I, Loretta Guzman, am the owner of the Bison Coffeehouse. I am a Portland Native and a Tribal member of the Shoshone Bannock tribes of Fort Hall, Idaho.
In 2008, I was diagnosed with stage 4B cancer. With the help of my family and the Shoshone Bannock Tribes in Fort Hall, I underwent aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. While I could feel myself dying, I had a dream of a huge Bison drawing near me. I drew near him until we were face to face and just stared at each other. I told my stepfather Paul "G.I" Fasthorse about the dream, and he told me I would get better. He said he had been praying to my grandparents from the afterlife to heal me. After the dream, I eventually went into remission.
I returned to Portland in 2009, and continued to work for Kibby Riedman as the manager of his café. I also returned to school, but I told Kibby I wanted to open my own coffeehouse. He introduced me to Heart Coffee and has since become my mentor.
I worked on my dream of opening Bison Coffeehouse for 2 years, wanting it to reflect who I am, and my Native heritage in a positive way. I had a lot of help from my family along the way.
The artwork in the coffeehouse represents Native artists from across the United States, giving local and visiting Natives a place they can identify with. By helping revive this beautiful 1926 building in the Cully Neighborhood, I hope to give the people in the neighborhood a place of their own.
I carry local Heart Coffee Roasters located on 2211 E Burnside, and Tribal Grounds from North Carolina also served in the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. I have buffalo jerky from my tribe, Sho-Ban, and local boiled and baked bagels from Bowery Bagels. I use local Sunshine Dairy products and local Tanglewood Chai.
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