Take nothing but coffee, leave nothing but a small carbon footprint

The new owners of drive-thru espresso stand Gamble Bay Coffee are putting an emphasis on local merchandise and high-quality products. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
The new owners of drive-thru espresso stand Gamble Bay Coffee are putting an emphasis on local merchandise and high-quality products.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

PORT GAMBLE — Want to know the perfect recipe for business success? Just ask the new owners of the drive thru espresso stand — Gamble Bay Coffee — in Port Gamble. They've got the answer.

It all starts with a combination of experienced owners who love coffee, a high-quality product, an armory of awesome ideas greater in number than the rings of an old-growth cedar, an emphasis on uber-local merchandise and a stellar location.

According to a 2002 traffic count study some 900 cars drive through Port Gamble between 4 and 8 a.m.

"Oh, we love coffee," said Sean Wescott, one of three Gamble Bay Coffee owners. "We love the people. You get people that come in every day and you get to know them."

Wescott, Kris Wescott (Sean and Kris are siblings) and Katherine Klint own Gamble Bay Coffee, which is slated to open May 15.

The former owner was selling, and after about a month of hemming-and-hawing and navigating the funding ropes, the trio decided the drive thru was brilliant and fronted the funds themselves: The final two pieces in a fool-proof business plan.

Some may think brewing an ideal cup of coffee is something everyone can do.

Not true, as pulling the perfect shot is a very involved process.

With the proper training, the difference in flavor is amazing. The Wescott siblings have just such training.

In 1993-96 they owned a sit-down/drive-thru cafe in Spokane and learned about the roasting and brewing process "old school" style.

They get the milk just right by sound and touch (of course they have a thermometer on hand), and they actually time the shots: a 18-22 second pull. Anything longer and the coffee tastes bitter; anything shorter and there's less coffee flavor.

They also went through Cafe D'Arte's coffee training academy, where nearly every Seattle-area barista is trained.

Gamble Bay will offer roasts from Majestic Mountain Coffee and Grounds For Change, both Kingston establishments, and Bremerton's Puget Sounds Coffee Roasters.

"We want to stimulate the economy here as much as we can," Wescott said as to why the emphasis on local merchandise.

The new owners are also making eco-friendly business practices a quasi-motto for the establishment. They're looking into using solar and wind as power sources. While living in Hawaii Wescott became aware of little wind turbans, maybe 6 inches in diameter and 10 inches in height, that can be attached to a light and generate enough power to light it up. However, Port Gamble is a company-owned town and permission is needed from Olympic Resource Management to use the green-powered energy devices. Wescott said ORM is in favor, but all channels must be navigated.

All cups, lids and straws will be compostable and a progressive online program will help offset the carbon footprint of drive-thru patrons. When a customer buys a cup, a certain percentage of the sale will be given back to compensate for the car traffic driving through. Customers can donate more if they choose. The online program is Kris Wescott's brainchild.

Gamble Bay will offer the gamut of espresso beverages, a limited menu of healthful foods, including a famous breakfast burrito and health drinks may be an option in the future.

Gamble Bay Coffee is opening May 15, and Wescott will be there daily at 4:30 a.m. so he can greet patrons with a smile when business opens at 5 a.m.

"It's better coffee and it's better made and it actually helps the economy and the environment," Wescott says.

Gamble Bay Coffee

Monday through Friday 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

4311 NE State Highway 104

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