A happy occasion for the employees of Coffee Corral in Baker City was also tinged with sadness.
The business opened its new location, at Campbell and Oak streets on Aug. 24 without the presence of the woman who made it possible.
Owner Kris Barr, who started Coffee Corral in 2003, died just 2 days later at age 70.
Her daughter-in-law, Christa Barr, who operates the business, said Kris did get to see the brand-new building the week before it opened for business.
“We brought her down here with our whole family and they were able to all see it and it was a blessing, it was really neat for her to be able to see it before she passed,” Christa Barr, 37, said. “It was heartbreaking, but it was a blessing that she got to see her legacy and what she created.”
Kris Barr opened her original Coffee Corral location at Campbell and Grove streets, across from Geiser-Pollman Park.
Five years ago she bought the property at the southeast corner of Oak and Campbell, 4 blocks to the east, with a goal of having a second shop there. Construction started in March.
Christa Barr said an official grand opening for the new location is still in the works.
She said the shop, which is considerably larger than the original location, has drawn positive comments.
“Customers love it and we feel proud to have it for sure, so it’s been good,” she said.
Christa Barr said she plans to continue operating both coffee shops for the time being.
“If it can maintain itself there, I’ll keep it,” she said of the original shop.
The new location offers indoor and outdoor seating, allowing people to sit and enjoy their coffee and food while maintaining social distancing.
The new Coffee Corral also has additional food items not available at the original shop.
There’s also a second coffee bean roaster. Coffee Corral’s roasters supply the two shops, and the business sells wholesale to other outlets.