Just a few short days after the owners of Gwynn’s Coffeehouse announced plans to close their doors permanently this spring, they sat down with their first set of potential successors: Kaycie and Brad Bingham, of Willamette Coffee House in West Linn.
The talk went, to put it mildly, very well, and the Binghams will be officially taking over Canby’s beloved downtown java spot starting Monday, May 1, which will be renamed Gwynn’s Willamette Coffee House.
“We were the first people they talked to, and we were probably there for two and a half hours,” Kaycie Bingham recounted. “We talked about everything, and we walked away from that conversation feeling like this is where we’re supposed to be.”
For the Binghams, who took over Willamette Coffee House nine years ago when its owner was looking to move on, it was a bit of déjà vu.
“It was a very similar situation,” Bingham said. “And our goal is to do the same thing here: step in and grow what they have already started. [The Gwynns] have built a really good foundation, and we want to see if we can take that and grow a little more.”
The new owners do not plan on any major changes, though they do hope to expand in a few areas — eventually. The sale included Gwynn’s equipment and all of their recipes — including Mallory’s famous soups.
The Binghams plan to keep them all — and add a few of their own.
“We have two signature drinks that our customers really love: our old-fashioned latte and old-fashioned mocha, and we do special drinks each month,” Bingham explained. “We’ll be bringing all that over. We’ll also be adding some breakfast items to Gwynn’s menu, because we do breakfast sandwiches and burritos that are very popular.”
Willamette Coffee House is known for its partnership with and support of local companies, organizations and events — and that’s another thing the Binghams hope to continue in Canby.
“We do a lot in the community, especially with the schools,” Bingham said. “We are all about supporting kids and helping them get off on the right foot.”
Though the Binghams live in Oregon City, they are very well acquainted with Canby. In addition to running one — and, now, two — businesses, Kaycie Bingham homeschools her two boys with the support of a group that meets weekly at Canby Christian Church, located just a block or two from Gwynn’s.
Since word of the sale was shared on social media and at a retirement party for the Gwynns last month, Bingham said she feels like the community has embraced her and her family.
“We’ve been very overwhelmed by the number of people who want to meet us, shake our hands and just take time to thank us for keeping Gwynn’s alive,” she said. “We feel very good about the decision we’ve made to step into this business. Everyone’s been so kind.
“We just hope people come to see us for who we are: We’re very family-focused and community-focused. We managed to survive Covid because of the relationships we’ve made with people who have come into our shop over the years.”
Bingham said they hope to offer extended hours, and the return of fondly remembered traditions at Gwynn’s such as Friday music nights, as staffing allows.
The new owners are still seeking full- and part-time employees. Experience preferred. If interested, send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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