As the old saying goes, behind every good tech community is a … really good coffee shop. And probably a bar or two. However, since the new 1001 tech center opened last spring, Stackhouse Coffee has quickly become one of the go-to fuel stops for Bend techies, startup founders, investors and more.
We recently sat down with the people behind the startup — Jake and Rebecca Hermeling — to learn a little more about the vision behind Stackhouse and what’s next for the young entrepreneurs.
How did you get your start in coffee? (Jake) I’ve been in the industry 9 years. I started at Starbucks, like a lot of people in my generation. Then I moved to Southwest Washington, where I helped some family friends open two coffee shops.
Was your goal to open a shop in Bend? Yes, I grew up here. My family has always been entrepreneurs, in fact my dad owned one of the old mills known by locals as “The Boxhouse.” After Washington, I moved back here and got my real estate license. I had an office in the previous TechSpace, which is how I learned about the 1001 building and opportunity there.
Were you concerned about whether the location could support a shop? We knew that we needed to create something special enough to win both inside and outside the business park, but honestly we didn’t expect to be this busy so soon. I thought it would just be Rebecca and I for at least six months, but we ended up hiring staff by the second week.
What was your vision for Stackhouse? There’s definitely a wide variety — you have coffee snobs and people who just want a tasty morning jolt. Coffee is an exciting journey for me and I appreciate that it’s complex and nuanced. But as a cafe, our business depends on hospitality and service just as much as the quality of the products. We like coffee and we like people. So for us I think the biggest thing was creating an environment where you can feel comfortable wherever you are at on your coffee journey. One of the things unique about our shop is that our equipment and bar layout allows us to make your drink right in front of you. Most people don’t know what goes in to their coffee so it’s fun to see people learn about the process without even realizing it. It’s a great way for us to keep guests engaged while they’re waiting.
Do you feel like you’re part of the tech and startup community? Most definitely. We’ve formed great relationships with a lot of the business here at the 1001. There is really a camaraderie around the entrepreneur community in Bend. That’s why I wanted to be in this location. I wanted us to get in the mix, and I like to think we’re fueling the people behind these businesses and ideas.
What’s next for Stackhouse? There have already been a few opportunities for expansion but for now we really want to make our first location the best it can be. I love this community and I want to help make it thrive. As a part of that we have been working on a project that would use coffee and tea to help raise funds for causes we care about. We think The 1001 is the best place to launch it. Stay tuned!