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Sounds of kids and coffee makin’ at Mane Street Coffee

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Wendy Davis is one of two baristas who rotate serving at Mane Street Coffee on East First Street. Paula Brown

By PAULA BROWN/For The Herald — Mane Street Coffee, the new coffee shop on 1st Street in the Uptown District of Oakridge, is a play on words using a lion’s ‘mane’ as opposed to ‘main’ street. The coffee shop opened its doors in August of this year by Jacqui Lomont, owner of Mane Street Coffee and Lion Mountain Bakery on Highway 58. Wendy Dennis and Mary Richstein, Jacqui’s baristas, rotate offering their combined 20 years of talent in coffee mixology and frappe design.

MAGNETISM AND 5-STAR RATINGS

On my first visit to gather this story, Wendy had texted Jacqui earlier. “It’s so slow, I’m lonely down here,” she wrote. Jacqui showed up and, magically, the neighborhood started pouring in, demonstrating the magnetic quality of her coffee shop’s commitment to building community. A cacophony of children followed Highway 58 Herald’s Interim Editor, George Custer, and me, into the cozy setting. One little girl, escorted by her older brothers, showed her tough Oregon street feet—without shoes on the 40-degree day. Another guest that morning, a mom with her two toddlers, popped her head back into the shop to say, “I wanted to give you a Five Star Rating on the muffin of the day”. It was a blueberry apple.

Regular customer Nancy Kelly and her service dog also hung out while I wrote this article. Jacqui helped Nancy pick out Theodora as a pup.
“Don’t look her in the eye, she’s in training!” was advice too late, as my eyes met the dog’s and elicited an athletic leap with a soft, furry landing. Well behaved dogs are always welcome both at Mane Street Coffee and at Lion Mountain Bakery. There’s also a little “lion” that hangs out at Mane Street, Maylee Joe, the resident cat who comes by while her owner, Jayda Jean, is earning the “kibbles” at Ray’s Food Place in Oakridge.

Paula Brown

“We support local artists up here at the coffee shop just like we do down at the bakery,” Jacqui said. Dana Tracy-Gibbens’ and Jill Mardin’s artwork is currently on display and for sale. Also, all the pastries for sale are made fresh at the Lion Mountain Bakery location.

Like espresso to a cup of black coffee, Mane Street Coffee contrasts with Lion Mountain Bakery: it’s concentrated! With expanded drink selections and Barista

Mary’sartisan coffee sauces—like maple pecan, pumpkin spice, salted caramel, and toasted marshmallow, you’re sure to find that perfect coffee drink. In addition to the pastries, they serve smoothies and in-house, small batch made granola. Jacqui’s vision is to bring in a cold case stocked with heartier selections when they are open for extended hours this spring and summer. The modern rustic interior, with its eggshell colors, classic detail and modern track lighting, creates an exquisite setting. The shop can also be reserved for after-hours private gatherings.

LION’S LOCAL LEGACY

Building owner Brock Butterfield & his partner, Heidi Miller, began talking with Jacqui about a coffee shop three years ago. “We need a coffee shop on First Street,” they said. COVID and a lot of other stuff happened between then and when Mane Street Coffee opened in August 2021.
Jacqui is well known for her Lion Mountain Bakery. In business for 12 years as of this coming January 2022, these years include a hiatus after the heartbreaking fire that consumed the original bakery on 1st Street. I asked her how she felt about being back on First Street. She said she’s “really glad to be back,” and that Mane Street Coffee is an “extension of this whole community.”

Paula Brown

“I knew I was never going to be able to open back up at the old location,” Jacqui said. She was deeply grateful to have the opportunity to re-open the bakery in the Hwy 58 location, “It was the saving grace.” The two businesses allow Jacqui to work and live in her community and provide employment for other locals like Wendy and Mary.

“I feel we’ve really been welcomed by the community,” said Wendy, “especially since we opened during fire season. It allowed the community to have a place to come together and exchange news.”

Mane Street Coffee is located at 48296 E. 1st Street in Uptown Oakridge and is open 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily through the winter, including holidays. Spring and

summer will usher in expanded hours. Wi-Fi is available for guests. You can see many of the shop’s claims to fame on Facebook, too.

Paula Brown

Paula Brown is a graduate of Oakridge High School, Central Oregon Community College and Portland State University where she earned a B.S. in Finance with a minor in Economics. She repatriated to Lane County after an eclectic career that included 20 years as a management consultant to government and Fortune 500 companies in transportation, manufacturing and electric utilities. Connect with Paula at http://www.linkedin.com/in/pjbaddsvalue

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