Won’t you consider helping to save Yelm’s iconic meeting place – The Blue Bottle Cafe & Espresso?
A strong supporter of the Blue Bottle, Rainier’s internationally acclaimed author Bettye Johnson penned this plea for help:
“The Blue Bottle in Yelm, needs financial help.
Michele Jones has barely been able to make ends meet and has been reluctant to let people know.
I am presenting an idea for this community and one can consider it an evolution.
The Blue Bottle has been a great meeting place for many of us and a suggestion has come to me regarding getting the Blue Bottle and Michelle out of a quandary, which involves finances.
Michelle does not make enough to have a salary.
Instead, she gives and gives.
~To keep the Blue Bottle open for the the fine customers and out-of-area people, a suggestion has been proposed of a “Friends of the Blue Bottle” Co-op be formed.
A meeting will be held at the Blue Bottle on Thursday, May 6 at 7 p.m.
I urge you to come and find out what this is all about.
~ Michelle’s lease is up and the rent is in arrears.
Either we create a workable solution, or there will be no more Blue Bottle.
The rent is $500 per month and we are asking a “Financial Fairy” to step in and donate money to keep the Blue Bottle afloat until a Board of Directors can be selected and the terms worked out.
What we can do:
~ As a community we can create a community co-op in conjunction with Michelle Jones who will continue to operate the cafe.
~ People can become a member and contribute their services along with a monthly membership fee.
These fees will cover the rent, utilities, internet service, telephone, water and other business
expenses. We want to get enough members and be able to pay Michelle a salary.
~ In the meantime, to get this co-op going, we are requesting financial donations.
~ What you will receive: A magical place to come for food, drink and meetings.
DO NOT CALL MICHELLE AND DISCUSS THIS WITH HER.
JUST SHOW UP FOR THE MEETING AND DONATE MONEY FOR THE RENT.
– A surplus would not hurt, either!
What is needed:
~ A Board of Directors
~ A Business Manager to assist Michelle Jones.
~ A Happy Attitude to know you are contributing to an evolutionary idea. Bring your ideas and present them.”
Unfortunately, the City of Yelm has not been kind to the Blue Bottle. In the infinite wisdom of the City’s Planning Dept., they denied Ms. Jones’s request for drive-though coffee service, saying her business lies within the Yelm Historical District & that would harm the central core, especially if she sold the property & drive-through rights to a McDonald’s, Burger King, Jack-in-the-Box, Taco Bell or Starbucks, etc.
If her place was located caddy-corner across Yelm Ave. & 4th Street 100 feet away, she could get a drive-through permit, since that would be outside the Historical District. I asked if the city would make an exemption only while Ms. Jones rented the building. Denied – reasons given were traffic in that area & a whole host of ‘why nots’.
So, KFC, Starbucks, etc. down the street all got drive-through permits while the local owner’s shop did not.
So, if the Blue Bottle closes, Yelm would lose another locally-owned business, their tax revenue and a rare, quaint & charming meeting place that makes Yelm truly unique.
That would be a sad day. But would city officials care?
Most City Hall officials have NEVER been in the Blue Bottle, some having reportedly said they will not patronize the place because is not “neutral territory”.
How truly ignorant!
Yet, County Commissioner Sandra Romero holds her monthly Public “Coffees” at the Blue Bottle.
And, County Commissioner Karen Valenzuela held her re-election Yelm Public Forum at the Blue Bottle.
Recent major events held at The Blue Bottle include:
– A brand new production of Thumbelina by Acorn & Rose Puppet Theater.
– National known piano composer & former Yelm resident Joe Bongiorno’s Valentine’s piano concert.
WON’T YOU CONSIDER JOINING TO HELP SAVE A TRUE YELM ICON!
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How can I send my donation to help the Blue Bottle Espresso Coffee. Thank you very much Steve for your leadership with this issue. I like Blue Bottle sandwiches and coffee
PS. I am living in Sugar Land,Texas.
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