In May 2016, Washougal Coffee Company opened its doors at 1700 Main St., Suite 130 in downtown Washougal. The shop was founded by Mackenzie Cuff and her parents, and in early 2020, Tim and Mackenzie Cuff became the sole owners. Tim has a separate career as an airline pilot, but occasionally works alongside Mackenzie and her small team of four employees.
Washougal Coffee Company (WCC) places a strong emphasis on partnerships with other local businesses. They have a long-term partnership with Stumptown Coffee Roasters, they serve Black Scottie Chai, which is made in Washington, and they sell local pastries from Baron Patisserie in Vancouver, biscotti and cake bombs from Killa Bites of Ridgefield, and products from The Better Bar, made in Portland.
Growth for the company hasn’t been linear, partially because of the setbacks that came with the pandemic. They were shut down for approximately two months and had to lay off their team of employees. When they reopened, it was a slow and steady climb to get back to pre-pandemic sales levels.
“WCC scuffled along from June 2020 to about March of 2021 – savings were burned, and belts were tightened to stay open and avoid taking on debt,” Tim said. “Simultaneously all the momentum downtown Washougal had stopped. Several businesses permanently closed with no new tenants to replace them, and the foot traffic of local professional tenants and residents was greatly diminished.”
“As 2021 progressed, things began to look up for WCC … slow growth continued, and by the end of the Summer of 2021 WCC had returned to its pre-pandemic sales levels … growth has resumed through the following spring and summer, with August 2022 coming in as WCC’s best sales month ever to date,” Tim continued. “Much of this can be attributed to the new revival of downtown Washougal, as other businesses have also begun to regain their footing, and several new restaurants have opened and added excitement, as well as the return and expansion of business tenants in the area.”
Recently, the company upgraded their health permit, allowing them to create all their breakfast and lunch sandwiches in house. WCC also just introduced their first salad to the menu and offer a unique ‘drink of the month/barista special program’ that gives customers the chance to try new drink combinations.
“There is no reason not to believe the future doesn’t look bright for Washougal Coffee Company,” Tim said. “Downtown Washougal’s renaissance continues. Over the next few years Main Street will see a beautiful brand-new library, a community space including a dog park and splash pad, a new multi-story apartment building diagonally across the street from WCC and another residential development nearby on the East end of the street. Though some of the retail spaces in our building and others around it remain vacant, the businesses currently established around us are also thriving, and with the continued growth, there is reason to believe we’ll have more neighbors in the business community soon. We continue to look for ways to improve our business. We love meeting new people and getting to know our community is a passion of ours.”