that he wouldn’t freeze, and so that we could all enjoy his fine playing. He asked how we might feel about him making it a regular Sunday afternoon thing, and if it would be okay if he brought a couple of friends. And that’s how our Sundays with The Social Pleasure Club began.

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“We’re still not totally sure about the name,” Durkan confesses.

Social Pleasure Clubs, originated in the 19th century as a benevolent society in the African American communities of New Orleans. They began as a way for people to help each other out financially in tough times, but to also celebrate their community through music, specifically the jazz parades for which New Orleans is famous.

A trumpet player from New Orleans suggested the name, and they like the connotation – uplifting music for people who need it most. They also  like the irony of the association with African American musical powerhouses.

“We do find a lot of joy in music, too. Even if we’re just three scrawny white guys,” says Durkan.

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They call their music “high energy Americana,” which we think fits in pretty well around here.

Durkan met banjo player Elliot Chamberlain busking during his first days in Portland. Then Durkan met guitarist Jason Reichert when they both began playing with prohibition-era jazz band called the Smut City Jellyroll Society. The trio is sometimes also joined by a drummer who goes by Kirch.

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All in all, they plan on playing at Woodlawn pretty much every Sunday, starting around 2:30 or 3:00pm until their fingers get tired. We will keep baking pies* in the back, enticing them to stay.

Check out The Social Pleasure Club on Facebook for gigs and booking information (they’re available for public and private events). https://www.facebook.com/pages/Social-Pleasure-Club/899959786687337

*Speaking of PIES, cakes, and other special holiday treats, don’t forget to order yours in time for the holidays! Check out our menus page for sizes, pricing and ordering information: http://www.woodlawncoffee.com/menu/special-order/

 

Who Brews for You? Barista profile #3: Alesha S.

Do you have your favorite drink and pastry in your hand? Good. Now sit down and enjoy them while you get to know yet another WCP barista. The brewer du jour is none other than Alesha, whose megawatt smile is probably a familiar sight for you. Now get a glimpse of what lies just behind it.

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Q: What’s your favorite drink to make?

Alesha: I like making mochas and cocoas because I get to play with both latte and chocolate art [ed. note: not to mention they taste delicious].

 

Q: Easiest way for a customer to get on your good side?

Alesha: Remembering my name! Also, being polite and friendly; sharing bits about themselves or their lives is nice.

 

Q: Easiest way for a customer to get on your bad side

Alesha: I’m not a fan of people who are in a hurry and take their frustration out on me [ed. note: this woman is not into cutting corners – she believes you deserve her best effort]!

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Q: Secret passion?

Alesha: I’m not much of a secret keeper. But I do have a passion for languages, and Arabic and medieval politics, especially when illustrated in an epic fantasy novel!

 

Q: Favorite pastime?

Alesha: Going on adventures, learning new things, debating, socializing – things like that.

 

Q: Describe your perfect day.

Alesha: Waking up with yoga, making breakfast, sharing fun times with people I love.

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Q: What you like most about working at WCP?

Alesha: I love this shop, my co-workers and the people I meet here!

Who Butters Your Biscuit? Baker Profile #2: Emily S.

You know those women, smelling faintly of cinnamon and butter, bustling about the back of the shop? I know you’re thinking “Yes! And, well, no.”

 

Have no fear, the latest installment of Getting to Know Us is here. Here’s a chat with Emily, a lady who loves baking for you as much as you like her baking.

 

Showing some rhubarb who's boss.

Showing some rhubarb who’s boss.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to make?

Emily: Croissants. They’re really particular – it’s a challenge. You can’t just tell someone how to do it and have them come out right. You have to feel it. They’re a constant work in progress, always changing, always room for improvement. A labor of love. [editor’s note: and if you haven’t tried her chocolate croissants, please be warned that you may no longer be able to live without them once you try one.]

 

Q: Easiest way for a customer to get on your good side?

Emily: Compliment me! If you like something, tell us! Come back and tell me that you liked something I made. That’s why I’m here, doing this, to make people happy.

 

Q: Easiest way for a customer to get on your bad side

Emily: Tell me you DIDN’T like it. [editor’s note: she says this with a smile, which tells me she can certainly take a bit of constructive criticism. Just a bit.]

 

Q: Secret passion?

Emily: I love gardening. Also, my cat Lemangelo. He’s my love.

 

Q: Favorite pastime?

Emily: Reading and talking about the books I love. I also love roadtripping.

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A much needed rest from kneading.

Q: Describe your perfect day.

Emily: At this time of year, I’d say spending a couple hours berry picking with my friends, going back home to make jam, then making a big dinner.

 

Q: What you like most about working at WCP?

Emily: The creative freedom that Gretchen gives me in the kitchen. And of course the people I work with.

 

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Come on By – We’ll Cool You Off!

Hot town, summer in the city 


Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty 


Been down, isn’t it a pity 


Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city…

 

Those days the Lovin’ Spoonful sing about are upon us, folks. And we’re ready for ‘em!

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Ok, summer in Portland is more beautiful than gritty, but you get the idea.

 

 

We’ve got some icy beverages to get you revved up and cooled down. Try one of our delicious Tao of Tea iced teas: decaffeinated hibiscus ginger or a classic black tea – iced Assam. If you’re more a coffee fan, we have a toddy made with Stumptown’s house blend roast (save room for cream if you’re so inclined). In addition to a regular iced Americano or latte, we also offer Gassato, an iced espresso with a little sweetened milk and a float of fizzy water, all made with Stumptown Hairbender.

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Gassato, anyone?

Also, we recently got a really nice compliment from one of our sales reps, and we’d like to share it. She said that our blog is one she refers to her friends and associates when she thinks they need to “loosen up a bit and reflect who they are, and the fun they have.” We are blushing, and so happy that that comes through! We always try to live and work by that motto “Take your job seriously, but not yourself, and strive to make it fun.” We are a family here – we laugh, we squabble, we support each other. We do hope that shines through to our customers. We’re here because we love good food, good coffee, and because we love you. Thanks for being part of what makes this such a great place to work!

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The heat won’t keep Kelly from laughing at your jokes.

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Who Brews for You? Barista Profile #2 Holly F.

After the first barista and first baker profile, we know you’ve been jonesing to learn about more of the folks dedicated to your sugar and caffeine intake (no offense to those who prefer herbal tea and savory treats of course). So here are more insights for you to enjoy, hopefully over a cup of deliciousness served up by us.

 

Behold the second addition of our barista profiles, featuring a newer member of our team, Holly.

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Q: What’s your favorite drink to make?

Holly:  Earl Grey latte with a dash of peppermint syrup because when I make it I know I’m about to drink it! [editor’s note: this doesn’t mean she won’t make you one, too, if you want it].

 

Q: Easiest way for a customer to get on your good side?

Holly: Being chivalrous. Not necessarily towards me, just in general, and this is not a gender-specific thing. When I see people in love, treating each other well, I’m inspired to treat them extra special.

 

Q: Easiest way for a customer to get on your bad side

Holly: Interview me for a blog post. [She is kidding – she loves this and me].

 

Q: Secret passion?

Holly:  My not so secret passion is storytelling. I’m a photographer and a writer and I’m working on buying a sailboat from which to launch a land-free press. You can see my work at www.hollyferal.com

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Q: Favorite pastime?

Holly: I have so many…but maybe my absolute most favorite is making portraits. Capturing the essence of a person,  through their eyes, their body language, their style is what I strive for. Every person contains a universe to explore.

 

Q: Describe your perfect day.

Holly:  A perfect day involves being outdoor with my honey and my sister, and having a model who will let me cover her in paint, tie things to her, submerge her in water, and/or wear funny clothes in front of my camera.

 

Q: What you like most about working at WCP?

Holly: I love feeling pride in the quality of our food and drinks, knowing that my incredibly talented and awesome co-workers also take pride in their craft. I have a lot to learn from each one of them!IMG_2985

 

So, that’s our Holly. Now don’t forget about our Speakeasy Jamboree, comin’ up on June 20th. Prohibition-style fashion will be warmly received:)

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Berry Season Has Begun!

 

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Thanks to a warm spring, Oregon and Washington strawberries are a little early this year. For us that means lots and lots of strawberry treats on the menu. Our purveyor, Polar Farm in Washington, provides us with the juiciest berries – Hood, Tillamook, and Puget varieties. We’re mixing them into our gluten free coconut, orange buckwheat loaves, our almond streusel coffee cakes, and upside down creme fraiche cake. Plus, we’ve added some new items to celebrate the season, like strawberry ice cream and strawberry jam on brioche french toast with mascarpone cheese.

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First brought to Oregon from Iowa in 1846, strawberries have been a part of the agricultural fabric of the Pacific Northwest for longer than we’ve been a state. Our climate makes for deliciously sweet and firm fruit, just as perfect for baking as they are for popping in your mouth right off the plant. Don’t miss the brief and scrumptious strawberry season! We’ve got lots, but not for long, so come on in and get some!

Oh! And save the date for a prohibition-themed cocktail party later this month. We had so much fun last time, we just had to do it again. Join us, June 20th at 6pm.

 

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Who Butters Your Biscuit? Baker Profile #1: Gabe M.

 

Those benevolent bakers, hiding behind piles of pies, cakes and cookies – do you sometimes find yourself thinking, “How can I know so little about someone who feeds me so well?”
Well, we’re here to bridge the gap. We sat down to get the sweets (no dirt in this kitchen) on what makes them tick.
So, here’s Gabe, one of our experts at rolling in the dough.

 

Friends say even when she's not baking, she's sweet as pie.

Friends say even when she’s not baking, she’s sweet as pie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q: What’s your favorite thing to make?

Gabe: Bread pudding.

Q: Easiest way for a customer to get on your good side?

Gabe: Dance moves or limericks.

Q: Easiest way for a customer to get on your bad side

Gabe: I don’t have a bad side.

Looks like she just witnessed some unimpressive dance moves.

 

Q: Secret passion?

Gabe: Film noir.

 

Q: Favorite pastime?

Gabe: Running

 

Q: Describe your perfect day.

Gabe: Hiking with my dog, Mud, and a good swim in the Gorge.

 

Q: What you like most about working at WCP?

Gabe: I love seeing my neighbors every morning!

Reciting limericks with a favorite neighbor.

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Who Brews for You? Barista Profile #1: Brandon E.

You see these people every day, but do you really see them? In your rush to get caffeinated, and their rush to serve the line that snakes around the counter, your chance to get to know your beloved barista or baker is over in the blink of an eye.

 

So we sat down to ask them some roasting (we prefer that word to burning) questions, so next time you get your latte and tart, you can give a knowing smile and nod that says, “I get you, man.”

 

In our case, we’re not doing “ladies first” since 99.9% of our staff is female. So, for the first of our series, meet our token dude, Brandon.

 

Brandon, and his oddly shaped noggin.

Brandon, and his oddly shaped noggin.

 

 

Q: What’s your favorite drink to make?

Brandon: Cappuccino

 

Q: Easiest way for a customer to get on your good side?

Brandon: Most any pun will make me happy

 

Q: Easiest way for a customer to get on your bad side

Brandon: Making out in front of the register without even inviting me to join in is probably the worst. Like, seriously. We can make it work, but right now I have to take orders and you’re being selfish. {Note to his wife: he’s just kidding}

 

Q: Secret passion?

Brandon: My secret passion is ultimate frisbee. I love sprinting and sweating and smoking all at the same time.

 

Q: Favorite pastime?

Brandon: It’s a toss up between making beer or music.

 

Q: Describe your perfect day.

Brandon: My perfect day involves working at WCP, taking a nap and then a game of ultimate, then playing music.

 

Q: What you like most about working at WCP?

Brandon: The peanut butter cookies. {Note to his co-workers: he’s just kidding, it’s you}

 

 

Pretending to think Kelly's jokes are hilarious.

Pretending to think Kelly’s jokes are funny.

 

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It’s Always Fun Here at Night – Especially When We’re Having a Party!

Our evening crew has come up with some amazing elixirs we just can’t wait for you to try.

You DO know we’re open until 9 Wednesday through Sunday, right? We can’t help but gush – our cozy little shop is so pretty at night! We really love the nighttime vibe here, due in no small part to the fabulous, inventive cocktail list created by our resident mixologists, Ada and Gillian.

 

This place is so purdy at night.

This place is so purdy at night.

 

They combine the cocktail’s arty beginnings with a modern twist, and always have seasonal shrub offerings to highlight nature’s current bounty. New drinks include:

Bees Knees – vodka, honey, lemon and orange flower water

Spanish 75 – Union gin, lemon and topped with cava

Sloe Gin Fizz – Plymouth sloe gin, Union gin, lemon and club soda

 

A good drink paired with some tasty nibbles or dessert? Whatever the weather outside, it’s super comfy (an delicious) in here.

 

Need More Motivation? We’re Havin’ a Party!

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Come Join us May 24th at 6PM for a swanky happy hour soiree! We’ll have music provided by Luz Elena Mendoza and DJ Callie, free snacks and happy hour specials. Don’t miss out!

Our salute to Spring!

“O Rhubarb! My Rhubarb! Rise up and hear the bells.”

I have been yodeling this around the around the shop these days. Walt Whitman of course did not intend for his poetry to be compared to the long awaited arrival of Spring field rhubarb, alas it is here. The Tempestuous Spring weather may drive our stalks right back into the ground retreating back to the black rhizome under the earth, this happened two years ago when the freeze came late and strong in April. Every pastry chef in Portland was deflated and sad due to the dramatic retreat of the pink stalks. The apples and pears of Winter have run their course, the dried fruits have become too rich and tiresome, citrus and nuts never get old, but we bakers need inspiration, and Oregon strawberries are far from being ripe. Rhubarb the herald of Spring is here! Rhubarb loves sugar, vanilla, grapefruit, coconut, ricotta cheese, and so much more. I have included a rhubarb cocktail recipe developed by Gillian (bartender diva) here at WCP, ENJOY! Come in and get your cocktails on until 9pm now at WCP.

 

SAUVIE ISLAND SUNSET

2    oz     tequila

2    oz     rhubarb shrub (recipe follows)

1/2 oz     agave syrup

lemon juice to taste

method: shake or stir ingredients together vigorously, strain into 12 oz. rocks glass over ice. Garnish with lemon slice.

Rhubarb Shrub: yield 1 pint.

3    Cups rhubarb

1/2 Cup champagne vinegar

3/4 Cup sugar

1/8 tsp salt

place all ingredients in sauce pan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb gives up shape, about 15 minutes. Strain the thick fruit into mason jar. Refrigerate until cool. Can be held in fridge for 1 month. PS. this Shrub is really good with just ice and fizzy water for a nice refreshing beverage.

 

 

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For Josh, Our Friend

So, Josh may have beat us to the punch, but we still have a couple of things we’d like to say about him as he readies himself to start a new life back in the old south. And blog readers, this will probably be the last time you get two blog entries so close together. In case you didn’t know, Josh wasn’t just our sous chef, but also our main blogger. Be sure to check out his personal blog, http://southernbelly.wordpress.com, so you can keep up with him. We will do our best on here to be half the blogger he is!

Because he is quiet and unassuming, people often underestimate him. We learned early on not to do that. First he came here and really took our coffee program to the next level. In his usual understated way, he managed to caress the smoothest, most perfect espresso shots out of our La Marzocco, and took 5th place in a Barista competition in Seattle, proving his mettle even more. But all the while he talked about how he really wanted to cook in the kitchen. It was easy to have faith in his convictions, because we knew that though he is a man of few words, those words were always carefully measured and devoid of any b.s. If he said he wanted to try his hand at kitchen work, we knew he meant to take it seriously. It took a while for us to get ready to up our food service, but when the time came, we went right to Josh to ask if he wanted to be a part of it.

From our humble start serving little more than soups and breakfast plates, Josh catapulted our menu into the stratosphere with a wide array of delicious and beautifully executed dishes that revealed his southern, French, and homestyle influences. His approach to it all is what we in the kitchen will miss the most about working with him – quiet, grounded, loving. It’s true – he puts a whole lot of love into his wonderful, simple food. You can taste it, and you can see it on the happy faces of the people eating it. The combinations he conjured up from our limited night kitchen were nothing short of magic.

The way he cooks and works is truly a reflection of who he is. Thoughtful, dependable, empathetic, and kind. Those of us lucky to work closely with him can tell you he is the guy you immediately feel like you’ve been cooking next to forever. Serious about his work but so laid back and hilarious in a very, very quiet and self-deprecating way. He was always so good at reading the moods of his co-workers, knowing just when to give us space, and when a listening ear was needed. He always works hard. He’s never too good to switch gears from chef to barista if he’s needed.  He will go on to great things, because talent like his, wrapped up in a hardworking, drama-free, overall good egg, is a rare and beautiful thing.

True to form, his goodbye to us came in the form of a feast – his fifth and final Portland Mardi Gras celebration. He zipped to and fro, tending to his giant pot of crawfish, checking in on the jambalaya, explaining muffeletta to the unindoctrinated. When he was sure everyone was taken care of, then he let loose with the rest of us. The laughter was punctured here and there with bits of sadness, and the sigh on everyone’s lips was the same: “We sure are gonna miss this guy.”

Fare thee well, Josh Casper. We’re so glad we got to work with you, even gladder that we get to call you friend. We’ll be sending you love and luck to go with you all along your way.

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Life is Sweet on Dekum Street

 

As I transition out of Woodlawn Coffee & Pastry, I wanted to write a bit of their story. I also wanted to share some of mine, which is all sort of tangled up within this place. I think all good relationships get tangled, somehow.

But anyways, here we go:

I started at Woodlawn C&P out of a messy transition from another cafe in NW Portland. I needed a way out. Stumptown account man-at-large Skip Colombo told about this place opening up off of Dekum — that they were probably going to need some help with their coffee program. I was nerdy about coffee. I still am. Though I am not much a barista there as I am a cook (or the tall, quiet dude in the back who makes pickles and meatloaf.)

Along with Mica and Lauren, I was the third to be added onto the roster following the first week that Woodlawn opened. And you’ll still find Lauren around, playing cribbage, picking strings, and every so often a few shifts at Firehouse across the street. Mica is doin’ her thing up in her home state of Alaska.

The first time I walked into Woodlawn with my resume, I left discouraged because I figured that place was too good for me. The wood. The letters. The rustic americana fit in with my deeply southern roots. Not to mention, it was close to where I lived.

The day of dropping off my resume, I received a text from Skip saying, “Hey, Gretchen’s gonna call you and offer you the job!”

Boom.

And just like that, began my time at Woodlawn.

I worked on the coffee a lot. A lot…

We had a gigantic three-grouphead Simonelli that was Gretchen’s baby. All we served hot was quiche and toast. Remember those days? No breakfast plate. No meatloaf. Just toast. Pastries. Quiche. Maybe a soup, if we (and by we, I mean Gretchen) could get around to it.

I grew with the place. Developing skills and relationships. We got busier and busier. We started making food in the back. Screaming, “ONE PLATE!!” or “B&G!!”
We have never been very polished about transitions. It all just sort of…happens.

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I remember one day I was closing down the shop, and seeing Matthew from Firehouse with his feet propped up asleep on one couch, and Gretchen on the other side laying down, sleeping as well.

It was one of those moments that made me realize how much those kind of people put into a place. To say “blood, sweat, and tears” is not nearly enough. The industry is made up of people like this. People who want to give you a place to eat and drink. They want to show you their story through a pastry and cup of coffee on top of a table made of Redwood.

The building itself is old. Its bones crack as you pass through it. People who get it, get it.

It’s magic.

It’s always been magic to me.

But I left, to pursue cooking a bit more seriously.
I worked out in wine country at a place called Red Hills Market. If you’ve ever been wine tasting out in Dundee, I’m sure you’ve seen it.
I helped with their coffee program too. Learned some bits as a line cook, and helped manage their front of house. I also learned the art of standing on my feet for 10-12 hours a day.

Cooking is a different ballgame. Kitchen life is different than being able to wear a bow tie as a barista. (Not that I ever did..or ever will..)

It’s hot. You get burned. There’s always stuff to be cleaned. All the time. Cleaning. Cooking. Cleaning again.

But as it goes, I got a little burnt out and returned to Portland for work, landing into the graceful arms of The Arbor Lodge coffee shop. I was a barista again. For a little while.

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As some of you know, I reign from the deep South. Living in the Northwest, it was always important for me to celebrate Mardi Gras. Gretchen was kind enough to let me host it at Woodlawn a few years back and I’ve been doing it ever since. I was able to showcase some of the stuff I liked to cook, and felt I was getting pretty good at it. One night, she texted me, “We should talk about your future…”

We met up for beer. A few beers, actually. We caught up a bit, and she then told me about her plan to add a bar program at Woodlawn for the evening time. The OLCC requires that you serve food if you serve alcohol, at least in Multnomah County. Before she even offered me the gig, I was screaming, YES! in my head. She then said, “Well, would you like to come cook for us at night?” We cheers’ed our glasses and so began my stint as a cook at Woodlawn.

It was so nice to be back, and felt like I had never left.

All of us at Woodlawn have put in a lot more than just work. We all work really hard, and hope that you get to benefit from it. After all, that is the reason we do what we do. There is something powerful about a great cup of coffee, made just for you, or a pastry right out of the oven. When a plate of biscuits and gravy arrives steaming at your table, a lot of thought went into making it taste just right. We want it to taste like home. We want to find your sweet spot and allow you to indulge once in a while.

But as I process my time in Portland, I owe so much to this cafe. It gave me a sense of place when I was so far away from home. It gave me an outlet to serve my community, and to also make a living. I was spoiled to be given such an opportunity. The call home is just a bit stronger sometimes.

Thank you for letting me serve you, in some capacity, over the past three years.

I enjoyed getting to watch you and your kids grow. I’d like to think I had a small part in feeding all of their bellies, while also helping you get your caffeine fix when you’ve had a long night.

This is my last week cooking at Woodlawn, and if you happen to be around while I am there, I’d love to say hello and thank you.

Because often times, these places are big parts of our lives. Our connections are endless and our cups are full. I have always wanted to keep your cups full.

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Thank you to Gretchen, for giving me an opportunity to cook and to struggle. Thanks for teaching me how to scrub drains and sinks and how water is the enemy to a good pie crust. (And that it takes more than a day…)

Yes, thank you for making my life a little sweeter on Dekum Street.

-Josh

 

 

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Valentine’s Day Menu

February 14, 2014
Valentine’s Day
Woodlawn Coffee & Pastry

$22/per person (does not include beverage or gratuity)

(choose one from each course)

first
bacon wrapped dates, with white cheddar and sorghum
crab cake, celeriac remoulade
country pate, with pickled apricot, dijon & bread
soup: crimini mushroom

second
wedge salad, house gorgonzola dressing, brioche crouton, bacon, soft boiled egg
roasted beets, with fennel, orange, creme fraiche & red wine vinaigrette
citrus salad, with spicy/sweet peppers, pistachio, tarragon vinaigrette

third
boeuf bourgignon, potato puree, carrot
crimini mushroom, caramelized onion & ricotta ravioli, parmesan consomme

fourth
marjolaine
rhubarb tart

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Upcoming Events and Winter Hours

Hi all!

We just wanted to drop a quick note and throw out some goodness that’ll be happening at Woodlawn in February and March.

First off, Valentine’s Day!

We will be open and offering a four-course menu for $22 a person. (Does not include alcohol or gratuity.)
There will not be a reservation system, so it is a first come first serve basis.
We will post the menu before Friday. And because we wanna, we’ll throw in a glass of bubbles on the house.

Dinner that evening will start at 5:30pm.

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Also, something else to put on your radar, our sous chef Josh reigns from the Deep South and will be throwing a HUGE Mardi Gras party!
This a party not to be missed and it is open to our community. There is talk of live music and boiled crawfish! Seriously, come on down!

This will be taking place Saturday, March 1st (or perhaps the 2nd, we’ll let you know for sure in a bit!)

But please, come and eat and have fun. That’s what Mardi Gras is all about…put it on your calendar!

In other news, we are shifting our evening service. We’ve worked at creating something that works best for our community, that will allow us to better serve you, while keeping consistent hours.

This will mean a steady breakfast and lunch service that will carry on into a new happy hour from 3-6. We will be closing at 7pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and 8pm on Friday and Saturday.

We will be offering a smaller evening fare menu, but will no longer carry any entree sized plates. It will be mainly small plates, salads and sandwiches. We realized you all loved the food, and we will possibly bring it back as we adjust to the seasons, but for now, we will keep it small and cozy. Cocktails, wine and beer is still happening, and we are working on implementing them more during the day as well.

A lot to look forward to!

As always, we are so thankful for your support through these changes, and keeping Woodlawn Coffee & Pastry in your mind.

We love having y’all in here and hope to see more of you in the future.

All the best,

WC&P

 

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Welcome!

Welcome to our new website and blog!

It has taken us quite a while to get here, but we wanted to make sure to do it right.

We hope to update our site as frequently as possible in order to deliver to our community of patrons. This is also a platform that we will be using to announce special events, and from time to time, a story about pie or what our cats are up to.

Thank you, always for stopping by.

Thank you for keeping up with us,

and we hope to see you soon!