Locally owned and operated restaurant now in its 12th year

By KM Collins
For the Old Mill District

This spring, Karli Nicole Foster, co-owner and operator of Cafe Yumm! in the Old Mill District, is excited to dish up fan favorites and some new flavorful twists from her Oregon-grown franchise.


“The original Yumm! bowl is where it’s at and the number one seller,” Foster says. “But remember, you can’t go wrong with any bowl, because they are all customizable.”


Cafe Yumm! is rolling out a new kids menu at their Old Mill District and Neff Place locations later this April. The new offerings will include pint-sized portions of some of the Cafe Yumm!’s most popular items.


“Food fuels us and is a huge part of our nourishment,” Foster says. “Our mission is to nourish humanity and the world, and we do that daily.”


This devotion is clearly served up in all that Cafe Yumm! touches, from food to customers.


“I believe it’s the highest calling to serve our community, and we have the privilege of doing that by serving them Cafe Yumm!’s amazing food,” Foster says. “I truly enjoy serving our regular customers and working in an active environment. I appreciate all of our guests that continue to support us and it’s even in our business philosophy… ‘Our guests are our employers.’”


With roots in the Willamette Valley, Foster graduated from Lane Community College in Eugene, then moved to France and majored in French philosophy, obtaining a master’s degree in the same subject and a minor in linguistics. Foster opened Cafe Yumm! in the Old Mill District in 2007 and was the first to operate a Cafe Yumm! franchise outside of Eugene.


One of the many female business owners in the Old Mill District, Foster says she draws inspiration from other women in leadership roles throughout the region.


“Ellen Chamberlain for being the most amazing business partner of 13 years and more to come,” Foster says. “Kloe Olkowski, (Cafe Yumm!]) director of operations. She worked in the Old Mill District location for years starting as a team member, then opening the new location and designing and managing that location for 3 1/2 years before her current promotion. And (Old Mill District marketing director) Noelle Fredland for all of her amazing marketing endeavors and inclusivity.”