“I didn’t want to lose my business … I could not imagine closing.”
That’s why Jennifer West is going to drastic lengths, including seeking crowdfunding, to keep her independent drive-up/ride-up West Bay Coffee and Smoothies in business after weather damage threatened to end its 14-year run at 2255 Harbor Avenue SW.
The stand shares water service with the larger commercial building on the site. Pipes broke during the recent ultra-cold weather, West says, flooding the larger building. She says the property manager proposed just cutting off service, which would force her to move. Or, she could fix the lines affecting the stand, at her own expense. She also has no access to a restroom or storage in the main building. So she’s paid for the plumbing to her stand, a new porta-potty just delivered yesterday, and is working on a new storage shed.
All that costs money, so she launched a GoFundMe crowdfunding page this week. “It’s been a nightmare but we’re working through the logistics to try to remain open,” West tells WSB. As the synopsis on the crowdfunding page says, she’s already gone through a lot, as have so many businesses – “We’ve been through covid exposures, weathered ongoing supply-chain issues and enormous supply price hikes, while trying to keep everyone safe” – she can’t bear to throw in the towel now.