Bikini Baristas a No-Go at Woodinville Coffee Stand Near Preschool

The idea was to wear "costumes" on the weekends, but after a test run, employees at the Woodinville coffee stand say they won't continue the practice.

Scantily clad baristas will not be the norm at Who Spilled the Beans Espresso near Morning Star preschool in Woodinville, employees said Thursday.

Patch visited the store Thursday afternoon near Ristorante Italianissimo and found two fully clothed females at the stand.

Sonja Possin said she's been working there for about five months and that she asked the owner if she could wear costumes on weekends in an attempt to boost business.

"We weren't going to do it during the week because of the kids," she said.

She said she had run the idea by customers before trying it and said she got a positive response. So Possin tried it on one recent weekend, wearing what she described as an Alice in Wonderland costume with a bustier-type top. Another day she said she wore a short skirt and top that showed her stomach. 

As a result, on Wednesday, officials with Morning Star preschool sent a notice to parents telling them the owner of Who Spilled the Beans was turning the stand into one with bikini baristas. It said they would be letting the owner know that the practice would be unacceptable and encouraged parents to ask that the stand remain family-friendly. 

On Thursday, Morning Star officials sent out another note to parents, saying they had learned that the stand would not become one with scantily clad staff.

"I have spoken to the owner of the espresso stand at the White Stallion Center and he has confirmed that he is NOT planning on turning his stand into a bikini barista and will continue to be a family friendly business," Morning Star Director Karen Hergert said in an email to Patch. "We would like to support him [the owner of Who Spilled the Beans] in this by asking local residents to patronize his stand so that he can be successful as a family oriented business."

In January, a local coffee stand owner had female employees wear "costumes" as an experiment, but it was a short-lived one. At that time the city of Woodinville did not have any ordinances regarding scantily clad baristas.

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Jim DeYounger October 11, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Karen can't stop ruining peoples lives. First our neighborhood on 195th and now a neighborhood business. People should stop going to Morning Star instead of not going to the Coffee Stand.
TheDQ October 11, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Wow that's quite a remark -- would you elaborate on this Karen person? I have no clue about what's been going on. Thanks :)
Ann October 11, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Jim. This has nothing to do with Karen, it has to to with the appropriateness of the stand. The stand DID indeed have costumes on the menu, and the neighboring businesses complained. If you have a beef with Karen, take it elsewhere, it's not appropriate here.
Keith Amodt October 11, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Wow, local businesses near this coffee stand complained about the "inappropriate attire" being considered. Aren't most of those companies actually selling alcohol (winery, tasting room, wine bar, brewery, distllery)? Why isn't anyone complaining about that? Could it be because they bring people to our area? Do these businesses pose a risk to the community when their customers drive away after their "tasting"? If these baristas were serving outside of the stand, I might agree that is a bit much. If they're inside where the only people who see them are their customers, then no one should complain. If you don't want to suport them go to Tully's for your coffee. Oh, I forgot another employer is closing down a local business and letting employees go on un-employment. Let's encourage new business in our community and let the market decide whether they survive or not.
Ron Olson October 11, 2012 at 11:42 PM
The complaint was made by Karen, and the complaint was false. Just saying...but the complaint about the illegal banners at Morning Star preschool are for real. Why don't you do a story on THAT?
AJ October 12, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Hello, Im the new owner of Who Spilled The Beans Espresso, The stand that HAS THE MOTTO: " WE SERVE OUR BEANS IN JEANS, i was never confronted on this matter as there would have never been a stroy in this Woodinville Patch, The stand WAS never going to be Bikinis, The stand was doing Costumes 1 week for the month of oct. as soon as a customer mention something to me in regards to the attire, I immediately spoke with my employees and told them no more. I would like to take this time to thank my loyal customers and everyone with positive feedback, do mention this article adn recieve 1/2 off your drink This Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday!! Do look for coupons in the weekly paper :)
TheDQ October 12, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Thank you for clarification -- I appreciate it :)
TheDQ October 12, 2012 at 02:43 AM
So what was the issue about the banners? I would like to know. Thanks :)
Ron Olson October 12, 2012 at 02:51 AM
The Patch stated that a letter was sent from the owner of the Morning Star Preschool to the parents of the children that attend the school. Why wouldn't the school contact the owner of the coffee shop first, unless the intent was just to start trouble regardless of what the facts are. That's pretty reckless behavior for a person that is in charge of watching little kids.
Ron Olson October 12, 2012 at 03:02 AM
The employee that suggested using uniforms to increase business should be encouraged to come up with more ideas. She seems to be interested in the success of the business, and that is a good quality to have in an employee. The location of this particular coffee stand wasn't ideal for bikini wear, but many other locations do a bang up business showing a little skin.
Kimberly Softich October 12, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Thank you for the clarification AJ! I think costumes are okay, but appropriately dressed costumes ~ the kids would love it, especially with Halloween coming :)
TheDQ October 12, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I agree, I think fun costumes would be just fine -- might even have a drive through/ drive by trick or treat for the kids! :) Thank you again, AJ, for the clarification.
Kat Stremlau October 12, 2012 at 06:36 PM
I stopped by today to give you my business and you were closed AJ! What are your hours?!?
Connor Jones October 12, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Maybe they should ban people from wearing bikinis at state parks like cottage lake then? It is someones choice to go to the stand, and its not like you can even see the girls unless you pull up. Sounds like to me that this Karen is doing this to try and get attention. Its a preschool, its not like the kids will even remember a bikini barista stand being by there preschool when they are older anyways! There are 3 churches within a mile of this stand and you dont hear them making a big deal out of it. People need to mind their own business.
Alice Pennington October 12, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Thanks Conner. Love your comment.
DaveR October 13, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Very disappointing remark Jim. It seems you are more than happy to encourage people to boycott one business because that very same business is concerned about another business. That's a little hypocritical don't you think?
Ron Olson October 13, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Ann: This has EVERYTHING to do with Karen. She sent a letter to the parents of her students that said the coffee stand was "Planning on becoming a bikini barista"...that was never the plan, it never happened, and all Karen did was incite trouble for a neighboring business. No employee ever wore a bikini at the coffee stand. If Karen had a beef with the coffee shop, she should have taken her complaint directly to the coffee shop, but first she needs to stop making things up. The Patch should have contacted the owner of the coffee shop before printing the story.
LongTimeWoodinvilleResident October 13, 2012 at 04:45 AM
I have to comment. I'm a mom of a child who attends Morning Star. First of all I have to say that the owner of our school really should have double checked her facts before notifying all of us. Secondly I think that Patch should have double checked the facts before posting this. Personally, I wasn't concerned as you cannot see inside the coffee stand from the school, I don't go to coffee stands, and my child is alwasy with an adult. It was no harm, no foul in my opinion. I will also state that Morning Star is an excellent school with excellent teacher. The owner, Karen, is not a teacher. I love the school, so please don't knock it because the owner made a mistake. All people need to get the facts straight before making it public. In this case I don't believe the blame soley on Karen's shoulders. Did Patch check it out before posting this and getting everyones panties in a bunch?
Ann October 13, 2012 at 05:09 AM
Maybe not bikini, but the blonde/German girl was definately in "costume". I don't know Karen or anything about the school, but if my twins were there, I'd not be happy to have that in the parking lot. I have a right to my opinion Ron, as do you. And my opinion is attacking an owner of a school about something that has no relevance like signs or banners or whatever is not OK.
Ron Olson October 13, 2012 at 06:03 AM
There is nothing wrong with being in a costume. I asked you to state exactly what you saw, and you avoided the question. All people want is the facts. The letter the school sent to parents speaks for itself, and it states that the owner was planning on the coffee shop becoming a bikini barista, which is false. Nobody ever wore a bikini or ANY inappropriate attire there and there never was a plan to wear bikinis, just costumes. Karen wrote the letter and she owes an apology.
Ron Olson October 13, 2012 at 06:07 AM
The illegal posters are pictured in the original article on this subject. Banners are not legal in Woodinville and the ones at the Morning Star School should be removed. If the Morning Star school is so interested in cleaning up the city, they need to start with the dirt on their own porch.
TheDQ October 13, 2012 at 06:14 AM
It doesn't sound like the owner made a mistake in what she said; sounds like she has issues with the coffee stand. The Patch should have checked facts before running the story. The owner of Morning Star does indeed need to understand that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones -- get yourself "legal" and mind your own business.
Edward A. October 13, 2012 at 08:10 AM
It really is ridiculous how terrified some people are that kids might catch a glimpse of a human body.
Lisa Baumann (Editor) October 13, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Whether what the young women were wearing as costumes is appropriate, is a matter of opinion. This stand was going down the costume road - and the costume road involves less clothing - that much is clear.
Ron Olson October 13, 2012 at 05:55 PM
"Different" clothing, is not necessarily less clothing. Even if less clothing was being worn, that doesn't mean it is inappropriate. Besides, it doesn't matter what the employees were wearing, the story should have been investigated so both sides could be heard. I'd like to see a picture of the girl wearing the costume in question posted here so we can judge for ourselves. I'd also like to get a comment from Karen about the illegal posters hanging at her business. The coffee business answered their complaint, and Karen needs to step up to the plate and answer hers.
Renzo Mottino October 14, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Some of the comments here are ridiculous: Lisa Baumann Whether what the young women were wearing as costumes is appropriate, is a matter of opinion. This stand was going down the costume road - and the costume road involves less clothing - that much is clear. What next Lisa, long dresses from head to toe and a face veil to match for the hot summer Month”s
Jim DeYounger October 14, 2012 at 06:52 AM
Ann - This has everything to do with Karen. She will destroy anything she thinks gets in her way. Nothing wrong happened here yet she is personally trying to destroy this business. After all these comments clarifying this situation you think an apology would be in order. You can keep giving your money to people like Karen and the Morning Star preschool. This is not the kind of person I can support. She tried to destroy her own neighbors and now here we have another victim. Open your eyes. She sure opened ours and we were glad to see her sell her home and move away.
Amy Vangemert February 06, 2013 at 03:44 PM
I think people are just getting tired of the need to use "sex to sell". I am a mother of 4 boys and grateful I do not have a daughter. Whether you teach them or not they are growing up believing they have to sell their body in order to make ends meat. It's the people out there going to these places and supporting them that are the ones I'm worried about. The girls working them have simply realized how much control women really have and that if you use it you will get paid... Shame on the men who don't have more respect or should I say self respect.


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