Butter & Lace Bakery


It may not be polite to talk about the odor of a business, but Butter & Lace Bakery in Toledo smells amazing. In fact, that’s often the first thing people say when they walk in the door. Then customers tend to linger, because gazing into cases filled with mouthwatering bakery items is one of those experiences that shouldn’t be rushed.

Butter & Lace’s founder, Sarah Bays, took a rather circuitous, but highly interesting, route to owning a Toledo bakery. Born and raised in Texas, she served six years in the Navy, primarily working on radar systems. The Navy brought her to San Diego, where she attended culinary school. She then managed a bakery in Los Angeles. Through the GI Bill, Sarah earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration, before working for NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in Hawaii and Newport. She then took time off, obviously well deserved, to live on a somewhat remote island in British Columbia and ponder her next adventure. After a year of reflection, she decided to follow her childhood dream of opening her own bakery, in a town she had grown to love – Toledo, Oregon.

It was last October when Butter & Lace Bakery first opened its doors. In small towns, word tends to spread quickly, and it wasn’t long before the bakery had attracted a steady clientele. In this day and age, when folks like to share pictures of what they’re eating, news of Butter & Lace also began to spread rapidly via social media. Those photos attracted more customers, especially people from out of town.

Anything you see in the cases at Butter & Lace Bakery was made that day. “Everything is fresh,” points out Sarah. “We don’t even have a freezer.” At the end of the day, anything that isn’t sold is donated.

Another thing that Sarah insists on is that everything is made from scratch. Many of the items start with Sarah’s brioche dough. It’s definitely hard to choose a favorite. I recommend, or at least fantasize about, trying everything. Perhaps I’ll make it my life’s work.

Whatever you choose – donuts or pastries, rolls or bread, cupcakes or brownies, scones or butter boats – you won’t be disappointed. Everything looks incredible and tastes even better. The bakery has now also developed a thriving custom cake business.

Indicative of Butter & Lace’s popularity, it seems that most folks in Toledo now know what a Kolache is – a Czech pastry (which the bakery uses to make amazing sandwiches) that Sarah learned to love in Texas, go figure. Besides the Kolaches, it’s the unique and fresh salads that have made Butter & Lace a popular lunch stop. And as long as you’re choosing a healthy salad, you deserve a dessert – sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

As for her business philosophy, Sarah explains: “We just work hard and have fun and it seems to be working out.” It also helps to have a great team, which Butter & Lace’s four bakers definitely are. Citing frequent sixteen-hour days, Sarah candidly says: “It’s way easier to work for someone else.” As a new business owner, she also feels another concern: “I’m now responsible for other people’s livelihoods.”

Whenever possible, Sarah sources everything locally. Honey comes from The Beekeeper’s Wife, a Toledo farm, and Butter & Lace proudly serves Elk City Coffee. Even the whimsical murals that adorn the bakery walls are by a Toledo artist.

Sarah’s desire to keep things local is why she chose to bank with a locally-owned institution, our Oregon Coast Bank Toledo office. She hasn’t been disappointed. “They’re super-helpful and they all know who I am when I walk in the door.” In fact, as Sarah explains, the folks at the bank always have a special request: “They tell me to bring cinnamon rolls.”

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Timbers Restaurant & Lounge


For longer than most can remember, the heart of Toledo’s Main Street has been Timbers Restaurant & Lounge. Timbers isn’t fancy, it’s usually described as good food at a good price. Yet customers are exceedingly loyal, perhaps because they feel so at home there. In fact, when you look at the prominent decal on the front window, you realize that Timbers’ slogan isn’t really a slogan at all, but instead a statement of what’s important to most folks in town: “FAMILY . FRIENDS . INDUSTRY”.

For a shade over 50 years, the restaurant and lounge were owned and operated by Dick and Gail Wood, a name that seems appropriate for a place named Timbers. At least a decade ago, Dick struck up a friendship with Charlie Cyphert, who was in the beer business. As Charlie would bring in full kegs and roll out the empties, Dick would ask him: “When are you going to buy this place from me?”

You could say that entrepreneurism was in his blood, since his dad had owned no less than eleven businesses. Indeed, after working for electricians, glaziers, tow truck owners, charter boat captains, and breweries, Charlie was definitely ready to strike out on his own. So, after about seven years of Dick asking that same question, Charlie said now. He did have one condition: he wanted Dick to sell him the building too. That’s because Charlie’s dad had always told him: “Don’t just buy a job, own your own dirt.”

Dick also had one condition before he sold: he wanted the restaurant’s name to continue in perpetuity. Of course Charlie did too. “This will always be Timbers,” he says adamantly. “I promised Mr. Wood.”

Now before we continue our story, which does get even more interesting, it’s important to realize that Charlie would never have purchased Timbers without the enthusiastic support of his wife, Emilee. A proud graduate of Toledo High School, Emilee had spent the majority of her career working in Juvenile Corrections for Lincoln County, a position she just left at the first of the year in order to devote her fulltime attention to Timbers.

Months in advance, a closing date of March 14th, 2020 was set for the purchase of the restaurant and building. Now if that date sounds eerily familiar, it’s because it was just three days after the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 as a global pandemic. Not exactly the best time to be in the restaurant business.

Knowing that coronavirus restrictions would soon be issued, Dick graciously suggested that they delay the sale, so that Charlie and Emilee wouldn’t have to face so many initial hurdles. Nevertheless, to learn the business, the Cypherts began volunteering at Timbers. To make ends meet, Charlie took a job hauling rock.

After five months of delays, Charlie and Emilee made the courageous decision to purchase the business and building smack in the middle of the pandemic. After more than fifty years, on September 1st, 2020, Timbers had new owners. In Charlie’s words: “We bought a piece of Toledo history.”

It has taken a remarkable amount of effort – “I’ve never worked so hard in my life”, says Charlie – but despite stringent Covid restrictions, Timbers has not just survived, but thrived. Employment has doubled. The Timbers staff now numbers twenty and is still growing.

Spend time observing customers interacting with Timbers’ servers upstairs in the restaurant, or downstairs in the lounge, and the rapport is obvious. It’s not unusual for customers to visit Timbers on an almost every day basis. Yet it’s the food that Timbers is known for.

Most folks in town can tell you that Timbers is the only place in Toledo that you can get a piping hot burger until midnight. And what a burger it is (see picture above). “It’s all about the patty,” explains Charlie. But that’s all you’ll get out of him, because the formulation of that incredible Timbers patty is a well-guarded secret.

The restaurant is known for its breakfasts, especially the omelets. Timbers’ cider-braised meats, like brisket and ribs, get rave reviews and customers pack the dining room each Tuesday for home-made chicken noodle soup. When they bought the business, Charlie and Emilee made a concerted effort to create unique daily specials, some of which are now part of the regular menu due to popular demand. Perhaps the restaurant is best known for a down-home staple, chicken-fried steak, which remains Timbers’ best seller.

Charlie and Emilee continue to upgrade the facility and expand Timbers’ reach. Off-site catering is now offered and they are considering adding a food truck. There’s even talk of a future fermentation venture.

As their business grows, the Cypherts know that their local bank, our Oregon Coast Bank Toledo office, is firmly in their corner. “Because of Oregon Coast Bank, we have what feels like an army behind us,” points out Charlie. “No other bank has ever given us that much support.”

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Pumpro

Byron Alldredge spent much of his life in Central Oregon, where he served as a wildland firefighter for 17 years, which ranks him a distant second in his family in terms of risking his neck for the public good. Bryon’s wife Tracy practiced the same profession for 27 years. They met on the job.

It was Byron’s self admission that fighting forest fires was somewhat of a “young person’s game” that prompted him to switch careers at the tender age of 57. These days he repairs water systems, often under adverse conditions.

How that career change occurred is another story. A few years back, Tracy inherited a home off Highway 20 on the outskirts of Toledo. Their intention was to sell it, so Byron repaired the water system. One day their realtor stopped by and pulled the for sale sign from the ground, explaining that Lincoln County needed a pump guy and Byron was an ideal candidate for the job.

The county had been ably served for more than three decades by PUMPRO, but that business’s owner, Jay Whisler, was ready for retirement and was planning on closing the company’s doors. Byron worked with Jay for a year and a half to meet the State of Oregon’s requirement of 2000 hours of apprenticeship in order to qualify for a pump installer license. In 2017, Byron and Tracy purchased PUMPRO from Jay and have grown the business ever since.

Technically, PUMPRO builds domestic water systems and storage systems, as well as performs well repair. As Byron puts it: “the driller comes and drills it and I’m the guy who makes water come out.”

Serving all of Lincoln County, southern Tillamook County and some of northern Lane County, PUMPRO is now a 4-person outfit. Tracy’s brother, Michael, manages the office, while she primarily works in the field doing water flow testing and sometimes helping Byron “muscle pumps out of wells”, she explains. “After 27 years of fighting fires, sitting at a desk wasn’t for me.” Tracy has also enrolled in Oregon Coast Community College’s Small Business Management Program.

“It’s a big responsibility trying to keep everyone in the county in water,” says Tracy. “We kind of consider no water an emergency,” adds Byron, which is why he typically works seven days a week, often till 10 pm. He considers the appreciation he gets from customers well worth the effort, saying: “people sure are happy when they get their water running again.”

PUMPRO often performs water system repairs for community organizations, many times donating their time. In Tracy’s words: “the community has really treated us well, so we try to do the same.”

Rural property owners know that when a pump has fallen into a well, a new well typically must be drilled, which can be very expensive. Byron has devised a method that often enables him to fish detached pumps out of deep wells. The hoist must be able to lift considerable weight, so Byron’s handmade gear includes an old ski lift pulley which he pulls with his truck.

Sometimes shallow wells get filled with sludge, in which case Byron may climb into the tank to clean it it out, which isn’t exactly a pleasurable job. Using a fire escape ladder, he’ll rappel up to forty feet to fill buckets of mud. Of course as those buckets are hoisted up the shaft by a crew member, they tend to overflow, dropping an ample amount of sludge on Byron’s head.

That kind of devotion to fixing peoples’ water problems is why PUMPRO’s Facebook page is filled with words of appreciation from grateful customers and why the company regularly receives handwritten Thank You notes.

When Byron and Tracy purchased PUMPRO, the first piece of advice that they were given by the former owner was “go open up an account at Oregon Coast Bank”. “The bank made us feel so welcome,” remembers Tracy. “They’ve treated us fantastic,” adds Byron.

In our opinion, Central Oregon’s loss was a big gain for the central coast. Rural property owners know that good pump repair people are hard to find. PUMPRO is serving a valuable role in our community and we’re proud to be their bankers.

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Toledo Auto Parts

Toledo-Auto-Parts

 

For more than 40 years NAPA has served the Toledo community. For the past 26 years, Kenny Williams has managed the local NAPA store, Toledo Auto Parts. This year he was offered the opportunity to buy the business and quickly said “yes”.

Listen to the conversations at the counter and you’ll soon understand that to succeed in the auto parts business, you need knowledgeable employees who are even better listeners. Often customers know exactly what they need; they just don’t know what it’s called. Or, they simply know something’s broken, but can’t describe what it is.

“Everything changes – you have to be able to adapt,” says Kenny. It’s not just engines that get more complicated every year – tools and diagnostic systems are also constantly evolving. NAPA dealers, like Toledo Auto Parts, now offer more than 430,000 different parts. “Identifying the right part is challenging,” explains Kenny. “That’s why customers who try and buy parts themselves online often end up with the wrong thing.”

Toledo Auto Parts employs four and Kenny has a good understanding about the type of people who he wants behind his counter. “All of our guys work on their own cars,” he points out. “We train them extensively, but they have to be service minded to start with and understand that we treat every customer how we’d want to be treated ourselves.”

Customers buying replacement wipers at Toledo Auto Parts are pleasantly surprised to learn that they are installed free, immediately. The store’s shop also services hydraulic hoses and works on exhaust systems.

Toledo Auto Parts serves as a bit of a gathering place for the community, which the store encourages. “Folks sit on the barrels, drink coffee, eat donuts, and just visit,” he says. “It’s the old guys who taught me how to clam dig,” laughs Kenny, a Klamath Falls native.

Kenny and his wife, Janna, raised two boys in Newport and now have six grandchildren. He coached baseball and also umpired. These days Kenny and Janna spend their free time traveling up and down the coast.

“It’s a good business, but it takes a lot of work,” says Kenny about his store. “Now that I’m the owner, I also have to manage the financial parts.” Fortunately, he has a great relationship with his bank. “Oregon Coast Bank has the same atmosphere as our store,” he points out. “Anything you need, they’ll do it – they’re just so helpful.”

Those certainly are kind words. And Kenny obviously knows a thing or two about interacting with customers. That’s what he enjoys most about his business, and why, after more than 40 years, Toledo Auto Parts continues to grow.

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Port of Toledo

Port-of-Toledo

Originally set up as an economic tool of the state more than a hundred years ago, the Port of Toledo continues to be important to our local economy. In addition, it provides facilities and services for recreation on Yaquina Bay.

The name itself is a bit confusing. The Port of Toledo actually encompasses 443 square miles, which includes the cities of Toledo and Siletz, as well as large areas of unincorporated Lincoln County. The Port operates under the direction of a five-person elected board.

Bud Shoemake has served as Port Manager for more than 10 years. Bud first came to Toledo while in the seventh grade. He’s been in the army, worked at the mill, built homes, managed the Ross Theater, and served the Port of Newport as Director of Operations and Harbor Master for 15 years. Part of his job is to identify, and get through the hurdles of obtaining the state grants that make the Port’s projects economically feasible.

The Port’s biggest news lately has been its Yaquina Boatyard haul out expansion, which will provide critical support to Oregon’s commercial fishing industry. It recently attracted $4.7 million in state funding. The project increases the boatyard’s staging capacity from one 200 ton vessel to nine 440 ton vessels and includes a rail cargo transfer area. “The new boatyard is a game changer for the region and the state,” explains Bud. “Eventually 167 long term jobs will be created with an average annual wage of $51,000.”

The Port of Toledo owns several industrial properties and extensive developable land. It currently leases to more than 10 private businesses, all of which increase local economic activity and bring jobs to the community.

Most recently, the port attracted Fishpeople, a company which distributes packaged seafood to more than 2000 stores including major chains like Fred Meyer, Safeway and Albertsons. The new Toledo facility uses state-of-the-art nitrogen freezing and waterjet cutting equipment to process sustainably harvested tuna.

The Port provides private boat slips within walking distance of restaurants and shops in Toledo’s historic downtown. Transient dock moorage is also available for vessels up to 50’.

The Port of Toledo Boat Launch & Day Use Area includes a launch ramp, docks, parking for vehicles with trailers, restrooms, a picnic area, and a fish cleaning station, all free to the public.

The Port has also developed and maintains three parks for free public use, including wildlife viewing & interpretive signage, protected wetlands, works by local artists, and public structures such as a pavilion, which serves as the main stage for the Port’s annual Wooden Boat Show.

The Port’s Toledo Youth Boating Club boathouse provides classroom and workshop space for local youth to learn about boatbuilding, maintenance, sailing and seamanship. The Port owns several small boats that are utilized for the program, all have been donated or built in the boathouse.

Today the port employs 15 and continues to grow. Of course the true measure of the Port’s economic impact is the private sector jobs the Port’s activities have made possible. It is currently estimated that 93 jobs are Port related, with an additional 167 expected as a result of the Port’s Yaquina Boatyard haul out expansion.

The Port of Toledo has had a long relationship with Oregon Coast Bank, which provides the Port’s checking account and credit line. Bank Vice President Jake Postlewait volunteers as a member of the Port’s budget committee. “Oregon Coast Bank understands growth and cash flow,” points out Bud. “They’ve been a great community partner.”

Much of the recent beautification of Toledo’s waterfront and parks is a result of the Port’s efforts. From an economic standpoint, the Port has been vital in providing the infrastructure necessary to increase local jobs. Bud, his staff, and the Port’s board of directors continue to make a real difference in our community. All of us at Oregon Coast Bank would simply like to say thanks.

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Western Cascade Industries

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Theology and a Masters in Education, but Ted Stock has chosen to earn a living the same way his father did – operating a family-owned sawmill. Twelve years ago, Ted and his brother James purchased a mill in Toledo, renaming it Western Cascade Industries. Despite the cyclical nature of the lumber business, Western Cascade Industries has remained open ever since without shutdowns.

In typically modest fashion, Ted says, “We just turn round ones into square ones”. But Western Cascade Industries means far more to the community of Toledo. Capable of outputting over 50 million board feet of lumber per year, the company employs more than 50 and indirectly accounts for many other timber-related jobs.

Because of its ability to handle chip and saw logs, Western Cascade Industries has captured a unique niche in a competitive business. Chip and saw logs are generally considered too small by other mills. Western Cascade turns the smaller parts of the logs into chips, while milling the larger sections into building studs. “From an environmental point of view, we’re able to use a resource that otherwise wouldn’t be fully utilized,” explains Ted. Western Cascade Industries is also careful to purchase the majority of their logs from timber harvesters who comply with SFI (the Sustained Forestry Initiative). Aside from chips and some palette material, the majority of Western Cascade Industries’ output is building studs, including 2 x 4s, 2 x 6s, 3 x 4s and 4 x 4s of varying lengths.

To stay ahead in the lumber industry requires millions of dollars in investment. During the fall of 2008, Ted and James were considering a major equipment purchase. On the advice of several business acquaintances, they visited Fred Postlewait and Jill Meengs at Oregon Coast Bank. The bank not only supplied the needed financing, but also provided a line of credit for Western Cascade Industries, which Ted calls “perfect for timber purchases”. He also appreciates the fact that Oregon Coast Bank is locally owned – “it makes it easier to keep a good line of communication… they’ve taken the time to get to understand our business and they’re a real supporter of local industry.”

It’s entrepreneurs like Ted and James who fuel our local economy. We understand how important they are to our communities and we’re proud to be their bankers.

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Toledo Ace Hardware

Toledo-Ace-Hardware

When folks move to Toledo, chances are one of the first businesses they’ll walk into is the local Ace Hardware store. “Usually they’ll ask to have keys cut,” explains Terri Strom, the store’s owner. “And that gives us a chance to get to know them. If they’re interested in meeting people, I’ll try to get them involved in a local committee.”

Although she seems to know virtually everyone in town, Terri still finds the time to serve on a few committees herself. For a fulltime businesswoman who has raised two children and is currently raising a grandchild, the list of her community involvement is astounding. Terri serves as president of the Toledo Planning Commission and chairperson of the board of directors of the Toledo Main Street Committee. She’s also a board member of the Toledo Chamber of Commerce, for which she recently chaired the Toledo Pancake Breakfast and is currently chairing the Scarecrow Festival. Among her other activities, she’s a member of both the Toledo Parks and Recreation Committee and the Toledo Advocacy Committee… and that’s just a partial list.

Terri was born and raised in Toledo and her dad, Larry Hart, served as city manager from 1968 to 1978. Larry then purchased Kenyon’s Hardware, the local Coast to Coast store. By that point, Terri and her husband Stu were living in Springfield while Terri attended Lane Community College. Larry offered Stu a job at the store and when they moved back to town Terri began working for the City of Toledo, a job she held until the birth of her first child, Aaron, in 1980.

After their second child, Ashley, was born in 1982, Terri became more and more involved at the store and over the years gradually took over its management from her dad. Stu went to work at the mill in 1986 and has been a Georgia Pacific employee ever since.

Both of the Strom children grew up in Toledo Ace Hardware. “They had a Little Tykes pedal car that they would drive all over the store,” remembers Terri. “Aaron would actually try and help the customers.” These days, Terri’s nine year old granddaughter, Mikayla, is also being “raised in the store”.

In this era of impersonal big box home centers, it’s refreshing to visit a genuine community hardware store. Customers come to Toledo Ace Hardware not only to find what they need, but to ask for do-it-yourself tips. If you’re looking for a “thing-a-ma-jig”, and that’s the only way you can describe it, Terri’s staff will show you exactly what you need. If you’re tackling your first plumbing or electrical repair, someone in Terri’s five person staff will take the time to explain how to do the job correctly.

“We still keep nuts and bolts in bins so you don’t have to buy a bigger package than you need,” points out Terri. “Even if you want just one foot of pipe, we’ll cut it for you. Our customers really seem to appreciate the extra service.” Of course, hardware is just some of what Ace offers. Terri’s store also has complete departments for plumbing, electrical, paint, lawn and garden, housewares and lumber.

Last year when we opened our new Oregon Coast Bank office in Toledo, one of the first people who walked in was Terri. Since our entire Toledo staff is from the area, no introductions were necessary. After small talk and a few laughs, she promptly opened three accounts.

Of course since many of us at the bank are also do-it-yourselfers on the weekends, we get the chance to visit Terri at her store rather frequently, which is always enjoyable. Toledo is truly a great town to call home, and it’s people like Terri that make it that way.

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Ivan Kelly

Ivan-Kelly

Photos don’t do them justice.  To appreciate an Ivan Kelly painting is to gaze at the subtle play of color and light in a museum or gallery.  Collectors often journey hundreds of miles to visit his Toledo studio/gallery; others view his work online at ivankelly.com.

Born and raised on a farm in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, Ivan Kelly immigrated to Canada in 1972.  He lived in British Columbia for more than 20 years and taught himself to paint by closely examining works by the masters, visiting museums, and experimentation.  The landscapes and wildlife of the Canadian Rockies were his first subjects.

Modest and economical with his words, much of what has been published about Ivan Kelly can be attributed to his business manager, his wife of 27 years, Sharon Kelly.  The success of an artist is a full-time business and Sharon’s responsibilities include press releases, brochures, flyers, networking and business arrangements.

Because Sharon was raised in Toledo, the couple often visited the area and Ivan soon became enamored with the Oregon Coast as a subject for his paintings.  They chose to move here in 1992 and within a year had built their home/studio/gallery.

By definition, Ivan is a “plein air” artist, which means he captures a moment where it occurs – outdoors in nature.  A signature member of the American Society of Marine Artists, Ivan has also received many awards for his paintings of wildlife.  Ivan and Sharon take extensive trips to paint at locations such as Yellowstone, The Tetons, Utah and New Mexico.  His desire to get as close as possible to his subjects has led to plenty of adventures, such as their camper being stuck in the gridlock of a bison herd on a recent trip.

His subjects vary extensively, but all Ivan Kelly paintings are distinguished by their treatment of light.  “I’m most interested in the mood, or the way the light affects the things I paint,” explains Ivan.  On a back shelf in his studio are models he has sculpted of wildlife.  They are not for sale.  Instead he uses them to experiment with light and shadow.

After 40 years as an artist, his paintings still seem fresh.  He attributes his success to “hard work, persistence, setting a high standard and miles and miles of canvas.”  Ivan is genuinely grateful to those who collect his art and considers himself “fortunate to be able to spend my career doing something I really love.”

At Oregon Coast Bank, we’re proud to own and display Ivan Kelly originals at our Newport and Toledo offices.  Despite his widespread fame, his manner remains unassuming and we always enjoy Ivan and Sharon’s visits to our bank.  As a business manager, Sharon says “I appreciate the personalized service and we’re glad to have a community bank that offers everything the big banks do.”  She also mentions that “Oregon Coast Bank online banking sure makes things easy when we travel.”

Call it mood, call it the play of light, but there is a special something that makes the works of Ivan Kelly so compelling.  Visit his Toledo studio or view his paintings online and you’ll see a vision of the Oregon Coast you may never have considered.

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KT Mitchell Trucking

KT-Mitchell-Trucking

Tonja Mitchell’s dad drove and owned log trucks.  So did her grandfather.  After graduating from Siletz High School in 1971, Tonja went to work for her father doing the company’s books and dispatching.  Her husband, Kirk, had also graduated from Siletz High School in the same year.  Following graduation he went to work at the Georgia Pacific mill in Toledo.

Kirk never told Tonja that he planned to own a log truck, too.  But in March of 1976, when she was nine months pregnant, Kirk broke the news to Tonja that her dad had helped him buy his first truck.  She told him to stay working at the mill until their child was born, so they wouldn’t lose their health insurance.

As enjoyable as it is spending your days in the spectacular scenery of the coastal mountains, driving a log truck does have its drawbacks.  It makes for a long day.  Kirk typically leaves the house by 3 am.  Generally he’ll return 15 to 17 hours later.

During the early years, Kirk often had to haul to mills in far away towns like Sweet Home, Chemult or Reedsport.  Those nights he slept in a camp trailer.  In 1982, when logging was virtually shut down, he switched to driving a flatbed on the highway.  That meant even more days away from the family, so he got back to hauling logs and chips as soon as he could.

As the timber industry gradually recovered, Kirk and Tonja decided to expand.  “In 1989 my husband gave me five log trucks for Christmas,” laughs Tonja.  They were all chip trucks purchased from her dad.  KT Mitchell Trucking (the “K” for Kirk, the “T” for Tonja) has continued to grow.

Today the company owns and operates 17 trucks, which have become more expensive to purchase every year.  In March of 1976, that first truck of Kirk’s, “which was as fancy as you could get”, cost $44,000.  Today a bare bones new log truck without a trailer goes for about $200,000.

Besides raising their four children and helping with daycare for their 14 grandkids, Tonja has continued to supervise the KT Mitchell Trucking office.  That’s quite an accomplishment for anyone, even more impressive given the fact that she has suffered from multiple sclerosis for 30 years.  It’s definitely a family business – the numbers on the trucks represent birthdays of the grandchildren, all of whom can proudly point out which truck is theirs.

In 1993, Kirk and Tonja helped two of their daughters, Missy Endicott and Kimmie Warfield, open another family business, M & K Bark & Floral.  M & K sells and delivers red rock, bark chips, river rock, drainage rock, garden compost, flagstone, blue stone, ledge stone, river loam and sand.  The average delivered load is about five yards of material, but some customers pick it up themselves in their own trucks or even five gallon buckets.

The floral side of M & K includes weddings, funerals and holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, but much of the demand is for everyday floral needs including birthdays and anniversaries.  Almost all of the arrangements are delivered.  “We have our regular customers and we’ll actually call them if they forget a birthday or anniversary,” explains Kimmie.  The customers obviously come first – “It seems like every Valentine’s Day we put aside roses in the cooler for mom but end up selling them to someone else.”

In his spare time, Kirk has remodeled the family home, several rentals and even helped rebuild Kimmie’s house.  “Just don’t get him started on a project before elk season,” laughs Kimmie.  In fact, taking his grandchildren hunting is truly Kirk’s passion.  “The best part of owning your own business is you get to hunt when you want to,” explains Tonja.  Kirk also makes it a point to never miss one of his grandchildren’s ball games.

They’re humble about the fact, but the Mitchell’s entrepreneurship has been good for the community.  Including drivers, mechanics and office help, the family’s businesses now employ 22, including one driver who started his career working for Tonja’s dad.  KT Mitchell Trucking’s full time drivers receive both medical insurance and paid vacations.

The Mitchells have been customers of Oregon Coast Bank for more than 10 years now.  “You can’t ask for more accessible bankers,” explains Tonja.  “Sometimes when we’re busy, they’ll run loan papers out to the house.  We even know their cell phone numbers, so if we ever need to call them on the weekends we can.”

Perhaps owning log trucks, a landscaping supply delivery service and a floral shop seems like an odd combination, but it’s not unusual for entrepreneurial families to simply do what it takes to make a living in small towns.  We’re proud to be the Mitchell family’s bankers and we recognize what an important contribution they make to the community.

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Michael Gibbons

Michael-Gibbons

With his paintings in prestigious private and museum collections throughout America and abroad, Michael Gibbons is one of the country’s best known artists.  Yet Michael and his wife/business partner Judy, both native Oregonians, decided more than 30 years ago to live and operate their signature gallery in a location far from the traditional centers of art – Toldeo, Oregon.

“We have 12 miles of virgin territory out our front door,” comments Michael.  “Other artists would kill for a location like this.”  Gibbons has built his reputation as a Plein Air (painting out of doors) artist and he considers the Yaquina River Watershed to be an almost unlimited source of inspirational scenes.

The Gibbons’ home and signature gallery is The Vicarage, which was built in 1926 to house clergy serving Toldeo’s St. John’s Episcopal Church, which sits next door.  The setting and craftsmanship are magnificent, yet when they purchased the property in 1981 it had been so ravaged by fire and water damage that a complete reconstruction was required.  Michael and Judy will eventually leave The Vicarage as a legacy to the community in the form of a “House Museum”, which will continue to display the work of Michael and other artists for future generations.

In 1992 the Gibbons’ purchased five ramshackle buildings across the street and began a long term renovation to build an art district.  Today, four architecturally significant buildings house Michael’s painting studio, a frame shop, office, carpentry shop, meeting spaces, three apartments for housing artists, and the Yaquina River Museum of Art.

As they continue to develop their properties and grow their business, the Gibbons work closely with their community bank, Oregon Coast Bank.  “It’s a totally different experience from what you get at other banks,” explains Judy.  “We really enjoy having a close relationship with our bankers.”

If you find the current value (up to about $90,000) of a Michael Gibbons oil to be above your price range, it’s nice to know that framed prints and cards of his work are available locally at prices that fit almost any budget.  That’s why the Michael Gibbons Signature Gallery continues to draw so many visitors to the Toledo area.

The Gibbons have also had a profound impact on the community.  When they moved here in 1981, Michael was the only professional artist in Toledo.  Today there are more than a dozen arts and crafts professionals.  That’s the power of art, and it’s also a testament to the beauty of a region we all get to call home.

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