For more than 40 years, The Sage Restaurant has served fresh soups, sandwiches, and salads made from scratch every morning. On any given day you’ll see owner Cindy Lorenzen in the restaurant “playing hostess” as she calls it, talking to and serving customers with a smile.
Nicknamed “McMinnville’s best-kept secret,” this restaurant encourages an intimate atmosphere where customers feel like family.
“Consistency, quality and excellent customer service,” Lorenzen explains, are the key reasons to why this small business is always bustling with friendly faces.
Cindy Lorenzen is no stranger to the McMinnville community. She opened up a video store in 1981 that expanded and turned into Video Yogurt Express and then went on to open Java Expresso in 1992, which was one of Oregon’s first drive-thru coffee shops and in 1995, Lorenzen opened Union Block Coffee. Her passion for creating relationships with her customers led her to purchase The Sage in 2011.
“One of the main reasons I love McMinnville is the connections. This community is authentic and real. The people are friendly and willing to help each other.” Lorenzen, a long-time member of the McMinnville community says her favorite part of owning the restaurant is being able to help others. “I enjoy creating relationships with my customers and making them feel like family,” she says.
“What is special about a being a business owner is being able to see a need in the community and help address it,” explains Lorenzen. At the end of the day if there is a surplus of food, The Sage donates it to local soup kitchens and ministries to aid individuals and families in crisis “I see the need in this community and I try to help in any way I can,” says Lorenzen.
In December, The Sage was selected as a restaurant for December’s MACC Mob on behalf of the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce and donated 25 percent of their proceeds to Aden’s Toy Drive, a toy drive that raises money and receives donated toys to distribute at children’s hospitals.
“I hope to see strong business and community partnerships in McMinnville in the future. I want people to continue to help each other and see this town remain authentic,” says Lorenzen. She expresses that being a small business owner and helping others is one of the most rewarding feelings in her life. “As this community grows it can only become stronger and I hope those who visit McMinnville see that,” remarks Lorenzen.