Walk down the street in Portland, and you’ll find a coffee house on (nearly) every corner. In fact, the City of Roses is known just as much for its artisan coffee scene as it is for its veganism and hipsters. So, in a land overflowing with roast company options, how do you pick the best ones?
While there might be a number of great Portland based coffee shops, there are a few that stand alone. Bison Coffeehouse is one such example, known for being the city’s only Native American owned coffee shop.
Visitors to the cafe are sure to notice the bison head, ruling over the southern wall with its sharp horns and woolly head. Just like the deer hide backed chairs and well-crafted wooden tables, the bison was a deliberate decor choice. PS: Do you know if coffee is toxic to pets?
It’s a Popular Native American Owned Cafe
Shop owner Loretta Guzman is a native Portlander and member of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes of Idaho; it was her vision that Bison Coffee be representative of her people.
From the bison head, which acts as a powerful symbol of Native American livelihood, to the Native-owned Tribal Grounds used in customers’ espresso shots, it’s clear that a rich vein of thought has gone into differentiating this coffee shop from others.
The Decor Has Many Pieces that Represent the Native American Culture
The bison head might be the most distinctive piece of Native-American decor at the shop, but it is far from the only one.
The walls of the establishment are peppered with meaningful pieces of tribal art, many of which Guzman collected herself during her travels along the pow wow trail of the United States. Guzman’s family also chipped in with their take on Native American representation.
The big church pew that stands in the shop formerly belonged to Guzman’s father’s biker club; now, it has been reupholstered in bison-patterned Pendleton blankets and tough vinyl. And the sideboard decorated with photos of Guzman’s family ancestors? That was found on the street by her mother, who varnished and stenciled buffalo on it.
It’s a Safe Haven For People of All Races to Gather
Since opening in 2014, Bison Coffeehouse has evolved to become a nexus in Portland’s north-eastern Cully neighborhood. They regularly host Native and community events, like Coffee with a Cop meetups and holiday visits with Native American Solte Santa, as well as drive local fundraising efforts for Standing Rock.
True to Guzman’s dreams, the space has become a positive haven for people of all races to gather together and enjoy a warm cup – but more than anything, it is a place that showcases the Native American pride of generations.
Their Coffee is Exceptional and the Treats are Homemade
Whether you take your tribal art with a side of sugar and cream, or strong and dark, Bison Coffeehouse is a must-try. Along with the exceptional coffees, the roast company offers guests their choice of tasty treats, all made in-house.
Nibble on a bison-shaped sugar cookie lathered in pink icing, then wash it down with an espresso shot of local Heart Roasters and Tribal Grounds. You won’t be disappointed.
Bison Coffeehouse is located at 3941 NE Cully Boulevard. The shop is open from 6AM-5PM on weekdays, and 8AM-5PM on weekends.