Take one Doctor of Philosophy and one midwife and what do you get? The new owners of iconic Twede’s Cafe in North Bend – Max and Rachel Be.
I hear you asking, “How did that happen?”
Just a little twist of fate fueled by a geography change. And, hey, it seems to work for the mystique of iconic North Bend restaurant and a popular pit stop for Twin Peaks fans wanting to experience the The Double R Diner.
Rachel, who is a midwife, grew up in the Snoqualmie Valley. She and Max moved to North Bend in the summer of 2018 to be close to family as Max finished his PhD program. The plan was to stay for about a year before moving wherever Max’s academic career might take them.
A Plan B was formulated when the academic job market didn’t yield any immediate results. That plan also included staying in North Bend if possible. At the time Max and Rachel were watching Twin Peaks, which also became the inspiration for Rachel taking part-time job at Twede’s for some extra income.
She fell in love with the diner. Early on in her new job Rachel found out the owners were looking to sell. She and Max would joke about buying it… treating it as a ‘sort of fantasy.’
But things changed as Plan B became fully realized.
Max explained, “We also both have a lifelong love and association with diners. We are both big Twin Peaks fans and both of our work experience outside of our field was primarily in restaurants – about 14 years of experience for Rachel and six years for me. So we started to get more serious about buying the diner, and when we realized we could do it financially, we put all of our energy into making that happen.”
The sale closed on February 28th – right as the coronavirus crisis happened. Since the couple has not been able to have customer inside Twede’s, they’ve been workin on a few changes to the interior.
Some painting projects have been happening that Max says will freshen up the interior and pay homage to Twin Peaks, and he thinks fans will be especially excited about these cosmetic changes.
The couple is also trying to switch to more more sustainable products, like recyclable and compostable to-go containers, as well as biodegradable and compostable cutlery.
Some menu adjustments are also in the works to offer a few more plant-based and vegan options.
Max said, “We currently offer a vegan black bean burger patty, but we want to add a plant-based burger patty in the style of the Impossible burger. We also have developed a vegan cherry pie recipe with our head baker. We are experimenting with a few other exciting new options that will debut on our new menu that will role out in June.”
Rachel also started an online merchandise store that sells all of Twede’s Twin Peaks-related merchandise. In just a month they’ve fulfilled over 100 orders. They also added an online ordering system for to-go customers.
Twede’s has weathered the COVID crisis fairly well. They’ve stayed open for takeout throughout the pandemic, providing the community with some needed comfort food. They’ve were to keep core staff on the payroll with help from the CARES act, which has enabled Max and Rachel pay all employees 90% of their usual salaries, regardless of their hours worked.
Good Luck Max and Rachel!