Rogue River Coffee Co. is the brainchild of Chris and Sheryl Rush. They and their elderly Shitzu dog “Abby” have been residents of Oregon’s beautiful south coast for the past two years, currently making their home in North Bend.
When Chris decided this past spring to step down as publisher of the The World newspaper in Coos Bay, effectively retiring from the newspaper industry after more than 25 years, he and Sheryl made a leap of faith to follow their longtime dream of owning and running their own bakery/cafe business.
Sheryl, who has worked in the food industry, retail industry and special education field, has been baking delicious cookies, muffins, quick breads and a wide assortment of tasty treats for friends and family members for decades. With her passion, knowledge and skill as a baker and Chris’ acumen for business and marketing, they decided to leave behind the security of the corporate world (and a steady paycheck) to pursue their dream as small business owners.
“I love people and most people love cookies, so this has always been my passion to bake for others,” says Sheryl. “I’ve been making my signature cookie — oatmeal chocolate chip — since I was in the fourth grade.”
Other baked good recipes have been handed down or inspired by generations of Sheryl’s family. In addition, the cafe will serve a variety of coffee and espresso drinks, both hot and cold.
They chose uptown Reedsport “in the heart of the dunes” and on U.S. Hwy. 101 (1891 Winchester Ave.), as the ideal location to launch their vision.
“I have worked at smaller community newspapers around the country my entire career and we both love the easy-going small town lifestyle,” says Chris. “We like knowing our neighbors and dealing on a personal level with people we meet.”
The name of their shoppe is inspired by the tranquility and natural beauty found in the tree-covered mountains of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southwest Oregon — a favorite camping and hiking destination for the couple.
“We hope our cafe will offer a brief respite for busy folks taking a break from work, weary travelers from the 101, and for anyone looking for bit of peace and quiet to go with their favorite comfort food and beverage.”
Chris and Sheryl have two grown children attending college out of state, so they must work feverishly night and day to make the business successful and avoid going broke. To this end, they plan on opening in August (an official grand opening date will soon be announced).
Other pending announcements include unveiling the shoppe’s brand new logo design, featured coffee roaster, as well as planned menu items.