Mountain Moka: Building a community of coffee people
The Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the nominees for its next Sensational Business.
Among the top three nominees for this quarter's award are Mountain Moka, the Sandy Fire Department and The Sandy Post.
The Post will feature each nominated business in an effort to better inform the community's voting process in the coming weeks.
Mountain Moka is up this week for voter consideration.
Mike and Rosemary Guisto have owned the community institution for 16 of its more than 25 years, and Mike's sister, Tina Hovey has been running the show as the face of the place since they purchased the business.
"We just thought it was a great opportunity," Hovey said of her family's motivation to take over and keep the coffee flowing at the little corner coffee shop at 17450 S.E. Meinig Ave. "Their coffee is an addiction."
When she's not being the life of the party at Mountain Moka, Hovey is cutting hair in a salon in her hometown of Gresham.
Hovey lives in Sandy, only a mile away from the shop, and has raised her children here. Her daughter has even worked at the shop almost as long as Hovey herself has managed the business.
Though working with her daughter is a fun perk, being the first stop for people's morning pick-me-up is her favorite part of working at Mountain Moka.
"We're kind of like the place that's part of people's morning routine," Hovey noted. "It's more a part of them. It's kind of cool. I'm a people person. The girls laugh and say all I do is stand around and talk to people all day."
In an effort to give back to the regulars and the community that supports the shop, Hovey and the team at Mountain Moka donate gallons of coffee to community events every year and host several fundraisers for locals in need.
However, Hovey explained that though the contributions Mountain Moka has made over the years are notable, that's not the reason the shop donates and volunteers.
"(I'm) just completely honored," she said of the shop's nomination. "(But) you do things not for the reason of being recognized, but to help."
Most recently, the shop participated in a Fill the Boot campaign to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
"I'm a firm believer in (the idea that) people help take care of us, so we help take care of them," she explained, adding that in the end, the result of their fundraisers should really be attributed to the customers who donate. "We open the door to these fundraisers, but the customers deserve the credit. If we do a little paperwork, the community pulls through."
To vote, visit http//www.surveymonkey.com/r/FMGDQJQ. The deadline is Friday, Aug. 11.