Coffee lovers know that sometimes you have to wait for an elaborate espresso creation, but the line time is nothing compared to journey the owners of the new Dutch Bros on the south Interstate 90 intersection just completed.

“My wife and I have owned the Moses Lake (Dutch Bros) store for a long time. We signed a franchise agreement to open in Ellensburg in 2014,” said Darren Nelson, who owns the Ellensburg and Moses Lake Dutch Bros. with his wife, Kristen.

Since 2014, Darren Nelson said they’ve gone through multiple potential locations that did not work out.

Nelson said complications at other potential sites included contaminated soil and zoning issues.

He said the breakthrough came when they were contacted by the proponent of the Sonic Drive-thru project at the south interchange.

Arrangements were made to work with the Sonic owners on the development of that property, which formerly housed the Bar 14 Restaurant.


Before evening opening the in Ellensburg, Nelson said they decided this is where they wanted to live.

“My wife and I just feel in love with the community,” Nelson said.

The couple has a preschool-aged child and a 6-month old.

“We moved here in May of last year,” Nelson said.

While the Nelsons are committed to Ellensburg, Dutch Bros. as a business is committed to the community it serves.

The Nelson already took part in a fundraiser at their Moses Lake location for the families of Kittitas County Sheriff Deputy Ryan Thompson, who was killed in the line of duty, and City of Kittitas Police Officer Benito Chavez, who was injured in the line of duty in March.

Nelson Dutch Bros as an overall company and as individual franchises participates in multiple charitable and fundraising efforts over the course of the year.


Dutch Bros started in Grants Pass, Oregon in 1992. It has steady grown throughout the Western states and now has 290 locations in seven states.


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