They love books, coffee and Oregon. They finish each other’s sentences and tomorrow, they are opening Gathering Grounds coffee shop at the corner of Southeast Oak Avenue and Southeast Main Street in Roseburg.
Mother-daughter duo Peggy Cheatham and Felicia Mellor have been in the coffee business since Cheatham and her husband bought While Away Books 15 years ago where Mellor and her sister learned how to make espresso drinks.
“I think they always both secretly dreamed of someday having their own coffee shop, without all the books and all the labor involved in books,” Cheatham said.
Cheatham sold the bookstore three years ago and thought she was ready for retirement before Mellor moved back home last year, after a few years in New York and Portland, and worked up a plan to open the shop.
“I realized I missed the connection to the community and being anchored to the it,” Cheatham said. “That was the thing that sold me on coming back in.”
Mellor started searching soon after moving back to Roseburg and were about to give up until she found out Oak + Main Corner Coffee Bar closed in June.
“We thought, this is it, this is the spot,” Mellor said. “We were trying to find the right space, the right ambiance and all the little details that we’ve been looking for. If we were going to do it, we wanted it to be the right fit for us.”
The right fit is locally and regionally sourced pastries and lunch items from Jill’s Sugar Buzz Bakery, Lighthouse Center Bakery, and Charlie’s Produce with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options in every category.
“It’s this idea of supporting, at least if not your local, your state and region,” Cheatham said. “We think of ourselves as a big family that tries to support each other.”
To start, they hired three people to keep Gathering Grounds open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but Mellor said they aspire to open earlier and stay open later.
“We would love to be so busy that we would have to hire more,” Mellor said. “We want it to be a fun, happy gathering space for everyone in the community.”
The gathering space for the community was the inspiration for the name.
“Gather is a powerful word,” Cheatham said. “It says it all in one word. We want people to feel like it’s a place they can come with their families and their friends and hang out, use Wi-Fi, eat good food and have good coffee. We want it to be a destination spot, not just a walk by and see it place.”
Gathering Grounds grand opening will be Saturday at 949 SE Oak Avenue from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with drink specials and live local music from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.