Canby’s beloved downtown café, Gwynn’s Coffeehouse, plans to close for the last time when its lease expires at the end of March, but a group of loyal customers is making sure they don’t retire without knowing how much they have meant to the community over the years.
“They have given immensely to the community over the past five years, creating this family-friendly gathering place that has truly become Canby’s living room,” explained one of the organizers, Sue Barr. “I can’t imagine them going into retirement without the community thanking them with this celebration.”
Barr, her daughter, Charity Barr Payne, Linda Tate and other community members have been planning the retirement bash since shortly after the Gwynn family announced their retirement plans last month.
The family hopes to sell the business, including its equipment and recipes, to a new owner.
The retirement party is planned for 4:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 16, at Gwynn’s. Wayward Sandwiches and Cutsforth’s Market are donating food, beverages and desserts to the effort, Barr said, and Hulbert’s is chipping in with flowers.
Organizers have invited local elected officials and other dignitaries to the event, but are hoping the turnout includes many of those whose lives the Gwynns have touched over the years.
“Mallory was the human resources person at Al’s Garden Center and hired me back in 2005,” Barr recalled. “He was also a key person in helping Charity and Linda put together a communitywide celebration for Linda’s World War II veteran father Bill [Guttormsen].
“And now, all the Gwynns come to work each day wondering who they’ll see that they’ve known from other areas in their lives. It’s come full circle, and we are thankful to know them.”
In addition to the March 16 event, Barr said there will also be a large container at the coffeeshop for thank-you cards and gifts for the family, as well as a guestbook for customers and community members to share a special message or memory with the family.
The collection bin and guestbook will be available throughout the month of March. Barr also suggested guests consider leaving a “retirement tip” the last time they visit the shop.
Gwynn’s last day of business has not yet been announced, but is expected at the end of March or early April.
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