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New coffee shops in Downtown Albany, get the scoop

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Coffee lovers gathered together, cupping their hands around steaming fall lattes as the ribbon was cut at The Brim Coffee Co., 241 First Ave. W. in Albany, on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Tiesha and Russell Williams first tried opening their coffee shop inside the YMCA in January 2020. Two months later, pandemic restrictions caused them to shutter that location for good.

Tiesha said the idea came to her one day to put together smoothie and espresso kits for people to take home and make themselves. The kits were successful, drawing in more customers than she had before.

The Grove Church, where the Williamses attend worship, bought the building at 241 First Ave. W. The couple opened their coffee shop there in July, and the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce cut the ribbon Wednesday.

Customers wrote their names and praises in a signature book, bought raffle tickets for free menu items and munched on Russell’s fresh Reese’s Pieces scones. Other free samples at the event were sweet iced pumpkin cold brew and cookies. Tiesha said an autumn seasonal favorite is the chai white chocolate chip latte.

Each coffee cup has a handwritten note that changes every time customers come in. Some Brim Coffee lovers donned gray, black or cream colored beanies with the logo sewn onto it.

“I work downtown and come here all the time,” Jen Conners said. “Her scones are amazing.”

Conners’ daughter, Emily Connors, is another regular at the coffee shop, coming often to study and do homework.

Savanna Duran also works downtown and frequents The Brim Coffee Co. when she can.

“The customer service is phenomenal,” she said. “They remember us.”

The coffee shop is open from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and it is closed on Sundays.

Citadel Oasis

It took a global pandemic, an inheritance and a new baby for Brandi Wachsmuth and Chris Ligterink to quit their jobs and open a coffee shop at 425 First. Ave. W. in Albany.

The then-medical assistant and GameStop manager wanted to give back to the community when Ligerink’s grandfather passed away and left an inheritance. He had lived in Albany for most of his life.

“We decided to do something crazy,” Ligertink said.

Citadel Oasis, which gets its name from a video game Ligterink likes to play, is a coffee/pastry shop and board game central. Inside there is a built-in stage, which the couple plans to use for open mic nights and trivia.

Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., Citadel Oasis hosts a Hero Clicks game night, and on Friday’s, they play Magic. The board games are free, but there are also video games for sale.

“We’re trying to create a place where people can come relax,” Wachsmuth said.

Homemade pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, chocolate muffins and cupcakes are just a few crowd favorites at the shop. This fall, Wachsmuth has all the pumpkin spice drinks she can think of available.

Citadel Oasis held a soft opening on Oct. 1, and after a few tweaks, it officially opened Oct. 6. Business has been good so far, but the couple hopes things will pick up once the word gets out that they’re open.

The coffee shop is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Sunday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays. It is closed Mondays.

Joanna Mann covers education for Mid-Valley Media. She can be contacted at 541-812-6076 or Joanna.Mann@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter via @joanna_mann_. 

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