Owning a Dutch Bros. Coffee stand is not about how much money you can make. It’s about touching the lives of the customers and those in the community.
“Everything we do is about people,” said Nate Frary, who along with his wife, Krisanna, owns four stores in the Tri-Cities. “That is what the company is founded on — loving on people and loving on our community. It’s what we do every day.”
Making a good cup of coffee, or one of the other tasty drinks offered on the menu, doesn’t hurt either — from fruit smoothies to Dutch Freezes to a 911 (an intense blend of Irish cream and six shots) — they have you covered.
“The most popular is our Iced Kicker,” Frary said. “Hot, iced or blended, it’s one of the originals and people love it.”
The same goes for the two Dutch Bros. in Pasco, owned by Brad and Meghan Barnes.
“We probably could be called Iced Kicker Bros.,” said Brad Barnes, whose stores are on Burden Boulevard and Court Street. “The Kicker is our best-selling drink. Our Rebels (energy drinks) are good sellers too.”
The Frarys opened their first Dutch Bros. in 2008 on Clearwater Avenue in Kennewick. They soon followed with stores on Columbia Center Boulevard, Columbia Drive and their most recent store on Keene Road in Richland.
“Our Clearwater store is the busiest one,” Frary said. “It’s open 24 hours, so that helps. We are doing very well (with the four stores) and loving every minute of it.”
While the Frarys grew up in Southern Oregon, where Dutch Bros. originated, Brad Barnes got his first taste of the company as an employee 12 years ago when a store opened in Dallas, Ore.
“I had no real goal,” Barnes said. “I went to school to play baseball and study marine biology. I blew my arm out and I needed a job.
“When I started working there, I didn’t know work could be something like that,” he said. “Being an owner, I can’t be in the stand all day, but that’s the part I love. Our employees are the guys in the trenches who make the wheels turn, and not just making a cup of coffee. They give you a smile to start your day. They know your name, what you are doing, what you like to drink. That’s more uplifting than an espresso.”
Giving back to the community and the people has been a company philosophy since 1992. Every Dutch Bros. gives back a minimum of 1 percent gross revenue every year, but in the Tri-Cities, that number is considerably higher. Their causes range from the Tri-Cities Cancer Center, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties, Second Harvest, area schools, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and to whatever else touches their heart.
“We live here and are part of the community,” Frary said. “We feel blessed to be able to give back. We always exceed that 1 percent, but we support who we want locally. We do what our heart desires and beyond that.”
Barnes echoed the sentiment.
“It’s amazing to be more than a collector of money,” said Barnes, whose latest community project was Clean UP Pasco. “We can take it to better our community and help those in need. You don’t think about it; you just do it.”