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Client Spotlight

Mason - Food Made With Love in Sherwood, Oregon

Jan 04, 2024

Owners Dax and Lawson stand behind the bar at Mason.

A family-owned business

The restaurant and hospitality industry employs over 15 million people in the United States and generated over $900 billion in sales in 2022. At the same time, like all small businesses, it can be challenging to sustain restaurant ownership over a long period. Mason, a restaurant in Sherwood, Oregon, has been open since 2016 and continues to thrive despite the industry challenges.

Lawson Granger Smith has owned a few businesses throughout his career, including a landscape design and home renovation business. Lawson’s husband, Dax Mason, is a chef and has been in the restaurant industry his whole career. Together, they opened Mason in March 2016, giving Dax the opportunity to create his own menu and experience. “When you come into our restaurant, we want you to feel at home. Our customers are from all over the local region, and we also have a lot of regulars,” says Lawson.

Mason is a local, family-owned Italian restaurant with French cuisine influences. At Mason, the focus is on bringing people together. With food created from scratch by a chef classically trained in the French tradition, Mason is a labor of love. In addition to their menu, Mason also has an extensive wine list with wines from all over the world. “The best part of our business is the people,” says Lawson. “Our staff are amazing and doing incredible work creating something that people want to come back and experience again. And our customers are wonderful.”

Interior of Mason, showing tables in the foreground and a small bar area in the background.

Building community connections

“We’ve made good friends through the restaurant,” says Lawson. “Talking with people and building connections is the best part of running our business.” During the pandemic, Mason offered takeout options, which allowed their customers and team to stay connected to one another, even during a period of distancing.

“We love creating good food that people enjoy, and our chef is talented,” says Lawson. “We hope our restaurant feels like someone poured their soul into it because we do that daily.”

Relationship-based banking

One of Lawson’s landscaping clients referred him to Beneficial State Bank (at the time Albina Community Bank.

Working with Mary Edmeades [VP, Client Treasury Manager] has kept me with Beneficial State Bank all these years. And everyone I’ve worked with at Beneficial State Bank is wonderful – I’ve yet to have a bad experience. I can call and talk to someone in just minutes. Any issues I’ve faced have been resolved quickly.

Lawson Granger Smith, Owner of Mason

Beneficial State Bank is proud to support local businesses that make our communities vibrant and connected, like Mason. “The world is difficult enough. We want to put love back into the world wherever we can, even in a small way. We have tried to create a place where people can come and feel loved and cared for, and we hope they’ll return that feeling to the world when they leave,” says Lawson.

Visit Mason’s website to see their menu. They also have daily specials you can learn about when you visit. Reservations are not required, but Lawson does recommend them, especially on the weekends when it gets busy.

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