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

Hitting its target in Auburn

Father, son open Orion Indoor Archery Range

3No Networking mixer returns to Geaux Brewing on Thursday, Dec. 13

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

Bloodworks Northwest gets a boost from Boeing

$240,000 grant will help hospital partners save lives

3No Networking mixer comes to Umpqua Bank on Thursday, Dec. 6

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

State unemployment rate falls again

Washington’s economy added 12,400 jobs in October and the state’s seasonally adjusted… Continue reading

Boeing considers moving 1,400 jobs to Kent

Transfers could start in first quarter of 2019

Local Allstate agencies collect donations for military families and veterans

Allstate agencies in Auburn and throughout Washington, in partnership with the USO… Continue reading

3No Networking mixer returns to Geaux Brewing on Thursday, Nov. 15

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

Corestar Pilates’ Thanksgiving Day Sampler returns Nov. 22

Exercise program and nonperishable food drive open to the public

Applebee’s serving free meals to veterans

For the 11th year, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar nationwide invite all… Continue reading

Auburn Tourism Open House is Wednesday

The City of Auburn presents an Auburn Tourism Open House from 9… Continue reading