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3 Minutes with Toni Leech

Published on July 25, 2017 3:42PM

Kathleen Ellyn/ChieftainToni Leech of Lostine

Kathleen Ellyn/ChieftainToni Leech of Lostine

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Toni Leech and her husband Keith Friedly came to Wallowa County 16 years ago from the Ketchum/Haley, Idaho area. Toni operates the Longhorn Espresso Coffee stand, 210 W. Greenwood, Enterprise and oversees the Enterprise car wash and laundromat.

Toni moved to the Ketchum area after college in 1972 and established a bookkeeper and secretarial service there. That’s where she met Keith — over margaritas after the 4th of July parade. He worked for Qwest. The couple has been married 25 years.

Keith’s two daughters and Toni’s one were all grown up and living in Alaska and Texas when Keith started looking out-of-state for a “bigger spread to ranch” after he retired –– but Toni was not keen to leave her friends in Idaho.

Then she saw Wallowa County. “I really had a hard time moving, but this –– this was okay,” she said. She’d enjoyed Rotary in Idaho and joined in Wallowa County and “that opened the door big time,” she said. Soon she knew lots of people, worked on many projects, and found her footing. She’s had to quit Rotary as her businesses grew; she also catered and cooked with her sister Sherri Currie when they owned Holy Smokes BBQ and Catering for nine years.

She enjoys supporting school activities, raffles, Ranch Rodeo and “anything to do with kids.”

She works too much to donate much time, she said, but if the car wash/Laundromat/coffee shop sells she’ll be right back in Rotary.

Q. Why did you move to Wallowa County?

A. We had 16 acres in Idaho and some horses and Keith wanted to really ranch. A friend from Sun Valley had land out here in the Imnaha and we looked at that — thank goodness that didn’t fly! It was 1,400 acres and too far away for me. We bought 150 acres in Lostine and Keith grows hay. He does it all by himself, I’m too busy with the businesses to help. I liked Wallowa County because it reminded me of what Ketchum, Haley and Sun Valley used to be when Keith and I were young. In 1972, it was fun to work and ski in Sun Valley –– you could go up and go skiing under a full moon. Even the phone company was fun. But things changed. (Eventually) they built condos right on the main street in Ketchum.

Q. What has Wallowa County taught you?

A. It’s taught me to appreciate the Wallowa way of life and thinking and how to have no barriers –– not picking and choosing friends because of their politics or beliefs. I have a wide variety of friends here. The people are great in the way they are friendly and interesting. It’s just a good feeling around town; it’s family oriented, the arts are great, Darrell Brann (OK Theatre) is bringing in a lot of good entertainment.

Q. How has Wallowa County surprised you?

A. The beauty of the place continues. I learned the hard way that you have to stop and look around and appreciate what you have.


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