Jackie Johnston pauses between customers with a bouquet of roses she received during her farewell party last Saturday. Johnston closed her espresso stand after nearly 27 years in business. MARK KLAAS, Auburn Reporter

Jackie Johnston pauses between customers with a bouquet of roses she received during her farewell party last Saturday. Johnston closed her espresso stand after nearly 27 years in business. MARK KLAAS, Auburn Reporter

Bye bye, barista: beloved Jackie decides to move on

Johnston ends long run at East Main Street espresso stand

She is Auburn barista royalty, a friendly personality who has occupied the popular espresso stand at East Main and M streets for decades.

For nearly 27 years, Jackie Johnston greeted her many early-bird, on-the-go customers with a warm smile and kind words as she served up fresh coffee and timely food. Working long hours, at least six days a week, often seven, she enjoyed every moment of it.

Looking for a new opportunity, Johnston has decided to lighten her workload and move on. Last Saturday was her last day at Jackie’s Pony Espresso.

Johnston, who turns 58 on Wednesday, will work fewer hours as a barista at the Federal Aviation Administration’s new regional headquarters in the Des Moines Creek Business Park. A couple plan to open a new coffeehouse at her familiar spot come February, Johnston said.

“It’s been a great ride … so many memories, so much coffee talk,” said Johnston, who has lived in Auburn since 1985. “I’m closing this chapter and moving on to another chapter. … It’s been great serving the city of Auburn. Lots of friends and family, overwhelming support as you can see.”

Johnston began her coffee shop business in 1991 across the street at the then Red Apple Market, where she pushed her cart in and out of the store every day for three years. She then found something more permanent at the corner, and soon more and more customers found her.

Business has been good, her association with her many, loyal customers, great. Customers are her family.

“I’ve had great employees. It’s just been a great success story,” said Johnston, between photo ops, hugs and tears at her farewell. “I’ve met so many neat people. … This is the hardest thing I’ll ever do.”

More in Business

AVCA latest ‘pop-up’ gallery opens

Group delighted with new spot in an effort to promote, sell local art

FedEx to hire 850 positions in Seattle to help with the holiday season

Part-time positions. Big-time potential. FedEx expects to add more than 55,000 seasonal… Continue reading

3No Networking mixer visits Vinifera Wine Bar Bistro on Thursday, Oct. 11

Business leaders and guests are invited to a 3No Networking mixer at… Continue reading

Medicare 2019 open enrollment starts Oct. 15; get help in your local community

Medicare’s 2019 annual open enrollment period for prescription drug plans (Part D)… Continue reading

Prestige Senior Living Auburn Meadows to offer free cognitive assessments for seniors

Prestige Senior Living Auburn Meadows is offering free and confidential cognitive screenings,… Continue reading

From original garage tap room to spacious spot

Rail Hop’n Brewing Company’s home brews are palliative for the parched; business comes downtown Auburn

Special assist to those who help others

The Auburn Reporter – on behalf of the Valley Regional Fire Authority… Continue reading

Reber Ranch earns top business recognition

One of three Kent small companies honored by King County

Most Read