Construction begins for Dutch Bros. Coffee franchise in North Auburn

By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
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Jeremy and Heather Mauel have tried a lot of coffee. But when they went to a small drive-through java purveyor in Oregon, it was something extra special. “We were pretty much instantly hooked,” Jeremy Mauel said Monday about the visit to Dutch Bros. Coffee. “After we realized the consistency of customer service and the quality of the drink and the really fun experience, we thought this might be really cool to bring back to Auburn.” That was five years ago. Two years later, the Mauels became franchisees and on Friday held a groundbreaking ceremony for their first Dutch Bros. Coffee store at the site of the former Taco Tree on Highway 49 and Dry Creek Road in North Auburn. The Mauels will be co-owners of the business along with Phil and Stefanie Williams. One of the biggest hurdles for the new business was finding the right location. “There are so many variables that have to come into play and be just right — traffic volume, exposure and, of course, the right price,” Mauel said. “In Auburn that’s hard to find.” The Dry Creek Road location filled the bill perfectly. The building project, which is being handled by Gray Construction, includes removing most of the existing structure and creating a smaller, approximately 400-square-foot building with two drive-through lanes featuring wide overhead canopies. Plans also include extension of existing sidewalks along Highway 49 and Dry Creek Road, widening of the right turn lane from Dry Creek Road to southbound Highway 49, improvement to two access driveways, addition of a new access off Dry Creek Road and new landscaping, Gray Construction said in a press release. The remodel will reflect the colors — gray and blue — and similar style of the other 143 Dutch Bros. sites located in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Arizona. Target date for the opening is late July. The menu will be focused on coffee drinks. There will be a selection of espresso-based beverages and some kid-friendly items such as smoothies and hot cocoa. There’s also cider, teas and apple juice. For those who prefer a more traditional cup of Java, there’s the Dutch press. “It’s like a French press, but in a coffee tumbler,” Mauel explained. “Customers can get grinds and hot water, put in cream and any kind of flavors. Then they let it steep for awhile and put the plunger down, and they’ve got coffee to go.” His personal favorite is called the double torture. “It’s a mocha with vanilla, plus two extra shots (of coffee),” he said. “It’s a nice rich bold drink.” Across the street from the planned coffee spot, Randy Mangat, manager at The Store check-cashing section, said he welcomes the franchise. “It’s a business. It’ll bring more traffic,” he said. “It will be good for the rest of the businesses around here.” Jeremy Mauel grew up in Auburn and attended Bowman Elementary and Placer High. He also studied at Chico State University and has a master’s degree from Eastern Oregon College. Currently he works as a substitute teacher for grades K-8. Dutch Bros. Coffee got its start in 1992 in Grants Pass, Ore., started by two brothers who were dairy farmers, Mauel said. The company roasts its own coffee beans. The beans, as well as T-shirts, mugs and other products are sold on the company Web site. One percent of gross sales is donated to nonprofits, with $750,000 going to MDA, American Cancer Society and Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 2008, according to the press release. Gloria Young can be reached at gloriay@goldcountrymedia. com or comment at