By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
First thing this morning, two hours before dawn and six degrees below freezing, Jenni Watkins officially opened Dutchboy Coffee at 16th SW and SW Holden.
She has big dreams for her little coffee shop at Highland Park’s busiest intersection.
And it has a big namesake – Dutch, the 8-year-old Newfoundland who belongs to Jenni and husband Todd Watkins. Or maybe, they belong to him. He won’t be a fixture at the stand that carries his name and likeness – but they wanted him to be there for our photo op and interview on this grand-opening morning.
“He’s brought us a lot of friends,” laughed Jenni. “We didn’t know half our neighbors” before that.
Things have changed. This morning, she says, almost everyone on their block came by to be part of Dutchboy Coffee’s opening day.
“We just love our neighborhood,” Jenni smiles. A neighbor, in fact, did the design work for their signage and menu.
Dutchboy Coffee is the first business for Jenni and Todd, who also helped build the stand – while you might recall that other coffee stands (JoJo’s and Jenny’s) used to be in that spot, this is a brand-new structure, with custom features added to a modular building.
Jenni and Todd have lived in Highland Park since 2004 and “decided we’d like to work with the community.” Dutchboy is starting simple, with coffee (Fonté) and pastries (Little Rae’s), and planning to build on that – Jenni is working toward baking for herself within six months or so (that requires a whole different level of permit), and hoping to add sandwiches someday.
When warmer weather arrives, tables and chairs will appear in the space between the Dutchboy stand and the commercial building that shares the site on the southeast corner of 16th/Holden.
For starters, Dutchboy’s hours are 6 am-2 pm Mondays-Fridays. That could change; Jenni will be listening to customers’ suggestions and requests. And in the meantime, their main message is on a board by the stand’s front window: “Welcome to Your Dutchboy!”