Ackx Grinder Coffee Company held its first community coffee tasting Sunday, Jan. 22, at the site of its future coffee stand in Manning, on the south side of Highway 26. The event was a blind coffee tasting open to all community members and featured coffee from an anonymous group of six local coffee roasters.
The business is the brainchild of husband and wife Daren and Randi Ackerman. Their hope is to create a business centered around the local community.
The name, Ackx Grinder Coffee, was inspired by this community focus and the nickname Axe, which was given to Daren and his brothers as children.
“It fits the theme,” Daren said. “We’re surrounded by mills and logging communities… Loggers, truckers, tradesmen and blue collar, hardworking individuals.”
Their connection to the local community has already shown through. The couple was pleasantly surprised by a larger than expected turn out at their first coffee tasting event. Between 70 and 100 community members came to show their support and participate in the blind tasting.
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Local businesses organizations and community groups like the Banks Fire District, Five Star Builders and Banks High School teachers also attended the event and were sent tasting kits.
“You start a company to help the community and that’s why we’re starting a company,” Randi said.
Ackx Grinder is getting closer and closer to breaking ground, but it has faced its fair share of obstacles already.
It’s been almost two years since the Ackermans first dreamed up their coffee stand. After deciding on a name, they had to find the perfect location somewhere along Highway 26.
They quickly found out there was only one piece of land across Highway 26 zoned for a commercial business. After months of trying to identify the owner and then making offers and closing on the property the couple secured a spot for the stand in September of 2021.
Since then they have been in communication with Washington County and the Oregon Department of Transportation to work toward developing the property to the standards needed for Ackx Grinder Coffee. They hope to build a simple coffee stand with two windows and two entrances from the highway making it easy for people going either direction on Highway 26 to stop in for a quick cup of coffee.
Ackx Grinder Coffee will host a community meeting at 10 a.m. February 12, followed by another tasting event for community members. The first hour will provide information to the community about their plans for the coffee stand and is the next step in the land use process with Washington County.
The second hour will be a tasting of coffee made by the top three roasters selected from the first event. Community members are invited to attend and participate in this process helping them make progress toward their dream of a community business.
As the business gets closer to opening they hope to hold one final community tasting by the community’s favorite roaster. Stay tuned and check out AckxGrinderCoffee.com for more updates.