|Mark Downen is our lead baker, my business partner and my husband. Mark has always had a knack for baking and working with his hands; he was an auto mechanic for 16 years prior to this career move. We have been dating since 1987, when he was in the Marine Corps and I was in college. We married in 1991 and Mark has never failed to support me in anything; this café is no exception. I am Monica Downen, co-owner and operator of Monica’s Waterfront Bakery & Café. After I earned a B.A. in Criminal Justice I worked for the King County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years as a dispatcher/911 Operator. In July of 2005 I quit my job and, with the encouragement of my friends and family, entertained the idea of opening a restaurant. I had worked in all aspects of restaurants throughout high school and college, but that was a long time ago, so I knew I had some learning to do. After 11 months of informational interviews, mentoring and training, we opened this cafe under our own management.This life is far more than I could have ever bargained for, and I love every second of it. Even the less pleasant stuff is a learning experience and I start, and end, every single day with a huge THANK YOU!
Betuel stayed on when we took over the cafe space and we are honored that he decided to stay on with our team. He is our right hand man in the kitchen, providing us with much of our daily prep work. Among other things, Betuel makes the Wraps, Panini, focaccia, Dilled Chicken, Pesto Tortelloni, Meatloaf, and helps out with much, much more. Muchas Gracias, Betuel!
Paul Gregory is our main farmer and definitely part of our team. He owns and runs Gregory Farms, growing delicious food organically and sustainably, just a few miles down the road. He has a CSA that you can join and pick up at the farm or right here at the cafe. He grows much of our produce, including kale and other hearty greens, 2 kinds of onions, carrots, cucumbers, melons, and more. He also forages for us and brings our huckleberries, sour cherries, rhubarb and many other delicious things. Thank goodness for farmers!