Community, Living Wenatchee

Café Columbia: Beyond the Bean

Wenatchee’s Pybus Public Market (www.pybuspublicmarket.org) is the home of the Café Columbia (www.cafecolumbia.net) coffee shop. However, the café is much more than just coffee – its’ breakfast, lunch and even an early dinner.

The Coffee and other drinks

First, the coffee: it’s from the Blue Start Coffee Roasters in Twisp (www.bluestarcoffeeroasters.com), offering many types of roasts. The café uses the Sumatran blend for the drip coffee and espresso beans for the custom drinks. They also sell the bagged whole beans to take home as is or for grinding them at the café first.

There are many other drinks on their menu: teas, steamers, Italian sodas, beer and wine –even mimosas.

Tasty Bites, Big and Small

And what’s cup of coffee without something good to eat? At Café Columbia, the selection is both tempting and varied. Their tasty bites are baked in-store and certainly have that homemade touch, a freshness and deliciousness that cannot be found in factory-made items. Lead baker, Rebecca Watkins, can be found pounding the butter and rolling out the dough for the flaky croissants on any given morning in the kitchen area of the café.

Breakfast

To start the day with some substance, you could try one of the breakfast wraps. They come with your choice of fillings and tortilla, be it sausage and egg or roasted veggies, to name a few options. Their small quiches are full of flavor and just the right size for one serving. The café’s Strata is a fluffy French toast-type of a meal, stuffed with either ham or a veggie option that will fulfill an empty tummy for hours.

If it’s something sweet you are looking for, the options are many: scones, muffins, bar cakes, carrot cake or tarts. And of course, cookies and biscotties for just a little something to go with your drink. Their delightful cookies are usually decorated with a seasonal theme; a temptation for children and adults alike.

Some of the tasty bites are gluten-free to delight people with such considerations.

Lunch

When lunch hour rolls around, the café becomes truly busy. People line up for turkey melt sandwiches, BLT’s or maybe for such health-conscious options as the grain bowl or one of the quality-ingredient salads. The café keeps working on their menu options and soups, so you never know when there is something new to try.

Dan and Cathy; Catering to Customers Near and Far

Owners Dan Rodriguez and Cathy Carlisle Rodriguez are hands-on entrepreneurs – they work alongside their employees most days. Besides making sure the coffee shop is well-stocked and running smoothly, the Rodriguezes also cater special events. They create beautiful platters of finger-foods right there on the limited counter space of their coffee shop. The catering menu is listed on the website.

Special Orders

Orders at the coffee shop can be made “for here” or “to go”. They also take special orders to go, should you be participating in an event that calls for special treats.

A Warm Atmosphere

Not only does Café Columbia offer delights for the tummy, but for the soul, too. The service is friendly and you will soon feel like visiting family. The baristas seem to remember most regular customers’ preferences by heart and often get the drink ready at the sight of a familiar visitor.

With its lively, welcoming atmosphere, Café Columbia is a place that causes one to linger. In the warmer months, the outdoor patio is a popular place to sit and savor a second cup of coffee while enjoying the views of the river and the activity on the Loop Trail. All through the summer, it’s the perfect spot for observing the osprey family’s life up on the high perch just a few hundred yards away.

Hours of Operation

Their hours are: Sun-Fri 8-5, Sat 7-5. The full menu is available one hour after opening until one hour before closing (the kitchen is open). When the kitchen is closed, the display case has plenty of ready-to-go options to choose from. Most breakfast and lunch items area available all day long.

Jaana Hatton