New Businesses Demonstrate Increasing Economic Vitality of Madras


(Midtown Coffee’s owners Greg and Tanya Murren are shown with manager Jess Baca | Photo courtesy of the Madras Pioneer)

Madras Lumber — ‘We Hope to Bring Something the Community Needs’

From his own experience working in construction on area farms and ranches for many years, and experiencing the frustration of driving all the way to Redmond for lumber, Isidro Olivera — along with his wife Luisa and son Jaime — decided to start Madras Lumber.

As reported in the Madras Pioneer, “I saw the need in the community, and found the right place, so we decided to make it happen,” he said.

Located at Madras Garden Depot, the new lumber yard currently stocks commonly used pieces like 2×4’s, 2×6’s. 4×4’s, plywood sheets, posts, and fencing pickets — and is also able to order special sizes.

Involving their kids was a big part of the decision to open. “This is their community, their town, and we want them to feel connected here,” said Olivera.

The Spot — ‘Madras Is Going to Be a Goldmine’

“Concrete forms are going up, and crews are there every day,” said Debbie Taylor, executive director of the Madras Chamber of Commerce, in describing progress being made on The Spot in downtown Madras.

Located on Fifth Street spanning to Sixth Street, and merging two properties (one of them the now-demolished Wild Bleu Restaurant) that total 15,000 square feet of space, the $2 million venture will consist of a two-story restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, as well as food trucks. It is being partially funded through a grant from the City of Madras.

Eventually, developer Andre’ Jackson hopes to build an adjacent 300-seat amphitheater for year-round performances. “I’ve noticed places stop having concerts in Central Oregon around October and don’t start up again until April and May,” said Jackson, who thinks that problem can be solved with good tents and ample outdoor heaters. He also wants The Spot to be a venue for meetings and other events by local organizations.

Jackson also has other projects in mind, including an apartment triplex and a steakhouse. “The city has been very diligent, and worked really hard to understand the things they need to do in order to attract developers like myself to invest here,” he has said.

“I think Madras is going to be a gold mine,” Jackson added. “Bend is starting to bust at the seams in a number of ways. Most people are moving to Redmond, and I believe the next city will be Madras.”

Midtown Coffee — Bringing ‘Something Special to the Community’

Midtown Coffee opened with hopes to bring coffee and community to Madras. “We wanted people to be able to buy a cup of coffee, a pastry, or maybe a book, and sit and enjoy them all in one place,” said Tanya Murren, co-owner along with her husband Greg.

Having run multiple small businesses across the region over the years, the couple came to Madras from Redmond. “I’m addicted to small businesses,” said Murren. “When we moved here and saw the opportunity, we decided to jump at it.”

“We have had so much excitement and support from the community. It’s been amazing so far, and we’re so grateful to be a part of such a welcoming place.”

Consultant Jess Baca, who has long worked in coffee, was subsequently hired by the couple as manager of the shop. “Jess was so essential to making this happen,” said Tanya Murren. “She has taught us everything there is to know about coffee, and how to make it at a really high standard.”

“I want to make sure we’re bringing the best coffee experience we can in an accessible way,” said Baka. “I want everyone from a coffee lover to someone who just wants a nice cup to be able to come and enjoy the menu.”

The shop offers all the traditional coffee shop beverages, as well as seasonal specials like cardamom chai, caramel apple cider, and white winter mint mocha. Midtown Coffee also serves a variety of pastries and baked goods from Yara’s Cake Shop, another local Madras business.

“We really want to bring something special to the community,” said Tanya Murren. “I want this to be a gathering place for people to come together. To work, to chat or just to be in community together. That’s really what it’s about.” (Excerpted from the Madras Pioneer)


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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