Big Wave Cafe to help four community groups as part of its annual local giving effort

Chef Brian Williams
Chef Brian Williams

MANZANITA, Ore. – It’s not every north Oregon coast restaurant that has a Social Responsibility Committee.

The Big Wave Cafe in Manzanita does, however, and the group recently selected four community organizations for the restaurant to help over the next three months, said Brian Williams, who owns the business with his wife Carol. Their son, Sam Williams, is the restaurant manager.

The Big Wave makes a practice of supporting the community year-round by employing up to 30 people, all local residents, and sourcing as many of its food items as possible from Tillamook County, said Williams. “It costs more to buy from our local farmers, ranchers and fisherman, but it provides a better product and keeps money in our county.”

In past years, the Big Wave café has hosted dinners on behalf of a number of local nonprofit organizations, including the Pine Grove Community Club, Rinehart Clinic and Manzanita Business Alliance.

It’s in the spirit of continuing to support the local economy and community that the Big Wave is donating a $25 gift certificate to every U.S. Coast Guard Station Tillamook Bay Guardsman and Guardswoman for the unit’s annual holiday party.

“The Coast Guard’s nearly 40 local active personnel keep our commercial fishing fleets and sports fishermen safe year-round,” said Williams, who enjoys sports fishing himself. “This is a way for us to say ‘thank you.’”

On Thursday, Dec 10, the Big Wave will host a holiday meal “with all the trimmings” for the Nehalem Bay Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10644. “The VFW supports our veterans in so many ways, we felt it was our honor to support the organization itself,” said Williams.

While the VFW dinner will be private, the public is invited to purchase tickets for the Tuesday, Jan. 26, Library Lovers’ Spaghetti Dinner, a fundraiser for the North Tillamook Library Friends to be hosted by the Big Wave Cafe. The North Tillamook Library Friends work with the Tillamook County Library System to operate the Manzanita Branch library. The nonprofit Friends group owns the land, building and furnishings, and pays for the cost of utilities and maintenance, while the county library system provides books, periodicals, computers and staff. The Friends raise money to support their part of the arrangement through magazine and book sales.

While last year’s Big Wave Library Lovers’ Dinner raised funds to help replace gutters and install a new drainage system at the Manzanita Library, this year’s will serve as a fundraising kick-off to replace worn furniture in the reading lounge. New furniture will complement an interior redesign. “Our library is so special, and we are very fortunate to have such a resource in our small town, but it is in need of some financial assistance,” said Gail Young, a member of the North Tillamook Library Friends Board of Directors.

“We are lucky to have such a fine library in our small community,” said Williams. “The North Tillamook Library Friends do a wonderful job maintaining the building, making it something we are all proud of and love to use.”

The Library Lovers’ menu will include spaghetti, garlic bread, salad and dessert. Tickets to the dinner, which is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m., cost $20 each and are tax-deductible. Contact Young at or 503-368-5248 to reserve your seat.

The Big Wave chose the North Tillamook County Food Bank as its fourth organization. The restaurant will host another spaghetti feed fundraiser for that nonprofit organization on Monday, Feb. 22. Look for more information about that event, including how to purchase tickets, as it approaches. Call Imie Camelli, North Tillamook County Food Bank president, at 503-368-7848 for more information now.

“The Williams family feels so lucky and blessed to be part of such a special place in our world and we feel it is our responsibility to give back whenever possible,” said Williams. “Please join us in supporting these great local organizations that play a role in making this the best place in the world to call home.”

The Big Wave Cafe is located at 822 Laneda Avenue, in Manzanita.