News of a Starbucks moving to the corner of Ferndale and Northwest Highway has many in the neighborhood defensive on behalf of their beloved, locally owned White Rock Coffee, located just a couple doors down from where the java giant’s dirt and building materials are flying. The recently razed Backus Shell station that occupied the spot for more than 50 years seems all but forgotten.
But Starbucks isn’t alone in new construction here along the 10100 block of E. Northwest Highway. White Rock Coffee owners Nancy and Robert Baker are erecting a training center for WRC baristas, in a building that sits between their 12-year-old “mothership” and the incoming Starbucks.
“Our baristas undergo thorough training, some are certified at [the highest levels],” Nancy says. “We have outgrown the original building — it’s so busy, they are hopping from training to customers, too much.”
The training facility, which will inhabit an extensively renovated former cash-lending store, is slated to open sometime this spring. It will include office space and a conference room and will be equipped with the latest gadgets and state-of-the-art espresso machines, “so the baristas can stay on the cutting edge of espresso/coffee technology,” Nancy says. Who knows, she adds, she and Bob might even launch classes for the public.
Parking conditions at this Northwest Highway locale, about the only regular complaint, should improve.
“We are aware it’s a little treacherous, parking, which is one reason we didn’t put another retail location there. We plan to maximize the lots for parking.”
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Wynne McNabb Cunningham