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Blac-N-Bleu Bistro keeps cookin’ with the help of OPB

Business has been good for Todd and Kristin Koens, owners of Blac-N-Bleu Bistro in Roseburg. The American/Cajun restaurant, which opened in 2013, is a spot where diners can enjoy a perfect ribeye, fish tacos or a tasty Blac-N-Bleu burger.

When 2020 began, they were adding employees and expanding their menu—until the pandemic started. “We shut down the doors, and it was scary, not knowing: Is it going to be a month, is it going to be two months?” Kristin says.

Their biggest concern was for their employees, Todd says. They looked into the federal Paycheck Protection Program, but their bank told them they couldn’t help. That’s when Todd’s friend made a suggestion.

“One of my close acquaintances mentioned to me, ‘Hey, you might want to try Oregon Pacific Bank and see what that have to offer, because they seem to be a little more flexible, a little more community-oriented,” he recalls.

Todd reached out and, he says, someone at Oregon Pacific Bank returned his call the same day and said, “Hey, we can make it happen for you.” Todd says he was blown away by the quick response.

Their business outlook quickly changed and, Todd says, they were put at ease. “They do things really smoothly for us, and that’s what we really appreciate,” he says. “We brought everyone back—it was a lot of weight off our shoulders.”

Jeff Benham, Commercial Relationship Manager at our Roseburg branch, was happy to help Todd and Kristin when they needed a local banking partner. “We were able to get it together in just a couple of days,” Jeff says. “I think they were all surprised at how quick and easy it was to make it happen for them.”

Oregon Pacific Bank believes customer relationships are the most important part of doing business. As Jeff says, “We do want to know our customers, and we do want to know about their business and their industry.”

In all, Oregon Pacific Bank has loaned more than $125.2 million to 752 businesses and nonprofits in Lane, Coos, Douglas and Jackson counties, as part of the U.S. Paycheck Protection Program, retaining more than 15,000 local jobs. Part of the CARES Act, these forgivable loans provide a direct incentive for businesses and nonprofits to keep workers employed during the crisis.

Business has been good for Todd and Kristin Koens, owners of Blac-N-Bleu Bistro in Roseburg. The American/Cajun restaurant, which opened in 2013, is a spot where diners can enjoy a perfect ribeye, fish tacos or a tasty Blac-N-Bleu burger.

When 2020 began, they were adding employees and expanding their menu—until the pandemic started. “We shut down the doors, and it was scary, not knowing: Is it going to be a month, is it going to be two months?” Kristin says.

Their biggest concern was for their employees, Todd says. They looked into the federal Paycheck Protection Program, but their bank told them they couldn’t help. That’s when Todd’s friend made a suggestion.

“One of my close acquaintances mentioned to me, ‘Hey, you might want to try Oregon Pacific Bank and see what that have to offer, because they seem to be a little more flexible, a little more community-oriented,” he recalls.

Todd reached out and, he says, someone at Oregon Pacific Bank returned his call the same day and said, “Hey, we can make it happen for you.” Todd says he was blown away by the quick response.

Their business outlook quickly changed and, Todd says, they were put at ease. “They do things really smoothly for us, and that’s what we really appreciate,” he says. “We brought everyone back—it was a lot of weight off our shoulders.”

Jeff Benham, Commercial Relationship Manager at our Roseburg branch, was happy to help Todd and Kristin when they needed a local banking partner. “We were able to get it together in just a couple of days,” Jeff says. “I think they were all surprised at how quick and easy it was to make it happen for them.”

Oregon Pacific Bank believes customer relationships are the most important part of doing business. As Jeff says, “We do want to know our customers, and we do want to know about their business and their industry.”

In all, Oregon Pacific Bank has loaned more than $125.2 million to 752 businesses and nonprofits in Lane, Coos, Douglas and Jackson counties, as part of the U.S. Paycheck Protection Program, retaining more than 15,000 local jobs. Part of the CARES Act, these forgivable loans provide a direct incentive for businesses and nonprofits to keep workers employed during the crisis.

Banker Spotlight
Jeff Benham

Jeff Benham

VP, Commercial Relationship Manager
Roseburg Branch
541-677-9454

“I like helping our customers. They have a dream of what they’d like to do and what they’d like to accomplish, and I’m here to help make those things happen for them.”

Though the years, Jeff Benham has worked at banking institutions across the state, from North Bend on the Oregon Coast to Ontario near the Idaho border. In 2019, he was glad to be given the opportunity to move to Roseburg to take a position with Oregon Pacific Bank.

“It’s been a nice experience here,” he says. “These folks are really down-to-earth and great to work with.”

In many ways, it was like coming home. Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager at OPB, Jeff grew up in Coquille, not too far from Roseburg, and many of his family members still live in the area.

After working at other banks, Jeff says, OPB provided a return to working for a “real local bank.” That local feel is what makes it special.

“I like helping our customers,” he says. “They have a dream of what they’d like to do and what they’d like to accomplish, and I’m here to help make those things happen for them.”

Helping people fulfill their dreams is extremely satisfying, he says, recalling one local business that had been turned down by other banks before OPB found a way to provide financing. “You can see their excitement,” he says. “When it’s all said and done, it’s really a great feeling.”

Jeff says OPB’s involvement in the federal Paycheck Protection Program during the pandemic was a landmark moment in his career. He and his co-workers went above and beyond, reaching out and processing loans to help the community through a difficult time.

As Jeff continues to settle in and get to know the Roseburg community, he’s looking forward to getting more involved in organizations like Chamber of Commerce activities, as well as Rotary Club, which he’s supported for decades.

“Out and about town, you see people you know,” he says. “It’s a really nice-size town to live and work in.”

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