Courtney Harvey serves coffee, smoothies and baked goods from her Miss O’s Espresso food cart, located in Pine Grove. Harvey named her business after her daughter, Oaklee.
As of Friday, July 24, 2015
Courtney Harvey opened Miss O’s Espresso, located in the parking lot of The Boys Pine Grove Grocery, 2375 Highway 35, on March 15, 2015.
Four months later, business is “steadily increasing,” although she feels she won’t have a good idea of what to expect until fall.
“I got the tail end of some of the mountain traffic, but then school was over,” she said, noting that summer brought a halt to the bus and student traffic along Highway 35.
Still, she stays busy.
“I’m in a high-traffic place, so I lucked out there,” she said of her space near the grocery and gas station.
Harvey, a life-long Hood River resident and 2012 graduate of Hood River Valley High, had wanted to open a coffee cart for several years. She worked as a barista at Hood to Hills, a food cart in Odell, in and after high school, and none of the other jobs she held appealed to her like that one.
But food carts are expensive — between $10,000 and $20,000, she said — and right out of high school, it wasn’t an option.
But she’s been saving, and “with a ton of help from my boyfriend’s family, my dad … my whole family pulled together for me to have this cart,” she said. She chose her Pine Grove location because of the lack of coffee along Highway 35.
“The Dominguez family (owners of The Boys and Juanita’s Fine Foods) are amazing people,” she said. “I couldn’t have picked a better place.”
She serves standard espresso drinks, hot or iced, but it’s her smoothies that are fast becoming favorites.
“I’m actually kind of surprised at the amount of smoothies I do,” she said. “I’ve been working on expanding my smoothie menu.”
Her smoothies are made fresh to order — nothing comes from a prepackaged mix — and in combinations that aren’t available anywhere else in town — like her Breakfast Smoothie, which contains fresh fruit, unsweetened coconut milk, Greek yogurt, spinach and protein powder. She also has milkshake-style smoothies with cookie pieces.
She sells some baked goods, which she purchases locally whenever possible.
“I support local businesses like people support me,” she said. “I do cinnamon rolls once a month; other than that, I try to buy from fruit stands when they have baked stuff.”
Another note of interest: The cart is named for her daughter, Oaklee, who turns 2 in October.
“She hangs out here a lot,” Harvey noted.
Miss O’s is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.; closed Sunday. For more information, visit the coffee cart’s Facebook page (keyword: Miss O’s Espresso).