Coffee kiosk offers a Morning Buzz

July 21, 2010 05:00 am

Brookings-Harbor High School 1999 graduate Russ Burkman hopes people have been hearing the buzz about his new portside coffee stand, the Morning Buzz.

Two weeks after the new coffee stand opened at the old Surfside Coffee location on Lower Harbor Road, the Morning Buzz was buzzing with activity.

The business serves only quality foods and drinks, Burkman said. 

“We use real ice cream in our frappes, he said, “many places do not.”

The Morning Buzz also uses Nancy’s Yogurt, an Oregon “natural yogurt” product, in smoothies and organic salad greens.

It’s not a “health food” coffee shop, Burkman said. Quality ingredients simply make the treats taste even better.

“Don’t be afraid to order something sugary,” he said.

Burkman and his wife, Jaemi, recently returned to Harbor after a stint in Hawaii, where Russ was a heavy equipment contractor and commercial fisherman, while Jaemi studied accounting.

“I wanted to be able to figure our own books and finances,” Jaemi said.

The Burkmans returned to Oregon in April with their new infant daughter, Alani. Alani is now 9 months old.

The Burkmans returned to the Brookings-Harbor area so that Alani could be near her grandparents, he said. 

Once in Brookings, the Burkmans saw the Surfside Coffee location was available for rent and decided to open a family-oriented operation.

“My parents were entrepreneurs,” Russ said.

While the Morning Buzz is getting started Russ and Jaemi will cover the stand’s seven-day per week 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. hours. They plan to eventually hire local high school students to cover some shifts.

“We like the way Zola’s Pizza does it,” Russ said. “We want to stay local and hire high school students.”

The Burkmans like to work with students, they said, to help them develop a work ethic and to have something to put on their resumes for college applications.

Jaemi is also a mean cook.  When a customer praised the fire roasted pepper cream cheese spread, Jaemi smiled.

“I just came up with that one night,” she said. 

The spicy spread was a result of experimentation, looking for a way to “dress up” the usual bagel and cream cheese, she said.