Sharing a Cup with Our Friends at Prince Coffee
In this series, Urban Nest sits down with local PDX business owners to talk shop about what makes their store or business fit so well with Portland. Learn about new neighborhoods, new businesses, PDX community and more!
An Impeccably Decorated Coffee Haven in Kenton
If you've never had a stroopwafel, it's time to change that. Luckily, Prince Coffee in North Portland's Kenton neighborhood specializes in the Dutch treats, which are closer to a thin, crispy, caramel-filled cookie than a waffle, as the name might suggest. Surrounded by natural decor that's effortlessly unique and yet distinctively Portland, Prince Coffee is a terrific choice for a relaxing morning with friends. We picked up some insight from owner Katie Prinsen on why our city has been the best choice to build and grow her business.
UN: What is unique about your business?
We believe that our products definitely set us apart. When coming up with my concept I knew I had to bring a piece of myself to the table. That meant a nod to my Dutch heritage by offering stroopwafels. We also take our coffee pretty seriously at Prince. I came from working at a high-end café to opening my own shop and wanted the quality and consistency to stay the same. Lastly, each one of my employees brings uniqueness to the business as well. I’m not sure how but I feel like I lucked out with one of the friendliest staff in town. Everyone who works at Prince is so talented and so genuine.
UN: For you, what is most important about the customer experience?
The most important thing for me with customer experience is that no matter the scenario, the customer feels valued. Sometimes there can be a wait for coffee or stroopwafels, but that doesn’t have to mean the customer is having a bad experience. On our part it means always being aware of our surroundings as well as having a bit of an intuition. It can take time to develop but after being in hospitality for a while you start to have a good sense of peoples body language and can usually guide their experience accordingly.
UN: How would you describe the community that surrounds your business?
The Kenton neighborhood is unique because it really feels like a small town with a tight knit community. Everyone supports everyone. It’s one of my favorite things about Kenton. For example, the kind people at Revive Designs knew I was looking for a space to put my shop, so they let me share a space with their business.
UN: What do you think makes your shop a great fit for Portland?
Prince is a great fit for Portland because we care so deeply about the quality of our product. A business owner here in town who I respect greatly told me that if my quality is kept high, I will stand out and thrive. However, if we let our quality slack, this city will reject us. It’s that kind of competition that gets us so excited.
That and the fact that Portland people love trying new and unique things, makes us a great fit. We love when people come in and are so excited to try our stroopwafels.
UN: What is your favorite thing about Portland?
I would be lying if I didn’t say the food and beverage scene wasn’t one of my very favorite things about Portland. I love seeing new build outs and new concepts come to fruition. I also love the customer service around town. I think Portland is above average when it comes to friendliness.
UN: What part of town do you live in, and what do you love about it most?
I live in North Portland about a mile west of the Kenton neighborhood. North and North East Portland hold a special place in my heart because that’s where I first lived in Portland when I moved here 12 years ago. I specifically love North Portland right now because it still feels pretty low key compared to the rest of town. I’m sure that will be changing in a few years, but for now I enjoy that. I also love all the biking trails accessible to me in NoPo.