Just off Highway 101 and nestled next to the Red Carpet Car Wash is a coffee stand where a mother-daughter duo is frothing up coffee of all sorts.
Sarah Lawrence and her daughter Jen Wilson both shared a vision of one day owning their own businesses. The duo was able to bring their vision into full focus on Friday, Sept. 8, when they bought ownership of Cheryl’s Java Jungle at 231 Valley Center Place in Sequim.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for five years,” Lawrence said.
“Ever since I started culinary school,” Wilson agreed.
Lawrence and Wilson moved to Sequim in 2006 from the Chicago area to be closer to family. The duo said they both worked with the previous owner of the coffee stand, Cheryl Brenner, several years ago and when they heard she was selling the business jumped at the opportunity.
“When I heard Cheryl was selling this place, I said, ‘I want to do it,’” Lawrence said.
“I brought it up at dinner that night, and she was on the phone with Cheryl five minutes later,” Wilson added.
The coffee stand is now known as Java Jungle serving everything from classic coffee drinks such as mochas to blended fraps and more.
It is open from 6 a.m.- 3 p.m. seven days a week and the duo said they are hoping to expand hours as soon as they can.
On top of running the coffee stand, both Lawrence and Wilson continue to work at their previous jobs.
Lawrence works for OlyPen as a billing and sales supervisor and said she will work there for the rest of the month. She works at the coffee stand from 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. and then runs over to the OlyPen office from 3:30- 5:30 p.m. each week.
Wilson is a full-time chef at Lost Mountain Lodge and said she brings her culinary expertise to the coffee stand.
“I love trying new flavors together,” Wilson said. “That’s what I was taught in school.”
When asked if cooking was a passion or hobby of theirs, both mother and daughter pointed surprised fingers at each other and laughed.
“My passion is food,” Wilson said. “And I’m an advocate for coffee.” Wilson said she wrote two, 10-page papers about the benefits of coffee in college.
Wilson added while cooking savory food is her favorite, she is best at baking and hopes to open a wholesale baked goods company to sell at the coffee stand and other small businesses in the area.
But first, she wants to help her mother pursue her dreams.
“I just want to help my mom with her dream before I do mine,” Wilson said.
Wilson said her end goal is to open and operate an Italian restaurant.
Since opening as Java Jungle, Lawrence and Wilson have made some small updates to the coffee stand.
The business is now paperless and allows customers to receive an email or text message for receipts, customers can call in orders ahead of time for pickup and Wilson said she has created Instagram and Twitter accounts to advertise the business more on social media.
The coffee stand also will offer 10 percent off with a car wash receipt and a punch card that gives customers a free drink after 10 punches.
Wilson also said she is in the process of costing and creating a new menu with her own drink creations.
She said “Sequim’s drinks” — the most popular orders — at the coffee stand are mochas and Americanos which add up to about 50 percent of sales.
As the new owners of the coffee stand, Wilson said the goal is to be able to serve more people.
“If there’s something we don’t have on the menu, I want to make it for customers anyway,” she said.
In the near future, Lawrence and Wilson said they want to sell baked good from local bakeries, such as Bell Street Bakery, and offer breakfast sandwiches. The coffee stand also will feature an updated mural with the business’ new title Java Jungle.
To learn more about Java Jungle, visit www.facebook.com/Javajungle101/ or call 460-2040.