Chelly, owner of Colette Bakery & Bistro, talks about her inspiration for opening a bakery, the reason she decided to become a 5 Star Partner with Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee, and her favorite spots in Oregon.
Lauren – Travel and Write Today: Can you tell us about Colette Bakery & Bistro? What inspired you to open a bakery?
Chelly — Colette Bakery & Bistro: Yes! We opened April 9th, 2020, and it was quite a challenge. Our building is a special space, located in the heart of downtown Lebanon, Oregon. Main street to be exact! The space occupies the lobby of a 100-year-old hotel, and our event room occupies the old dining room of the same hotel. In keeping with the building, we have kept a vintage feel in our space using vintage Duncan Phyfe tables and fiddleback chairs, and a 100-year-old pastry case for our pastries. Every piece of furniture has a history to it, just like the space we are in. The hotel has not been in operation since the late 1950’s, but the owner of the building is starting to renovate it to turn the rooms into apartments.We currently have a full coffee bar featuring Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee and Espresso (our FAVORITE), French pastries, fresh lemonade, as well as Italian sodas and iced tea. We also have a few sandwiches available for lunch. As you can imagine, with COVID protocols in place it has been difficult to operate a full-scale business, but as we open back up, we will be introducing additional breakfast and lunch items, including crepes, more sandwiches, French onion soup, weekly soups, salads, fondue and charcuterie plates. Additionally, we are applying for our liquor license to be able to serve Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s!
Our town had no bakery, with the last one having closed four years ago, and we sorely needed one. Having spent significant time in Algeria and France – with many family-owned French bakeries – it was natural for me to go in that direction. Who doesn’t love decadent French pastries? I am looking to provide a relaxing escape for a morning or afternoon, and what better way to achieve that than with an excellent cup of coffee and a chocolate croissant?
TWT: Have you always lived in Oregon? What are some of your favorite local spots to visit?
Chelly: I was born and raised here in Oregon, but have spent time living throughout the United States, Europe and North Africa. As a military spouse, I lived in Washington D.C. which was a great adventure, but I was very glad to return home. I love Oregon, and in my opinion, it is one of the best states – we have everything here: the beach and the mountains, the high desert, a temperate rain forest, both a big city and picturesque small towns, that look like they could be movie backdrops.
I love the city, as well as the outdoors, so it is hard to narrow down to just a couple favorite spots. Portland has so many things to do and see. I have always loved going to the art museum, and The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) as well as Powell’s Books which is a massive bookstore. The beach here is beautiful and rugged. The drive between Seaside, Oregon, and Manzanita is truly breathtaking with so many sights along the way. For a coastal town, Astoria is full of charm, with old buildings and gorgeous views, visitors will feel rejuvenated. There are also excellent restaurants, in Astoria, which makes it a fun day trip.
The Bend area of Oregon is my very favorite place to go, and I go every chance I get! It is high desert, and it is sunny 300 days a year. Between Sisters Rodeo, and Bend’s brewery and restaurant scene, along with the hiking trails, there is so much to do. As my daughter and I ride horses (she is a junior rodeo queen – Little Miss Eugene Pro Rodeo 2020), any place with trails is a place we want to explore, and Oregon has so many it would take a lifetime to see them all.
TWT: What did you think when you first tried Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee?
Chelly: I loved it, and so have all of my customers, many of whom have made a point to tell me it is the best espresso/coffee drink they have ever had. I am always so happy to hear this, and make sure to tell them all about Scott Patterson’s coffee company – I tell my customers to check out the website to learn more about Scott’s story, and I always tell them how happy we are to be a 5 Star Wholesale Partner.
TWT: I know many business owners are considering becoming 5 Star Partners — how did you decide to become a partner?
Chelly: I am an avid Gilmore Girls fan, and I have been following Scott Patterson, on Instagram and Facebook, for a few years now. I thought it was fun to see what he was up to, and the things he would share. I noticed right away when he started his coffee company and thought that was such a cool thing to do, especially the fact that his mom is such an inspiration for him. When I knew that the bakery would have a coffee bar, it was just natural for me to reach out to become a 5 Star Partner. It has been a wonderful experience. Scott and Elaine have been so supportive and helpful, and I am sure that they are instrumental in helping me grow my business. I hope we can do the same in return for them.
TWT: When it is safe to travel, I would love to come visit and have a cup of coffee, and a pastry. Where are some of your favorite places to travel?
Chelly: Well, we would love to have you here, and we could give you all kinds of ideas of things to do and try!
TWT: This sounds perfect – it is officially on my list of places to visit!
Chelly: I have traveled all over the world, and of course loved France, especially the south of France and Marseilles. I would love to go to Greece again, specifically Santorini – it was so gorgeous. I would love a whole week there to just soak it all in! I loved visiting and walking through the Roman ruins, the Gladiator Arena, and the Temple of Diana. I love Algeria and visiting the first church in Africa. For the last few years, I have loved traveling locally and checking out the American West. We love going to look for old ghost towns in the mountains and seeing what we can find. Oregon has a lot of that to offer.
TWT: I know being a business owner occupies so much of your time — what do you enjoy doing when you have some down time?
Chelly: Yes, so much time! I work a lot right now, but when I have a chance, we are driving into the mountains to find ghost towns, waterholes, and/or fire lookout towers, or we are rockhounding. Also, my 12-year-old daughter and I own four horses, and 3 dogs, and we spend a lot of time with them. There are also a lot of responsibilities that come along with my daughter being named Little Miss Eugene Pro Rodeo 2020. There are rodeos, parades, and meet and greets, as well as her own rodeo (Eugene Pro Rodeo). Of course, things did not pan out this year, but there are still events that we have been able to go to, for her to represent the sport she loves. We are moving to our own mini farm next month, and I suspect that that will take up the rest of what little time we have.
TWT: I know this is a difficult time for all small business owners. How has the pandemic impacted your business, and how can we help?
Chelly: Of course, coming in to visit our business is great! We love to see our customers, and serve them up some amazing coffee, and the best pastries for miles around! But not everyone can do that as they do not live close. Supporting us through our social media accounts is a huge help to us, and we love to connect with people that way. Hopefully, we will all be able to travel soon, and maybe we can get even more people visiting us!
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Purchase Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee: www.scottyp.com
Purchase Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/stores/page/953F9EBE-341B-4B34-8A27-D0EBE02FE3EC
Learn more about Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee, and how to become a 5 Star Partner: https://www.scottyp.com/collections/wholesale