The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians operates a diverse range of business endeavors, from Seven Feathers Casino Resort to K-Bar Ranches, Umpqua Construction Services and more. On Wednesday, the tribe officially opened its newest business, Takelma Roasting Company, which will provide roasted coffee beans to its businesses as well as other companies, organizations and individuals in the Douglas County community.
This business is the largest coffee roasting production company in Douglas County and offers three different coffee beans sourced from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil and Sumatra.
Cow Creek CEO Michael Rondeau explained the meaning behind the name Takelma during a ribbon cutting ceremony and roasting demonstration Wednesday morning at the company’s location on Airport Road in Roseburg.
Takelma is the traditional language of the tribe and means “people of the water or people by the water.” But the language was used less and less over time and the last known Takelma speaker, Francis Johnson, died in the early 20th century. However, the tribe learned a few years ago that language student Edward Sapier had done his PhD on the Takelma language, and his dissertation is helping tribal members learn their traditional language today.
“It seemed so fitting to us to name our coffee company after our recently resurrected Takelma language,” Rondeau said.
According to Rondeau, Takelma Coffee is a significant addition to the businesses in Douglas County.
“Bringing business to Douglas County and beyond is a big piece of what the Cow Creek are about,” Rondeau said, adding that the tribe’s economic success contributes to that of other businesses in the community.
As the Cow Creek tribe runs several companies, the tribe looked at its profit and loss statistics and found it spent a significant amount of funds on buying coffee to serve at its hotels, truck and travel stop and other businesses. Dan Courtney, chairman of the Cow Creek tribe, said to have the tribe roast its own coffee for internal use made good sense to the board.
Travis Hill, UIDC director of hospitality, said the professionals who make up the Takelma Coffee team are all tribal members.
“Together, they make sure high quality beans are sourced for Takelma Coffee, that those beans are roasted daily, and that beans purchased from Takelma Coffee are always freshly roasted,” Hill said.