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

Labor market takes a step up in July

State’s unemployment rate of 4.7 percent matches a historical low

Clinic hosts grand reopening, open house Aug. 21

Company moves to a larger, more accessible building at the Auburn Sounder Station

No 3No Networking mixer visits The Quarters on Thursday, Aug. 16

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

SHAG & Independent Living, Inc., hosts career fair Aug. 17

SHAG & Independent Living, Inc., hosts a career fair on Friday, Aug.… Continue reading

Brown Bear Car Wash celebrates 61rst birthday on Aug. 23 with free car washes

Brown Bear Car Wash turns “61” next Thursday, Aug. 23, and celebrates… Continue reading

King County Library System’s new eCard is available

Provides online access opportunity for users

$5 million available to help customers pay their PSE bills

Funds available for customers in 10 counties, including Seattle and Tacoma

No 3No Networking mixer comes to Live Long Prosper LLC

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

Report: State’s economy added 4,100 jobs in June; unemployment stays at 4.7 percent

Washington’s economy added 4,100 jobs in June and the state’s seasonally adjusted… Continue reading

Most Read