Bison Coffeehouse is Portland’s only Native-owned coffee shop and is the culmination of a journey Loretta Guzman embarked on almost a decade ago.
After a fight with cancer that almost proved fatal, Loretta (who is in full remission now) conceived of a community space that represented her ancestry and showcased Native-sourced products. After spending two years years raising funds through beading and working on apparel projects, she made her vision a reality in November 2014.
Bison Coffeehouse is a family affair through and through. Gary Guzman, whom recently passed away, was instrumental in helping Loretta realize her vision. Her mother is the business’s accountant, her niece and nephew are baristas, and her daughter manages the shop.
In reflecting on her original inspiration, Loretta feels a deep connection to being of service to the Native people in fostering a sense of pride.
“In my creation, I wanted a place for Natives to come,” Guzman says. “I wanted to create a positive environment, something they identify with, a place where they can come in and be proud.”
Not only does Bison Coffeehouse provide quality coffee service, it also supports local economies and fosters growth in the Native community by creating a platform for Native roasters, and every safeguard is taken to ensure that the money goes directly back to the roasters.
Some of their featured coffee roasters include Native Coffee Traders, Star Village Coffee (we did a Spotlight on them too!), Spirit Mountain Coffee, and other vendors.
Bison Coffeehouse has also hosted events for the Buffalo Field Campaign in efforts to save and preserve the life of the bison on National Forest lands.
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