Coffee-on-the-go is coming to Orcas and friends of long-time islander Amanda Sparks can't wait.
“Bean Me Up,” an espresso kiosk on wheels, has received the necessary permits and owner Sparks expects to open in the Hogstone Pizza parking lot at 460 Main Street in Eastsound in July.
“We're probably the only people on the planet without a drive-thru for coffee,” Sparks said.
Many friends have told her they look forward to picking up their favorite latte or mocha on their way to school or work, especially when it's rainy.
Sparks grew up and went to school on Orcas, and worked for 15 plus years in the hospitality industry before opening Siren Boutique in Eastsound. She was director of catering at Rosario and learned the coffee business from her parents, who owned and operated a coffee shop in Seattle.
“We look forward to making coffee convenient for locals and visitors alike,” she said.
Sparks says she will use Caffe Umbria coffee from the venerable roasting company in Seattle, founded and still operated by the Bizzarri family from Perugia, Italy. She will serve some goodies and coffee-related products, she says, “but the emphasis is going to be on the fine Caffe Umbria coffee.”
Before making the “hefty investment” in the mobile kiosk, Sparks spent several months talking with the Eastsound Planning Review Commission and the county planning and health departments.
Although the EPRC has no direct authority over kiosks on private property, Sparks has taken notice of renewed EPRC interest in food carts and other “on-street” businesses. She’s been attending meetings and intends to take an interest in various proposals for revamping the county ordinances on the subject.
"I’m excited about the potential for my new business in Eastsound,” she said. “And I look forward to being involved with the business community as I continue operating my clothing store and get ‘Bean Me Up’ off the ground.”