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Rudy Loeza mixes traditional Mexican flavors with coffee shop staples in award winning fashion

COURTESY PHOTO: GRESHAM AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND VISITORS CENTERS - Rudy Loeza accepting the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerces Rising Star Award. Rudy Loeza was bringing in samples of his coffee shop's September specials to the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce when he was told he had won the chamber's 2021 Rising Star award.

"They told me that I need to take a class in reading emails because they sent tons trying to tell me that I won," Loeza said. "Sometimes I get tunnel vision and don't notice stuff like that."

The Rising Star award is meant for a business or person who has shown noteworthy creativity, courage and accomplishments. Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce's Event and Program Manager Liz O'Byrne said there is no one more deserving of that recognition than Loeza. From his charitable donation of about 300 backpacks filled with school supplies to Gresham students and his ambitious work ethic it isn't hard to see why Loeza's name stands out.

The 25-year-old took all of the recognition with grace, but attributes the award to the work that was done before him by his father and mother, the help of his devoted family and team and a hint of out-off-the-box thinking.

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS  - Loeza's homemade horchata drinks come in various flavors and even a dairy free option. A Baker's Son

In the early 1980s, Loeza's parent immigrated from Mexico to the United States, where his father started working as a baker in Chicago. His parents then moved to Oregon where his mother's family was staying and where Loeza grew up.

In Oregon, his father, Rodolfo "Tany" Loeza, noticed a lack of traditional Mexican pastries and decided to open a bakery. The operation started from the family's apartment building, but slowly grew until they opened up their storefront in 2007 on Northeast Halsey Street in Fairview.

"You know (my dad) had that hustle mentality, selling and saving," Loeza remembered. "Always buying bigger and better equipment."

Loeza said he learned so much from working with his father. His work ethic and focus was something that Loeza believes started from his time working at his dad in his bakery. However, Loeza's creativity was something that developed on its own.

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS  - Loeza stands in front of a mural in his coffee shop that reminds him of the sacrifices his family has made to get him to where he is today. Coffee Creativity

"I would always tell my pops, I want to open a coffee shop, it was just always on my head," Loeza said. "My dad has always been against new trends, but when I said that I want to do this coffee shop with my twist to it, he wanted to help me out."

With the green light from his father, Loeza opened the doors to Tany's Coffee Shop on Feb. 22 at 3030 N.E. Hogan Drive, Gresham.

Loeza was able to let his imagination run free and began mixing traditional Mexican flavors to coffee beverages.

The shop's most popular item is the Dirty Horchata, which mashes a variation of the Mexican rice drink with shots of espresso. One of Loeza's other creations also tinkers with the horchata recipe by infusing it with other flavors like strawberry and peach.

Tany's Bakery made its name from their Mexican sweet bread, but at Loeza's coffee shop he gets to tweek the already proven mixture by adding flavors that are not usually seen on pan dulces.

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS  - Loeza and his brother Manny Loeza joking around before they close up shop for the day. Loeza credits the coffee shop's success to his family who devoted their time and energy to making his dream a reality. Although Loeza loves being able to share Mexican flavors to non-Latino customers, he finds even more joy when he can reunite people with the tastes of their childhood.

"When you drink our coffee or take a bite of our conchas (pan dulce), I want it to bring you back to a great memory," Loeza said. "When that happens, I know I am doing what I am supposed to be doing."

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