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Crowd welcomes second coming of The Coffee Oasis
A standing-room crowd packed into the newest The Coffee Oasis for its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony March 1 in the old two-story Bay Street Ale House in downtown Port Orchard.
More than 100 people attended the two-hour celebration, including Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido and Mayor Tim Matthes.
The lease on the building was secured last April.
The Coffee Oasis is a faith-based, non-profit organization that consists of a coffee shop business and provides programs for homeless or street-oriented youth.
Melissa Bowers, board president for The Coffee Oasis, said the new store has been a journey of “devine appointment.”
“Ordinary people doing extraordinary things to create something much bigger than we ever imagine,” Bowers said.
She thanked the crowd for coming and supporting the new store.
Dave Fredericks, executive director of The Coffee Oasis, along with his wife started the business seven years ago. The Coffee Oasis also has locations in Bremerton and Poulsbo, and in the Kitsap County Administration Building.
Fredericks thanked the civic clubs, churches and other groups for volunteering to help, along with support from Nate Potter, former South Kitsap Rotary Club president, and Jim Way with Preitine Homes, who also serves as SK Rotary president.
Way said the Bay Street Bash raised $10,000 for The Coffee Oasis in 2013 and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matched the money.
“The South Kitsap Rotary did the same and we were able to raise $40,000 for all the kitchen equipment installed,” Way said.
Way said proceeds from this year’s Bash event will go to The Coffee Oasis.
The estimated cost for the renovation project was $97,000.
Garrido said it was a great day for Port Orchard and South Kitsap.
“What a gift to our community that you have brought to us,” she said. “We have a good neighbor in you. It’s is truly a blessing to us.”
She said at the shop, youngsters can find community, opportunity and hope.
“What can we give back?” she asked. “We can donate, we can volunteer. We have resources and opportunities in our own lives that can be valuable to this effort here.”
Helen Stanley was recognized and presented with a boucqet of flowers by Fredericks for her work as project manager.
“This is Port Orchard’s store,” she said. “This is everybody’s store. It’s a big boucqet that all came together because God picked the flowers and put them in the right place at the right time.”
Matthes thanked Frederick for coming to the city and staying with the project.
“I’m tickled they now have a permanent residence in Port Orchard,” Matthes said Monday. “This is really big.”
He said it will be a welcomed outreach for teenagers.
“We really haven’t had a place for those kids 11-17 years old,” Matthes said. “This will put them somewhere they can be comfortable in downtown. The better they do, the more young people they can hire.”
Frederick also thanked Fred Karakas, owner of Olympic Bike Shop, for allowing them to use one of his Bay Street storefronts for a temporary youth drop-in center near his shop.
Frederick said the drop-in center was there for 14 months and he offered Karakas a free year of beverages from the shop.
“I miss you guys already,” Karakas said.
Tony Stanley, a board member for The Coffee Oasis, presented Frederick with a made from a piece of the old bar from upstairs.
“As we were renovating we saw that the wood was nice, and we didn't want to toss it,” said Megan Sheppard, regional outreach worker. “We also used a piece of it to make the counter ledge for the food delivery window downstairs.”
Sheppard said it’s a tradition that started with renovations in Bremerton and Poulsbo within the last two years; a piece of the original building (a brick, piece of wood, etc.) is saved during renovation and then engraved in some way with the names of those who were major contributors to the project.
“It is then presented at the grand opening. It's become a way of carrying the story forward, and acknowledging the community that is so important to The Coffee Oasis business and ministry,” she added.
While the downstairs part of the shop is complete, construction is underway on the second floor for showers and a youth service center.
The Coffee Oasis was originally located on Bethel Avenue, when director of business development Curtis Zulauf in 2010 took over the space that formerly housed Solid Rock Café, and gave the establishment a new identity.
For more information on youth programs, visit their website at www.thecoffeeoasis.com.
The Port Orchard location will be open 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.