“When I was 18, I moved to the Portland area and got a job at the shop I now own. It was a Hawaiian coffee shop at that time and it just had such a fun sense of community. I loved the small town and all the people that would come in, and I just appreciated how the shop reflected my bosses and who they were.”
Beyond her love for the community, she also began to explore the Portland coffee scene. “I was amazed by how much pride and quality were thrown into the work of crafting coffee and espresso beverages.”
When the opportunity to take ownership of the shop came up, she took the leap to business ownership.
One of her latest collaborations is with the roasting team at Dapper and Wise. “They have been incredible partners with us this last year, whether it be coffee education, technical support, business advice, or just plain cheer-leading. They are the business-big-bro I've always wanted,” says Erica.
Erica wants to remind new business owners that opening a business is a lot of work for a long time. “In the beginning, I was a little naive and thought I’d have it figured out after a year or two. And that is so far from the case.”
Erica hopes fellow business owners remember that a business is in a constant state of evolution. “It is CRUCIAL that you choose a mission statement and core values before you do anything else, things that really cling to what you value as a person.”
Unlike some businesses, The Arrow Coffeehouse (19880 SE HWY 212, Damascus, Oregon), really does have something for everyone. “If you don't love coffee, we have tea, pastries, breakfast, lunch, and we feature locally made items. We are on the way from Portland to Mt. Hood so it's the perfect place to stop on the way out of town or the way back in.
She says she enjoys being a MOB NW member and making friends that share the unique journey of growing a business and a family at the same time. “So many people I know just don't understand what it's like, and it's nice to have friends that do!”
You can find The Arrow Coffeehouse online at: