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Meet the Merchant Jeff Dunn, owner, Brew 22

By Luke Whittaker

The Daily Astorian

Published on April 14, 2017 1:41PM

Left to right, the Brew 22 crew includes: Allison Silva, Mitch Stephens, Chase Johnson, Carly Dunn, Jeff Dunn, and their daughter, Taelynn Dunn.

Photos by LUKE WHITTAKER

Left to right, the Brew 22 crew includes: Allison Silva, Mitch Stephens, Chase Johnson, Carly Dunn, Jeff Dunn, and their daughter, Taelynn Dunn.

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Jeff Dunn, 31, was 16 when he had his first cup of coffee. He then spent more than a decade in the industry learning the craft before opening Brew 22 in Seaside in January.

LUKE WHITTAKER

Jeff Dunn, 31, was 16 when he had his first cup of coffee. He then spent more than a decade in the industry learning the craft before opening Brew 22 in Seaside in January.

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Allison Silva prepares to serve a customer Friday, March 17. “It’s so much more than just making a cup of coffee,” Dunn said. “The most important thing is just keeping that experience fresh and new at the window,  making someone’s day, whether it’s a cup of coffee or in good conversation.”

LUKE WHITTAKER

Allison Silva prepares to serve a customer Friday, March 17. “It’s so much more than just making a cup of coffee,” Dunn said. “The most important thing is just keeping that experience fresh and new at the window, making someone’s day, whether it’s a cup of coffee or in good conversation.”

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Coffee takes center stage at Brew 22, but baked goods, fruit smoothies, teas, milkshakes a nd an exclusive espresso ice cream are also available.

Coffee takes center stage at Brew 22, but baked goods, fruit smoothies, teas, milkshakes a nd an exclusive espresso ice cream are also available.

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What inspired you to open a coffee stand?


“Ever since I was little I had the entrepreneurial bug. I knew I’d work for myself just was not sure of which outlet. Coffee came into my life about 13 years ago and I instantly fell in love with it. It was the relationship with the customer that I became passionate about. Everything about this whole thing — from the design of the building to the actual location — was all a dream. I’m not very good at architectural work, but I had a vision and relayed it to my mom who put it on paper. Then my father-in-law was my builder. The entire thing has been family grown. The name itself is after my first daughter.”


When did you have the initial vision?


“June 2016. I broke ground Nov. 15 and construction was finished Jan. 20. It was about a two-month build. The whole process from vision to build was less than a year.”


When was your first official day of business?


“We opened Jan. 27, 2017.”


What do you love most about coffee?


“The relationships. Coffee is the common ground between ourselves and our customer. We come together because of coffee whether it’s our customers through the drive-thru or our relationship with our roasters or suppliers.”


Where are you from originally?


“All over. I’ve been in Seaside for five years now. I’m from Grants Pass, but then I spent some time over in the ‘Valley’ and Portland area.”


Didn’t Dutch Brothers start in Grants Pass?


“Yeah, I grew up with them.”


What was your previous work experience?


“I was in the coffee industry for 12 years at a competitor coffee shop.”


Do you still sample the competition?


“Of course. As a local business owner, I don’t just stick to my own brand. I support local businesses and go everywhere.”


What’s been the most rewarding part?


“Having the community’s support. Without them we wouldn’t be where we are.”


What’s the biggest challenge?


“The biggest challenge is purely starting a new brand business in a small town. People not knowing who we are and what we stand for.”


Are there any common misconceptions about owning or operating a coffee stand?


“It’s so much more than just making a cup of coffee. There is so much behind the scene stuff going on. The most important thing is just keeping that experience fresh and new at the window, making someone’s day, whether with a cup of coffee or in good conversation.”


What have been some of the learning experiences as a business owner?


“The building process was unreal. Never having done this before, I was called upon for so many questions that I just wasn’t ready for. It made me smarter and more prepared for future stores. I wouldn’t change a thing though.”


What has the experience taught you so far?


“In the end, it’s never about us. The customer is the absolute star in our day. They bring us the most happiness and making their day is our priority.”


Among competing coffee stands, how do you distinguish yourself?


“It is everyone that works for Brew 22 Coffee that separates us. Each has a personality and passion unlike the next. Being a new brand and a local business owner, quality is our highest priority — and not ever sacrificing speed for that.”


Do you have a forte or specialty?


“Our specialty is our coffee, it is a high quality with such a fantastic rich, smooth flavor. Also there’s our house-made espresso ice cream. No one in the area has anything like it.”


How did the espresso ice cream come about?


“It was something I wanted to do to separate ourselves. Nobody has espresso ice cream and it’s something proprietary to us that you literally can’t get anywhere else in the Northwest because it’s our own coffee and ice cream.”


And you offer more than coffee and ice cream?


“Yes, we have fresh-baked goods, real-fruit smoothies, ice teas, sodas and milkshakes.”


Are there other additions to the menu you’re considering?


“Definitely. We’re considering introducing lemonade and tea closer to summer. We haven’t announced it yet but we’re going to be doing some in-house, fresh, cold-brew coffee. Right now we’re just working on refining it and making it absolutely perfect.”


Have you had any unusual requests?


“I wouldn’t really consider it unusual, but there was a high demand for hemp milk, so we started carrying that as of last week.”


Are you dedicated to a particular bean or company for coffee? If so, why them?


“I spent three months over the summer trying to find a roaster that I could build a strong relationship with, both personally and also for the business. It’s important to me to have that relationship with the people we want to grow with over the course of the future.”


What all do you take into consideration when crafting the perfect cup of coffee?


“The perfect cup: a properly dosed amount of espresso grind extracted by a perfect amount of water dosage will create the smooth velvety and creaming espresso shot. It’s then paired with a quality amount of flavor with the perfect textured and tempered milk. Last it will never be finished until served with a smile and a thank you.”



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