Chris and Alexa Coulombe opened Sustainable Bite in Tillamook with a double passion for the environment and food and a love for cooking and making people happy. The combination is working for the Coulombes. Since opening in the spring, business has exceeded their expectations.
By Joe Warren
“Our model has changed some since opening,” Alexa said. “We first wanted to do a food truck, then we found this place and decided to go for it.”
The new restaurant, located on third street in the old Muddy Waters building, is open for lunch and will soon open for breakfast, with an emphasis on sourcing as much of their offerings as locally as possible, according to the owners.
“When we opened in this location, we expected to get more take-out business,” Chris said. “But people love to sit in the corner and relax and look out the window.”
Sustainable Bite is really the combined ideas of Chris and Alexa. Chris loves to cook and Alexa is passionate about the environment. And they both agree about the importance of sustainability.
“I went to school for environmental chemistry and sustainability put these two passions together,” Alexa says. “We love to cook, we just love food.”
Chris adds, “it is important for us to get as much local food as we can. We’re always looking for other local sources.”
“Sustainability is also about community,” Alexa says.
Sustainability, Chris says really means three things. “People need sustenance to survive, we need a sustainable economy, so we’re buying as much local food as possible and because we are purchasing locally we are helping the environment,” he said. “Helping the community is a huge deal and we’ve been really accepted by the community.”
The Coulombes will offer a variety of wraps, sandwiches, soups, dips and kabobs, as well as some gluten-free and vegetarian options.
“We’re also doing breakfast, because my husband is awesome at breakfast,” Alexa admits. Along with their signature wraps and soups Chris will be cooking up a daily special, which they both put together.
“We want to do as much of our own meat like turkey and roast beef as we can,” Chris says. “I started making my own lunch meats, and that’s what we’ll use here.”
For beverages, Alexa says, “We’re definitely staying away from soda. We’ll have fresh lemonade and fresh juices that we make ourselves. And tea and coffee and water.”
“And Tomato Shooters,” Chris says. “They’re little virgin Bloody Mary’s. Something to get you started in the morning.”
The business is totally ran by the couple, from menu planning, preparation, cleaning, bookkeeping and ordering, but they are bringing in their son, Oden, who is seven to help out over the summer.
“Oden is our food critic,” Alexa said. “He’s old enough to help out he’s a good sweeper.”
The Sustainable Bite is located on 1904 Third Street and will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and earlier when they begin making breakfast. They are also opening on what Chris calls, “Secret Saturday” for the locals. “We will keep our closed sign up but we will be secretly open for the locals to pop in and grab a breakfast sandwich or wrap,” Chris said. “We’re not going to be advertising Saturday’s but we will be here working on stocking and prepping for the next week so we will feed our customers if they come in.”
“Everybody loves to eat,” Alex added. “Business has been good so far, this has morphed into a much busier venture than we expected, which is good, it’s not what we expected, but it’s been great.”
For more information, contact The Sustainable Bite at 503-354-2559.