A lot of Wenatchee coffee sippers sprayed a mouthful of rich, sweet Saddlerock Blend all over their computer keyboards last week when they heard downtown’s Caffé Mela was up for sale.
But java junkies can rest easy. Owners Darren and Emily Reynolds said Monday that their bustling espresso shop will only be sold to folks who love good coffee and understand the cafe’s role as a social hub for downtown denizens.
“It’s true that Mela is up for sale,” said Darren. “We have multiple parties interested in the business, and all of them want to maintain the character and atmosphere — and the coffee — that customers have come to love.”
The eight-year-old Caffé Mela at 17 N. Wenatchee Ave. has been an all-encompassing project for the Reynoldses, who’ve expanded and experimented with varied offerings of food, wine and music. Not to mention their own coffee-roasting operation.
They also cranked up the popular Summer Concert Series in downtown’s Centennial Park, opened (and then closed a few years later) an East Wenatchee location, expanded roastery customers to include some of the Wenatchee Valley’s top businesses (Sleeping Lady Resort, Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort) and introduced big-name performers to Pybus Public Market.
Now the Reynoldses are ready to step into a new phase of life. Sure, the cafe is as busy and profitable as it’s ever been, said Darren, but the couple’s third child is on the way and, heck, the arrival of a new kid is always a good time to reassess one’s interests and goals.
Actually, there’s no real mystery where Darren is headed — music, live events and audio production. In recent months, his new company, Square Productions, has managed stage shows for many of the Northwest’s top bands and performers. Production of studio recordings is a growing part of this new business, too.
But back to Mela’s sale … as you read this, potential new owners are doing their research on the business and should have an answer for the Reynoldses soon. If all goes well, a deal could happen by, say, the end of April or middle of May.
And Darren said he’ll stick around to help the new owners ease into their roles as coffee shop owners and — mostly — fledgling coffee roasters. It’s a process that takes training and knowledge to get it right.
“We’re excited about where new owners can take the business,” said Darren. “With a focus on just coffee and customers, they can really concentrate on keeping Caffe Mela an important part of life in downtown Wenatchee.”
See a video explaining the sale — “Darren’s Transition Address” — at vimeo.com/87435696.
Cashmere’s ‘Pear-a-dise’ dinner will feature a pair of honors
Cashmere Chamber of Commerce members will give you all sorts of good reasons to attend this year’s Recognition Dinner & Auction, but our interest was first piqued by the playful pun — “Celebrate Pear-a-dise”— in the event’s theme.
We hope this juicy witticism bears fruit, and that folks find it a-peeling.
The dinner and auction is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. March 14 in the The Conservatory at Apple Annie’s Antique Gallery. Tickets are $25, and the Chamber is still looking for auction items and sponsorships. Get details by calling 782-7404.
Otherwise, the best reason to attend the dinner is to applaud the Chamber’s top honorees:
Apple Annie’s as Business of the Year for its continuing involvement in Cashmere causes and leadership in the local business community.
Donna Wynne, Diane Parker and Georgia Rich as Citizens of the Year for organizing Cashmere’s Community Dinner, which every week serves a yummy meal to a wide cross-section of local residents and families at the United Methodist Church.
You should know, too, that this is the Chamber’s only fundraiser of the year — so think $$$ when you bid on that couple’s massage package or six-pack of local wines.
And, of course, there should be pears at a “Pear-a-dise” dinner. Anjou glad you’re attending?
This weekly column is compiled from “Everyday Business,” a blog by World reporter Mike Irwin. You can reach him at 665-1179 or email@example.com.