The Oakbrook area Black Star Coffee stand in Lakewood won’t be a bikini barista business after all – as was once rumored – since that possibility was prevented by the recent purchase of what is now the new Primo Espresso by John Simpson, candidate for Lakewood City Council.
“I can’t solve every problem the city faces, but this one I could address,” said Simpson.
“Actually I came up with the idea during a street fight in Baghdad in which the thought occurred to me, ‘if I were to die, how well would I have provided for my family?’”
It was 2007 and Simpson had been on patrol he said “with a group of JBLM soldiers during one of my eight embedments (five to Iraq, three to Afghanistan) in covering the Global War on Terror for the Ranger Newspaper.
“We knew we wanted an espresso business,” said Simpson referencing his wife Melanie who will be running the place. “My wife is far smarter than I and she has a solid business plan premised on excellent customer service with a great product in hand. She has the experience and the know-how,” Simpson said. “We liked the location, just a two minute drive from our home. We talked for quite a while with the owners, and those talks were on-again, off-again for some time.”
Urgency, and a sense of community, said Simpson, brought the battle home when he learned that Lakewood would have become second in the entire state for what he calls “nearly naked espresso stands” had one more scantily-clad coffee pouring place per populace located in the city placing Lakewood just behind Everett in that category.
Unlike Everett’s string of 13 string-bikini stands however, where two arrests were made recently for violating the Adult Entertainment Ordinance, Primo Espresso is run by a family for the family and for individuals such as college students and military members both of which receive a 10 percent discount.
Primo Espresso will not make Maxim Magazine’s list of “Sexiest things in America” as theCowgirls Espresso chain did – one of which is located at the entrance to McChord AFB, earning our state a visit by CBS News. No “Bikini Wednesdays” mainstay marketing buzz creating national headline news for Primo Espresso either.
Simpson believes sex does not have to sell coffee. A great product at a price that’s competitive provided by a principled family willing to commit to community values by personally purchasing what otherwise might have been should be worth a visit, and a loyal customer base.
That’s certainly headline-worthy.
Primo Espresso opened this weekend for business and the hours are Monday thru Friday, 5 A.M. to 7 P.M.; Saturday, 6 A.M. to 7 P.M., and Sunday, 7 A.M. to 6 P.M. Primo Espresso is located at 8404 Steilacoom Blvd., SW.