Morgan King is operating the Coffee Cactus, a new coffee shop inside Bake-A-Deli in Ontario. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)

ONTARIO – Here’s something you don’t hear often these days: There’s a new business in town. 

The Coffee Cactus set up shop inside Bake-A-Deli at 2609 SW 4th Ave, Ontario, this month. Morgan King, a 20-year-old Vale High School graduate, is the mastermind behind the new coffee shop.

“I have had a lot of people ask me why I opened my business during this time and to be honest it is because I felt as though I had nothing to lose,” King said in an email. 

With remodeling already underway, King decided to go all in. She’s been serving rose lattes, German chocolate mochas, High Deserts – a specialty drink with salted caramel and cinnamon – and other drinks since mid-April. 

King is no stranger to the coffee shop trade. She started her business at 17 out of a small trailer she took throughout Idaho and Oregon while working as a barista at a local coffee shop.

Her senior year, King took a school trip to Costa Rica. She spent an entire day at the Doka Estate coffee plantation. It was an eye-opening experience.

“I was able to see the entire process of coffee beans,” King said. 

Since then she’s spent all her time soaking up information.

“I don't think I could ever stop learning about coffee,” King said. “I spend a lot of my time researching and reading about coffee beans, roasting, tasting, and just how to be the best barista.”

King upgraded to a bigger trailer she refurbished with help from family about two years ago. But moving to a bigger space ultimately became her goal.

“Being in a trailer has its limits and there were a lot of things that I wanted to do but couldn’t because of the space,” King said. “I also really wanted to have a more relaxed scene where people can sit and enjoy a more gourmet style coffee.”

She found out through Facebook that Bake-A-Deli was looking for a coffee counterpart to its baked goods. King got in touch and the rest, she said, is history. 

Remodeling inside a corner of the bakery kicked off in January. 

“Ever since we first opened our first couple of customers who came in were like ‘oh you don’t have coffee?’” said Mickilyne Simpson, co-owner of Bake-A-Deli. 

The bakery had only sold regular coffee until now but Simpson said they always contemplated adding other beverages or bringing in a barista.

Simpson said the plan is to schedule a grand opening when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. 

The new shop is currently open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. though hours may change in the coming weeks. 

King said her goal is to deliver standout hospitality and build a credible and successful business.

“People in this community are incredible and have really showed up for me and my business during this time,” King said.  

Some of the specialty drinks at the Coffee Cactus are the Sedona Sunrise and the High Desert. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)

Have a news tip? Reporter Yadira Lopez: [email protected] or 541-473-3377

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