If you’re a regular commuter passing through the Gorst hairpin (bent hairpin more like) you’ll have noticed some recent activity on the site of the former Espresso Gone Wild, now closed. Workers are constructing a new stand and, according to Rochelle Calleros, manager of the soon-to-open Espresso Gone Crazy, utilities are in. She and owner J.J. Wilson of South Kitsap are only waiting on the county to issue final approval before they can open for business. Calleros estimates it will be within a couple of weeks.
Espresso Gone Crazy is not in any way affiliated with the owner of Gone Wild, who had his stand and all its equipment listed for sale on Craigslist in May. Calleros, however, is a former employee, and the new stand also will feature baristas in bikinis and less.
“Hey, it’s a business. You have to stand out,” she said.
But really, what’s the big deal? Businesses open every day in Kitsap County, and to tell you the truth, from a media point of view, we think we’ve pretty much saturated the market with coverage of baristas lacking coverage. The ooh-ah front page story of 2008 has gotten so much exposure that it’s lost its novelty. Here it is again, barely blog fodder.
Calleros, a recent UW grad with a degree in business management, is keenly aware of market saturation. She wrote a research paper on the espresso business in Kitsap County and found that the county has a notably high number of stands per capita. Those that do best, she says, are the bikini barista stands, but even those need a new twist to compete.
Calleros’ marketing plan is to take a good thing and make it better, to capitalize on “missed opportunities.” She will introduce new promotions aimed at the military, their “number one customer base,” and construction workers, who follow a close second. Tuesdays will be “hard hat day.” Show up in your Carhartts and steel-toed boots and you’ll get a discount. Thursdays, same deal for members of the military. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the stand will reprise pastie days.
Calleros, 22, a Bremerton resident, is from upper state New York. Her husband is in the Navy. She sees opportunity in reverse geographical marketing. Whereas most business trends tend to work their way from east to west, with espresso, the prevailing winds are definitely moving in the opposite direction, she said.
“Coming to this area, my eyes opened wide,” she said. “Espresso here is a huge business, and it hasn’t kicked in across the country.”
Reaching out to the community is another missed opportunity Calleros doesn’t intend to pass by. She is working with local companies for bakery and dairy products. She also plans to hold fund-raisers for various causes. “It’s getting your brand known and getting people to like you,” she said.