Touchstone Coffee Blog

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It's Winter Solstice, 2008

December 21, 2008

So here we are, one year since opening December 2007.  We opened the doors of Touchstone Coffee & Tea House on December 5 (remember, it is the birthday of my (great) grand nephew?), and had our grand opening party on the winter solstice, December 21.  I feel like it was yesterday! 

I have learned so much!  I made mistakes, and continue to make them... lost a few customers, but gained many times more.  We have customers who are so thrilled about our presence in the neighborhood, and want us to succeed!  What a great feeling.  I have witnessed so many connections, new friendships, business connections, and even deeper connections that seem to happen on a nearly daily basis.  Every day I have been there, a new customer shows up - having just discovered us.  I love it - the connections to be made at the coffee house!

Today we experienced the shortest day and the longest night of the year.  The Winter Solstice was officially at 4:04 Pacific Standard Time.  We also seem to have experienced one of the biggest snow storms in years, if not indecades!  So I am trapped at home - partly because my chains are at the coffee house,...

Posted at: 10:38 PM | 3 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

February at Touchstone Coffee & Tea House

February 10, 2008

Here we are, into the third month of operation at Touchstone Coffee & Tea House.  We are slowly, but surely rebuilding our customer base - as I have said before, everyday we see new faces, and are gaining a significant number of regulars.  THANK YOU SE Examiner and the Hollywood Star!  The SE Examiner brought in several customers.  I really appreciate the publicity. 

As you can see on the homepage, we have some improvements planned but need to raise a little money and increase our customer base to the point where I am at least paying my bills.  We are at that awkward stage of growth where I feel I need to add an employee and invest in changes I am planning in order to grow.  I feel really good about our potential, and believe our little coffee house will earn its keep within the year.

Thanks again for your support, I look forward to seeing you!


Posted at: 03:14 PM | 5 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink


December 23, 2007

The December 21 Touchstone Coffee and Tea House Grand Opening was a success - THANK YOU everyone, who supported us with your visit.  The place was packed, we had a terrific time - Classical music by Pamela Goldsmith, art by Linda Hummer and Molly Jochum added to the atmosphere.  My friends Tim and Darrell from Ridgefield, and Liz from Portland added bluegrass, oldies and jazz to Pamela's classical mix.  Before the party and throughout the day, friends and family stopped by to see the new place and show their support.

Thanks again - I continue to be overwhelmed by everyone's support and desire for us to succeed!  Karen

Posted at: 04:13 PM | 3 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

Open Wednesday, December 5!

December 1, 2007

Thank you, everyone for your support!  I have appreciated your kind words, support and love.  We are almost there.  Touchstone Coffee and Tea House will open its doors on Wednesday, December 5 - a very special day to me, my first "Grand" nephew will be one year old.  This trip has been wild, fun, scary, and challenging.  It won't be over after we open, it will be hard work to regain the customers the original Touchstone Coffee House had, and to attract new customers. 

I know some people will be disappointed that we aren't the same Touchstone Coffee House, but I also know others will love the new space, and it will become their second home.  I decided to buy the business because I loved the old Touchstone, it was a haven for me.  It was also the right time for me - I was in the right stage of crazy and willing to jump - to change my life course and leave a financially secure way of living. 

I feel I share the values of the previous owner and hope to carry on many of the traditions. But it will be different.  The colors are different, the setting is different. ...

Posted at: 06:27 PM | 2 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

Day of the Dead

November 2, 2007

Hi, friends - a quick note to let you know what's on my mind today - and share my reflection on the significance of the "Day of the Dead", The Mexican Día de los Fieles Difuntos, a day to celebrate and honor the lives of the deceased.  Tonight I was sitting in Three Friends Coffee House when a group gathered to talk about how those who have passed affected their lives.  I had to leave, but then thought that our blog might be a way to honor the Day of the Dead! 

Today I am remembering two people in my life who touched me in life and death.  First, I would like to honor my friend Bev Brown, who I met six months before her death, and who affected me profoundly by allowing me to witness the process of her death just two years ago October 27.  Bev was an extraordinary woman with an extraordinary vision.  I wish I had gotten to know her earlier, though I continue to learn more and more about her in her death.

Secondly I would like to honor my mother , Louise Irene Thompson - who was the rock of my existence, my dear mother,...

Posted at: 10:41 PM | 6 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

New home for Touchstone - to be announced soon!

October 10, 2007

So we are almost there.  Permit process passed, I decided it is worth a try - I found a home just six blocks west of the original pink coffee house.  Please be patient, hang tight - I will let you know the address the moment the lease is signed off.  It's been quite a journey, and I can't wait to share it!  You will see some familiar faces at Touchstone too, which is GREAT!!!!!

I am so excited, I can't wait until we are open.  Please be thinking of us, we have a lot of hard work to do before we open - but we'll get there.  I have appreciated the support, and the encouragement - this path, while not easy, has been clear from the start because of you!!!

Hope to see you soon.  Karen

Tags: espresso, portland coffee shops, touchstone coffee house

Posted at: 10:25 PM | 2 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

Hello from "kt" (aka "Karen")!

July 16, 2007

Hello, Touchstone Coffee House fans! This is my first blog experience.  I have known that blogs exist, I have visited one or two.  I have never participated in one before.  But here I am!

I want to invite you to participate - to keep in touch with the Touchstone Coffee House site, hopefully to encourage you to hang on as we recreate (maybe even cocreate, with your help!) this special coffee house at a new location.

You can write anything here, thoughts, feelings, etc about why Touchstone Coffee House was special to you.  I want to get to know you, and hope you will come visit us as soon as we reopen!

 You need to know that it is likely that Touchstone will reopen in a different part of town than the original - and closer to "North" Portland vs. NE.  I am in the process of negotiating a lease, so please bear with me, and think positive thoughts for the new Touchstone Coffee and Tea House.

 Okay, so I will reveal a few things about myself.  Touchstone Coffee House was a special little haven for me, a home and safe place to hang out, to read, to drink good coffee,...

Posted at: 07:27 PM | 8 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink

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