(Photo above: owner Deena Dowler | courtesy of Grounded Cafe)
La Pine residents Deena and Steve Dowler, along with their two daughters, have stepped up to fill the need for a coffee shop in La Pine. Grounded Café not only offers specialty coffees and teas, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, sandwiches, wraps and salads, it is a non-profit organization with a mission to invest in the future of La Pine, especially for its youth.
All of Grounded’s profits go toward their vision of building a youth center for the community. (Tips are the only pay they receive.) La Pine youth, especially teenagers, lack a hangout place and the youth amenities that larger communities offer.
Grounded’s vision is for a youth center with a basketball court, with a universal floor that could also be used for roller-skating and other activities. It also has plans for a commercial kitchen where they could teach culinary and catering skills and an electronics room for learning how to build electronic components, valuable skills that could help the youth of La Pine entering the job market.
Deena and Steve’s passion is easy to see. “We want to ignite hope in our community,” said Deena. While their future vision is on the youth center, they’re making a start by hosting a “Mom’s Club” on Tuesdays and a Java Jam (open mike) on the third Saturday of every month.
“We love to see new businesses start in the community,” said Janet Burton, EDCO’s La Pine Economic Development Manager. “Not only is Grounded Café providing great coffee and food service, but it is refreshing to see a business that is so community-minded and so invested in the youth here.”
Grounded’s strong base of regulars enjoy the homemade sauces, including house garlic sauce, roasted pepper and garlic, sundried tomato and basil, honey mustard, and chipotle avocado. For travelers, Grounded is a welcome stopping place on Highway 97 going north or south. Grounded Café is one of the only restaurants in the area that will deliver to local businesses.
Grounded Café is located at 51470 Highway 97 and is open Monday thru Friday (8am to 3pm) and Saturdays (10am to 2pm).