Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



The Tiny House Cafe is a family business that serves shave ice, cream soda, shortcakes and other sweet treats

GRAPHIC PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - Delanie Simmons and two of her children recently launched a new business, Tiny House Café, where on Fridays they serve up sweet treats like shave ice and shortcakes.

Summers in Newberg are about to get just a little bit sweeter, thanks to an unusual culprit: a tiny house.

A new business, run by Delanie Simmons and two of her children, is called the Tiny House Café. The shop serves up a mix of dessert items, ranging from shave ice, cream sodas and strawberry shortcake. Delanie said she bought the tiny structure, roughly the size of a queen-sized bed, a few years ago on Craigslist and wanted to convert it into a food cart of some kind for her and her kids to have.

Initially, they planned on just doing festivals, but space adjacent to the Second Street merchants lot, next to Ricky's Tacos, opened and sweetened the deal.

"It's the very beginning of it now," Simmons said.

The family venture settled on shave ice because they've had a machine for a few years and her son Mason, 10, used to set up business at the Newberg farmers market with it.

"We had fun with shave ice; we thought that would be a good staple," she said.

Although the business is still in its infancy stage – it's currently only open from noon to 5 p.m. on Fridays as Simmons works Monday through Friday at a local restaurant – she said one flavor in particular has proved to be a crowd pleaser.

"My son's favorite is butter beer. It's a Harry Potter inspired flavor that (Joe's Organic Syrups) makes," she said. "It's got a secret ingredient in it, so he has fun with that."

The business opened June 7 for the First Friday Art Walk, the same day it received its business license. And although the shop has only been open for three total days, Simmons said the response has been good.

"Things have been great. We've had friends stop by, we've had some of my family stop by …," she said. "We had some of the kid's teachers come. Each week it's been a little bit more busy."

Simmons added that the family may look to be open on Sundays going forward as well. She added that just the other day that daughter Ava, 6, asked on a Wednesday "how many more days until we go to work?"

"I thought it would be a great way to teach them how to make money and manage money," Simmons said. "We're all kind of learning together."

Simmons said another reason they settled on the theme of the cart being desserts is that there's nothing hot on the cart that could injures the children. Right now, Ava and Mason handle the cashier duties, but eventually Simmons wants them to learn the ropes of the whole business. Two-year-old Maxwell will join them some times as well.

All the ingredients for the Tiny House Café are locally sourced, from the syrups in the cream sodas and shave ice, to the berries in the shortcakes. Even the sign outside the cart was made by a local painter.

Ava and Mason have been handing out samples to other local businesses to spread the word. So for the meantime, it's all about slinging that shave ice and berry shortcakes for the summer months. Simmons said they even offer a toddler size for all treats, whether it be shave ice, shortcake or even just whipped cream and sprinkles. She added that she thought this would be a good way for parents with young children to get them something sweet without having a large mess on their hands.

"We love to have people come by," Simmons said. "You can walk up, ride a bike or drive up. We're working on a kids seating area. It's going to be transitioning. It's going to come together nice."

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