Hinterland Coffee Company is buying the building currently housing the business. Three months ago, owner Trinia Jean opened the storefront in a 1914 era building at 7112 NE Glisan Street. During the initial buildout process, it became apparent that future growth would require a substantial renovation. That level of investment is impractical as a renter. Purchasing the building became the only way forward to expand Hinterland’s business and realize the building’s potential.
The current property owner is interested in selling to Trinia Jean, and a downpayment is all that is needed to move forward. Having just opened the store and already investing in repairs to the building, Jean launched a Kickstarter campaign to gather the necessary funds. The $60,000 goal will cover most of the downpayment and allow the business to further transform the space into a “comfortable, inviting place for good folx to gather.”
With just over ten days to go in the campaign, Hinterland made the original goal and is now collecting additional funds. New rewards are available for backers, and the extra money could accelerate plans for the building. Jean is happy with the funding model she chose because people are receiving something for their support. Although it is possible to donate money to the cause, most backers are stocking up on coffee beans and unique apparel through backer rewards.
With the sale not yet complete, buildout plans are still in the pre-planning stage. Trinia Jean did not let herself look too far ahead as owning the building was still just a dream until this weekend. However, there are several next steps for the business. Permits to open the cafe are needed, and outdoor seating behind the shop will enable Hinterland to grow the coffee side of the operation. Coffee bean roasting and drink sales are on the path to take over the business’s income stream. Selling their collection of products that embody Jean’s “weird sense of humor” will always be part of Hinterland’s operation. It just has a narrow audience, according to Jean, “we’re not for everybody, and that’s OK.” In contrast, their coffee has broad appeal and the power to bring people together inside the shop.
Online retail continues to be the engine of Hinterland’s success. The people who take joy in the company’s creations have expanded thanks to the internet. Now the popularity of the brand has outgrown the capacity of their backroom print shop. In their early years, screen-printing was the main business for Hinterland. They provided commercial printing services for other companies and their selection of clothing. Recently they stopped taking outside work and soon will move all screen printing work to a local company.
While the rough space inside the building worked for screen printing, it will not work well for retail and cafe service. When building ownership is secured, and screen printing relocates, Trinia Jean will transform the whole building into a comfortable retail space. These improvements will take a restorative approach instead of modernization. She respects the 100-year-old building and enjoys its classic characteristics. Work will eventually uncover some of the building’s original architecture and repair it to survive many more years of use.
Trinia Jean has received a warm welcome to the neighborhood and general excitement for her efforts. This section of NE Glisan has grown sleepy over the years and has needed a revival. The residents appreciate the recent resurgence of activity. “Everyone is just excited to have some life in a space that didn’t have a lot of life initially,” explained Jean. With the funded Kickstarter campaign, people should start to see further enhancements to these shops and more lively activity around them.