Sarah Anderson spilled the beans on Facebook in mid-October. She, her husband Bryant and mother Nan Feagin had purchased the building located between El Sombrero and the KP Smoke Shop and are planning to open a cafe.
“We had started improving the exterior,” Sarah said, “and people were posting that they heard a new pot shop or donut shop was coming. I thought it was time to let them know about our plans.”
After Sarah’s father died, her mother moved from the family home on Fox Island to Home. The Andersons and their son Dylan moved from Portland, Ore., in 2014 to be near her, and they have worked on plans to open a cafe on the Key Peninsula since they arrived.
They have chosen the name Madrona Cafe. “Bryant grew up in Hawaii, and when he saw madronas for the first time when he moved to Portland, he loved them. They are his favorite tree and we are surrounded by them out here.” “We will serve healthy food, not health food.”
Finding a location for the cafe was a challenge, but Sarah said they think the building on Olson Drive NW is a good one. Remodeling plans were delayed after they discovered the building's plumbing was connected to a drain field that was already at or beyond capacity. The solution, a 3,500-gallon underground holding tank, was approved in January. How often it will need to be pumped will depend on how busy they are and there is a per-gallon fee.
Breakfast and lunch are on the menu, with take-out as an option. As they grow, they would like to offer dinner on weekends.
“We want to use local growers and producers as much as possible. We will steam and bake rather than fry and won’t use high-fructose corn syrup,” Sarah said. “We will serve healthy food, not health food.”
The Andersons are no strangers to the restaurant business. Together they owned and operated the successful Anna Bannanas Cafe, with three locations in Portland.
It was Bryant who drew Sarah into the cafe business. She moved to Portland where she earned a degree in ceramics from the Pacific NW College of Arts and was working at Ann Sacks Tile and Stone when, she said, “I fell in love with the boy next door.” Bryant had a coffee cart and was just opening his first cafe when they met. Sarah joined the effort.
They are working with local contractors to upgrade the exterior and the interior – including shelves of madrona. The cinderblock building that once housed a state-licensed liquor store and later became a medical marijuana dispensary will be transformed.
Customers will enter a room with espresso and bar seating. The kitchen will be in the back, and cafe seating will be to the left. The number of seats, which is based on health department rules, is yet to be determined. The walls will be lined with salvaged barn wood, and the furniture will be inviting and home-like.
“Three books were written at our old cafes,” Sarah said. She anticipates writers will come to this place as well.