Biz Beat

Come for the coffee, stay for the secret menu items at Oakdale’s new Dutch Bros kiosk

There’s a new coffee chain in Stanislaus County. And while it may not be as ubiquitous as that other coffee powerhouse that rhymes with “aw, shucks,” Dutch Bros Coffee has built a loyal following by setting itself apart with attitude and offerings.

The Oregon-based drive-thru chain will open its new Oakdale location Friday in the Cost Less shopping center. The company has more than 300 locations in seven Western states, and has been expanding more into the Central Valley recently. The Oakdale coffee kiosk is the first of three planned locations in the county — the others will be in Turlock and Modesto.

The Oakdale site, in the former Pete’s Joe & Snow coffee and shaved ice stand, was renovated and expanded to add more storage and a large walk-in refrigerator. The double drive-thru kiosk with a walk-up window is instantly recognizable thanks to the Dutch Bros signature blue and windmill logo.

But its offerings really help them stand out. Of course, there are coffee drinks (served hot, iced or blended in almost every imaginable variety which generally run around $3 to $5). Then there are smoothies, milkshakes, chai teas, regular teas, lemonades, Italian sodas, hot cocoa and the company’s own brand of energy drink called Rebel.

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The new Dutch Bros Coffee drive-up coffee shop will open in Oakdale, Calif. Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Marijke Rowland

And that’s just what’s on the menu. You can also order any of the some 150 secret menu items and combinations, in a rainbow of flavors. You are encouraged to mix-and-match to your heart’s content because unlike some other more high-brow, chi-chi coffee companies, Dutch Bros will happily serve you something that’s a color not typically found in nature.

Need a little something to nosh on to go with your bright, bold beverage? Dutch Bros sells their own exclusive line of muffin tops (yes, just the tops, but they’re big so you probably won’t miss the bottoms) and granola bars.

The new Oakdale kiosk is helmed by Regional Operator Isaac Schaaf, who has spent 11 years with Dutch Bros in Oregon. Schaaf and his wife Amy moved to Oakdale this summer to run this shop, as well as the other two planned for the county.

The planned Turlock site, across from Stanislaus State University at Crowell Road and Monte Vista Avenue, is expected to open next spring. The Modesto location, which has not been finalized yet, is planned for summer 2020.

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Dutch Bros Coffee employees Kelii Carr (front) and Madison Dampier are trained inside the drive-up coffee chain’s new location in Oakdale, Calif., which opens Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Marijke Rowland

“We just fell in love with the people of this area,” Isaac Schaaf said. “The uniqueness of Dutch Bros is we’re really serving the community through love. It’s not just about selling coffee, it’s about selling a culture.”

That culture comes with its own cheerful language as well. The Oakdale Dutch Bros site opens with about 45 employees. But instead of baristas, they’re called “broistas.” The trainers are called “mobsters.” And all the employees are lovingly considered members of the “Dutch Mafia.”

Besides the secret menu items, Dutch Bros has some secret treats for your kiddos and doggos as well. Your kids (and kids at heart) can get a free “whip stick” (whipped cream on the end of a straw) upon request. And your four-legged best friend can enjoy a free cup filled with whipped cream and dog treats.

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Dutch Bros Coffee trainer Martin Marquez demonstrates how to make “whip sticks” for employees of the new Dutch Bros Coffee drive-up coffee shop in Oakdale, Calif., which opens Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Marijke Rowland

The chain, which was started by two Oregon brothers of Dutch descent in 1992, also has a community service streak to its mission. So expect company-wide and local fundraising events regularly. The first will be Sept. 27 with its Bucks for Kids program, where $1 of every drink order will go toward the Children’s Guardian House in Oakdale.

Company-wide fundraisers for breast cancer awareness will be held in October and for men’s health in November.

The Dutch Bros Coffee kiosk, at 810 N. Yosemite Ave. in Oakdale, opens Friday, Aug. 30. Its hours will be 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit

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Marijke Rowland writes about new business, restaurant and retail developments. She has been with The Modesto Bee since 1997 covering a variety of topics including arts and entertainment. Her Business Beat column runs multiple times a week. And it’s pronounced Mar-eye-ke.
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