Are “Sexy” Baristas Now Serving Woodinville? Owner Says No

It was as short lived experiment says the owner of Java Girls and by Tuesday, the baristas went back to wearing regular clothes.


When economic times get tough, sometimes a barista needs to show some skin, according to coffee stand owner, Jovanna Edge who operates the Java Girls (formerly ) in Woodinville. In an interview with Woodinville Patch Wednesday morning, Edge was quick to put a stop to rumors that her baristas at the stand in Woodinville’s Tourist District were wearing lingerie.

“They did wear costumes for a short time, but we stopped yesterday,” Edge said. “And they never wore lingerie, it was tube tops and short shorts.”

That’s not how the barista’s outfit was describe to the Woodinville City Council at Tuesday night’s meeting when resident Monica Keating complained about the coffee stand’s new barista attire.

The women working in the stand were wearing “leopard print, skimpy lingerie that borders on indecent,” according to Monica Keating about the “hot barista” coffee stand. The stand, at 14575 148th Ave NE, is in the Apple Farm Village retail center in the heart of the city’s wine tourist district.

Jack Gunderson, owner of the Jack’s Used Equipment which is adjacent to the stand, said Tuesday night he objected to the sandwich board signs that read, “hot barista” and had an illustration of red lips. “I’ve always let them have their sign on my property but if they don’t change it, I’ll remove it,” he said.

A check by Patch at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11, found the sign changed and the barista wearing jeans and a hoody, and standing close to the portable heater to take the edge off the 30 degree temperature outside.

Edge didn’t want to say why she dropped the “costumed” barista from the Woodinville stand (her coffee stand in Monroe continues to have baristas in skimpy, cowgirl costumes, her stand is Redmond is family friendly), but accurately pointed out that she was not breaking any laws. Woodinville does not have any ordinances regarding scantily-clad baristas.

“I’m just a girl who owns coffee stands and is trying to come up with very expensive rent in a bad economy,” she said. “People skewed things, it’s crazy.”

Ellen Schilling Remily January 11, 2012 at 08:31 PM
I am glad the owner came to her senses. I hope she considers her options more carefully in the future. Woodinville is a family-oriented town. "Sexy baristas" is not only demeaning to women, it is not the image we want to have for our town. Don't be so lazy! Increase sales in more appropriate ways. Draw attention to yourself as a business that cares about the community and you will have a lot more repeat business. Frankly, there are plenty of places to get a cup of coffee or an espresso in this town (or any town). I would more definitely make it a point to take my business to a family-friendly place rather than one showing skin. Ms. Edge does not have to break laws to be run out of business. All she has to do is alienate her potential customer base!
Keith Amodt January 11, 2012 at 08:59 PM
I think people who are uncormfortable with getting coffee from a scantily clad girl should take their business elsewhere. I don't think it's demeaning to women and this business owner has every right to run her business within the cities rules. I'm sure that this business can get along quite well without the business of those who are uncomfortable being served by friendly baristas. I'm sure the girls aren't forced to wear these outfits and appreciate the business that it does attract. Thank god for free enterprise!
Tony Bussert January 11, 2012 at 11:12 PM
I agree with Keith. We live in a free market society. As long as no laws or ordinances are broken she can run her business how she wants. Let the market decide if it's the right move. If you don't like it don't frequent the business.
Ellen Schilling Remily January 11, 2012 at 11:31 PM
When you gentleman have a daughter who is asked to wear a bikini or lingerie to work to keep her job, I would love to see if you feel the same way. In the meantime, I stand by what I say. It's a free market and I will take my money to businesses that do not demean women to increase sales.
Brenda January 11, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Of course all the men agree that its ok for women to wear clothes that are basically demeaning themselves to just get men to frequent their stands. These girls wouldnt dress like this any other time of the day. So would it be ok if your 17 yr old daughter dressed like that??? I sure wouldn't want some dirty men lusting after my daughter while she makes coffee for them not to mention the underage teens that would do the same. I think the clothes these ladies wear should be comparable to what they would wear in public going out to a grocery store. If they wouldn't wear these outfits in a public grocery store then they shouldn't be wearing them in these coffee stands. Yes it is demeaning to women, because they have to resort to basically sexing themselves in their dress to earn money. But being a man in a male dominated society where you aren't subjected to the same rules as women, I guess it would be hard for you to understand that. I am all for free enterprise but there does need to be some boundaries as to what free enterprise means. I expect you would say women standing on the corner prostituting themselves is free enterprise too and its ok to do in public as well?
Tony Bussert January 11, 2012 at 11:37 PM
I don't see anywhere in the article where it references the girls being forced to wear to the clothing, we can't say that unless you know for sure. We also don't know the positions of the indvidual girls working there and their opinions on the matter. Finally, the owner said no lingere was involved, just customes, which are probably along the lines of what you see women wearing for Halloween every year.
Tony Bussert January 11, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Sorry for the spelling, I type horribly on this iPad.
Keith Amodt January 11, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Actually, I do have a daughter, in her twenties, who did work as a barista in Woodinville a few years ago. She was not asked to wear any particular "uniform" but if she had she would have quit and I would have supported her. That's another thing that's nice about our free economy, the employees can choose to walk away if they don't like how they're treated. The girls who work in the coffee stands in question are there because they're having fun and are making money, not because they're forced to do something they don't want to do.
Kat Stremlau January 12, 2012 at 01:03 AM
I'm not opposed to it, but this is the wrong AREA for it. I would not to to Gretchen Scott to get my haircut if I had to walk by a bikini girl - I would not go to a wine tasting with my husband at Apple Farm Village if I had to walk by a bikini girl - I would not take house guests to the antique store if I had to walk by a bikini girl. If it were up the road or down the road, I'd be fine with it, but it certainly doesn't fit the feel of the surrounding businesses.
colleen January 12, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Just curious Keith about how you got from "scantily clad girl" to being served by a "friendly" barista? Why did "scantily clad" suddendly equate to "friendly"? As much as a business owner has a right to dress employees in whatever is within the law--the customers have a right to voice their opinion. That is what happened in this case. If you alienate customers you soon don't have any.
colleen January 12, 2012 at 03:02 PM
The market decided.
colleen January 12, 2012 at 03:05 PM
"she had she would have quit and I would have supported her. That's another thing that's nice about our free economy" NOT EVERY GIRL HAD A DAD LIKE YOU!!!!!!!
michele January 12, 2012 at 05:26 PM
There were no laws broken here, just to clarify. I think it's only fair that the owner post she has "skimpy" dressed workers so people can decide & the owner can figure out if that works or not for business. We dont know if the owner would fire girls if they didn't wear outfits. Is Red Hook considered family friendly? How about St Michelle? Lots of wine in this town, now I have to explain to my kids about wine & why there is so much in this town. Drunk people are not family friendly. Sometimes my waitress shows me too much boob, anyone complaining here about that?
Brenda Vanderloop January 13, 2012 at 05:47 PM
No matter the motivation on this issue....I give the residents of the Woodinville community two thumbs up for showing interest, getting involved and taking a stand. An active voice pushes action.
Sarah C February 10, 2012 at 06:18 AM
I was a "frequent visitor" of Java to Go back in the fully clad days. I initially stopped going because the owner was never consistent with her business hours, and I could never rely on her being open, period. From speaking with her baristas, she never treated her employees with much respect, which most likely explains why she couldn't keep the stand "manned." Sounds like Edge needs to work on her management skills first, and maybe she wouldn't have to resort to bikinis and cheap thrills to get business. She lost my business way before the bras and bikinis came about. And yes, they were bras. I am a customer of Gretchen Scott Salon, and saw the "costume" with my own eyes. I think that retail space would be perfect for a professional, friendly, reliable coffee stand, like Mercury's.


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