When customers order a drink at Pour Me Espresso, the barista does more than the coffee stand’s name conveys.
The Lexington shop offers standard coffee drinks, as well as energy drinks, smoothies, milkshakes, blended drinks and tea — but topped off with a sweet treat.
“We were trying to get people in to taste it, because it’s great coffee,” said Sia Gould, co-owner. “I’m extra, so I thought, ‘What could be better?’”
Many coffee drinks come with a chocolate, while energy drinks feature a gummy candy. For customers’ birthdays or first visits, drinks are topped with an upside-down lid holding cotton candy and other treats.
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When Gould and co-owner Joe Mendez opened the stand off West Side Highway in mid-January, they didn’t expect it to become as busy as it has in the last month, Gould said. The pair bought the business late last year at the urging of their daughters, she said.
“Everybody thought it would be a sleepy little coffee stand,” Gould said. “Now we’re pedaling as fast as we can to keep up.”
Both blue collar workers and first-time business owners, Gould and Mendez didn’t know what they were getting into, Gould said. While January, February and March were slower months, the “floodgates” opened in April, bringing in five times the amount of business, she said.
In May, Gould quit her job at Steelscape to manage Pour Me full time after juggling 12-hour shifts when running the coffee stand became overwhelming.
“It was a really big step, a huge plunge, but I’m happier than I’ve ever been,” she said.
The uptick in business is due in part to social media posts from the business and customers showing off their drinks, Gould said.
The initial challenge has been getting people to change up their morning coffee habit and visit somewhere new, Gould said. Pour Me doesn’t draw travelers randomly off Interstate 5, as it doesn’t have any signs on the highway, but customers have come from all over the area to try them, she said.
Red Bull and Lotus energy drinks have been particularly popular, and the stand can’t keep them stocked enough, Gould said.
Pour Me also offers breakfast foods, including muffins, croissants, English muffins, oatmeal bowls, breakfast burritos and bananas.
In the last four months, the coffee stand’s staff has doubled from four to eight, with hiring for a summer position in the works, Gould said. Two people are on board at all times, with three or four on the weekend, she said.
“We have an amazing staff of girls, we’re so lucky,” she said.
Pour Me plans to expand hours during the summer once additional staff is hired, Gould said.
As many people’s first contact with the outside world in the morning, Gould emphasizes consistency and making customers feel like they’re sitting down in her home for a cup of coffee.
“We want to give people a warm welcome and make sure everybody loves it,” she said.
Talking Business is a series featuring local new or expanded businesses and prints every Tuesday.
Contact Daily News reporter Katie Fairbanks at 360-577-2532 or Katherine.Fairbanks@lee.net for possible inclusion in the series.