Kainos Coffee and Pizza offers a place for people of all ages to hang out and feel good knowing that they’re supporting a locally owned small business while helping orphaned children in the Philippines.
The business that recently opened in downtown The Dalles is co-owned by Marten Boyden and Austin Roberts, childhood best friends who grew up in The Dalles.
While Roberts stayed in Portland to manage the Kainos location there, Boyden and his wife, Mary, moved back home to manage the shop at 418 E. Second Street.
“I have always left the idea open that The Dalles is somewhere I’d like to come back to, to raise a family and do business,” Marten said.
“We’re a local family who’s passionate about what we do and want to share it with the community.”
Since opening their doors last month, the Boydens have loved joining the ranks of small business owners in town.
“We really believe in community over competition, we’re here to add to the community,” said Mary.
Marten was training for a pastoral ministry when he decided to get into business—not just to be self-employed, but to provide regular support for a cause he cares deeply about.
In 2012, Boyden went on a mission trip to the Philippines with an organization run by a church friend, Chad Davis, called LifeChild Asia Foundation.
The foundation helps connect orphaned Filipino children with supportive families.
While visiting, Boyden was abruptly handed a baby girl named Abby by an elderly Filipino woman in a shanty house, and fell in love with both the child and the organization.
Abby was quickly adopted by a family in a nearby village, but Boyden’s desire to support LifeChild remained.
“I’ve gone three times now and every time I didn’t have the funds I wanted to give, working a [regular] job,” Boyden said, describing his desire to contribute more.
He said the idea for Kainos, a Greek adjective meaning “new” or “fresh,” was born as a way to regularly provide support for LifeChild. He and Roberts immediately designated 21 percent—a random number the co-founders agreed on—of their profits to LifeChild. “He has always wanted to be a missionary” but he wanted to be ‘self-funded,’” Mary said.
Boyden and Roberts hand-built a coffee roaster and a food truck and started trying to run a business.
They officially opened Kainos in Portland in November 2016 to expand on a line of coffee that they were selling online.
The two have a collective 12 years of experience in the coffee industry and Boyden has an extensive background in pizza, starting out at Spooky’s when he was growing up.
“Six months is all we were open [in Portland] before we decided to open this one [in The Dalles],” said Mary.
Boyden had his eye on the building that formerly housed Salmon Cyclery. He jumped on the property when it finally went up for sale a few years ago.
“It was basically a childhood dream for him,” Mary said. “Portland just kind of helped us get on our feet.”
She said operating a business in The Dalles is the realization of a long-time goal.
“We love The Dalles and we’re very proud to be here,” she said.
Being in The Dalles puts the Boydens closer to family, which Mary said will be a great support system for their 4-year-old, 2-year-old and the baby on the way.
Mary, who has a background in small business management, journalism, photography and interior and graphic design, is responsible for the large geometric mural on the interior wall of Kainos as well as the shop’s interior design.
She also helps manage the business’ communications and social media.
“Anything you can see I probably did, anything you can eat is all Marten,” she said.
Mary took some time off from her own wedding photography business to help her husband set up Kainos’ new location.
While pizza and coffee may seem to be unlikely items to pair on a menu, Marten’s explanation was simple: his experience was primarily in coffee, but he’d wanted a brick oven for years. The combination of the two gives the business a wider range and supplements its income, he said.
“We’re here for the long haul,” Marten said. He appreciates The Dalles community and its potential for growth — though the couple stressed that they don’t want to see their hometown turn into Hood River.
Marten said the The Dalles has a lot more that it’s capable of being and the couple is excited to help that potential unfold.
Kainos is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Pizza is served for lunch until sold out and for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Next Sunday at 6 p.m., Kainos is hosting a “Latte art throw-down” for other baristas, who are invited to call 541-769-0080 for more information. Learn about the menu at https://www.kainoscoffeepdx.com/the-dalles.