Cornerstone up for sale, D&M look to renew contract with CWU


Cornerstone Pie, a pizzeria and bar owned by D&M Co-Owners Mark Holloway and Donna Malek, has been on the market for a new owner since April. Eric Rosane/The Observer.

Eric Rosane, For the Observer

D&M Coffee and Cornerstone Pie Co-Owner Mark Holloway disclaimed rumors last Thursday that Cornerstone Pie was shutting down, opting to disclose rather that the local business owners were looking to sell the 3,877 square-foot pizza restaurant.

According to Windermere Real-Estate Agent Rory Savage, Cornerstone Pie has been on the market for a new owner since late April and is currently listed at $550,000.

Holloway said that when him and his wife, Donna Malek, originally opened up Cornerstone Pie back in 2013, they had done it as a labor of love rather than imagining it as a long term business venture.

“I actually built this building to bring firestone pizza to Ellensburg… we thought it was cool and it has been,” Holloway said. “It’s kind of not just a baby business anymore, [and] it’s at the time where we’d want someone to take it and continue its growth.”

Holloway said that he first heard of the rumors through an employee who asked him about them, after hearing them circulate around CWU. He was quick to deny those and wanted to set the record straight. Holloway said that business has been good and that he’s very much enjoyed keeping Cornerstone Pie going. He said that even if they don’t find a new owner, they’d still keep Cornerstone open.

Cornerstone Pie currently employs around 25 waiters, cooks and staff, according to Holloway, and is located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and North Sprague Street. Holloway said that D&M is expected to open a new coffee stand inside KVH next to the gift shop in July.


Contract with CWU

D&M Coffee is currently in the rebidding process with CWU for a three-year campus wide coffee and espresso supply contract, estimated to be worth upwards of about $14,000, according to Director of Dining Services Dan Layman.

For the last 12 years, D&M Coffee has been the sole contractor to supply coffee at CWU. Their current contract ends on June 31, according to Holloway. D&M originally won that bid back in 2006 against Tully’s Coffee and Starbucks, then renewed with CWU for another six years in 2012.

Holloway declined to comment or speak on any information regarding his current bid for the contract.

According to Stuart Thompson, director of Contracts, Purchasing and Surplus Inventory, CWU sent out multiple invites for the bid through email and on state vendor websites on April 20 and received nine respondents from coffee companies interested in the bid.

As of late May, there are only four companies left in the running: D&M Coffee, Mount Tahoma Coffee Company, Starbucks and Thomas Hammer Coffee Roaster, according to Layman.

The cheapest option isn’t the only variable that CWU is looking at with this new contract. According to Layman, taste, customer preference, delivery, ability to train staff on brewing, pricing and equipment supply are all variables being considered by a small group of four judges for the bid. The winning bid will also be expected to supply between one and two thousand pounds of coffee, espresso, decaf and specialty blends.

CWU Dining Services /

Even though the final decision will be made by a few, Layman said that Dining services have made the process open to public opinion. On May 30, Dining Services held an open taste test for the public to voice their preference on which of the four coffee suppliers they liked best.

“I don’t drink a lot of coffee, and when I do I put a lot of flavoring and sugars in, but… it will be interesting,” Layman said, regarding the bidding process.

According to Layman, CWU Purchasing and Dining Services will meet on June 7 to go over figures and contracts.

Thompson declined to comment or confirm any information pertaining to the bidders, but would confirm information on the bidding process.

He said that last week and this week they’ve been finishing up taste tests and that an announcement for the new vender could be announced as early as June 30. Thompson also said that the goal is to have the winning bidder up and running before students come back in the fall.