“Our company is deeply committed to passing on the business to the next generation,” Justin says. “We’re working to build something special.”
Justin, Jared and Jesse are gracious about sharing ownership and responsibilities. When Sisters Coffee was transferred to the second generation in 2012, the siblings set processes and procedures to manage and protect the business.
In addition to working with a business consultant, they meet regularly with an executive coach, both as a group and as individuals.
“As co-owners, we are inherently passionate about the business,” Jesse says.
Having clearly established roles gives clarity and structure.
“It’s absolutely essential,” she says.
Jared serves as chairman of the company’s board of advisors, which meets quarterly to review performance and discuss projects. The outside perspective helps to guide the business in a safe direction.
“We’re always learning and growing,” Jared says.
Sisters Coffee was founded by Winfield and Joy Durham in 1989. The couple had dreamed of starting a coffee business and moving to Central Oregon to raise their family. During a trip to Sisters in 1988, Joy spotted a vacant cabin on the west end of town. They decided to make their move.
Winfield replaced the woodstove with a coffee roaster and they opened for business. Back then, the specialty coffee industry was just starting to take off.
“People weren’t used to paying $2 for coffee,” Justin says. “They were used to paying a dime at the local diner.”
“This business isn’t going to last the winter,” some people scoffed.
But they were wrong. Sisters Coffee was on the edge of a great wave and turned into a prosperous family business.