Jamaican Randolph Bryan, the owner of the popular Cottonwood Canyon coffee shop, is set to re-open the business at a new location in downtown Waterloo, Iowa, in May 2018. He originally opened Cottonwood Canyon in Waterloo in 2006, in a location just next door to the new venue. The building is ready, Bryan said, with the coffee roaster installed. He is now in the process of hiring and training staff.
The new coffee house will offer a simplified menu that includes fresh burritos, rice bowls, and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, along with its famous coffee, which is roasted right on site. According to Bryan, the market will determine whether he will introduce additional items to the menu. Bryan is a resident of Waterloo, but originally comes from Jamaica. He said he is thrilled to be back downtown, noting that Waterloo is growing, and he wants to be part of that growth. He believes the new location will provide new opportunities. When he first opened in 2006, there “wasn’t anything” in Waterloo. Bryan’s was the first coffee shop downtown, as well as the first place to offer Jamaican food. “We had the first coffee roaster,” he said. I
n the future, he plans to bring in music and poetry entertainment at the venue, and he plans to use biodegradable take-out containers, coffee cups, and sleeves to ensure the shop is eco-friendly. Bryan’s wife and children are active in the business, working the counter or in the two food trucks operated by the restaurant. The trucks can be found around Cedar Valley at music festivals, farmers’ markets, and other events. Bryan is enthusiastic about re-opening in the city, saying that he was able to use the space the way he wanted. “It’s good to be back in Waterloo,” he said.