Editors Note: Sweet Shots is no longer open.
Sitting across from Sunny Evans, one of three owners of Sweet Shots and Barking Mad espresso stands, it’s easy to get lost in her enthusiasm and joy. I ask her about her lip gloss, “It’s from the MAC Disney collection. I love Disneyland!” We spend the next fifteen minutes sharing our love for the Happiest Place on Earth. This is the kind of energy that Sunny brings to her businesses—fun, family-oriented and filled with lots of smiles.
A month away from being done, Sweet Shots was already in the works when Barking Mad fell into their laps in May 2015. “We went from no businesses to two almost overnight.”
But this is what Evans has been wanting to do for the last 15 years. Though she’s had her share of learning experiences as a first-time owner, she says it’s been great and she wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.
Evans is intent on keeping family and community the focus of the stands. She partners with her parents, Linda and Sonny Mettler, to keep things running smoothly. “You can often find my dad outside mowing the lawns.” Even her daughters, Tacy, 8, and Jaylyn, 5, say they want to work there one day when they are older.
And family involvement doesn’t stop there. “We have seven employees and we’re all very close. We know their kids and their spouses.” It’s evident when watching the baristas create drinks and talk with customers that they feel comfortable and valued, like members of the family.
And what’s the best part about owning espresso stands? The customers. Evans and her baristas share the same enthusiasm for the relationships they’ve been able to build with the customers who come through their windows daily.
Kassidy Prosser, who’s been with Barking Mad since before Evans bought it, says, “We have exceptional customers. They’re very adventurous. They trust us. ‘Just make us anything.’”
After two and a half months with Barking Mad, Carissa Bremgarnter echoes that sentiment, “If I tell someone what I’m drinking, they’ll often say, ‘Make me that.’”
And what is it that they might be drinking? One of Prosser’s favorites is a piña colada Red Bull, which consists of coconut and pineapple syrups, Red Bull, and coconut milk instead of cream. Bremgartner likes one of her own creations, a white coffee (more caffeine, one shot equals two regular espresso shots), white chocolate, hazelnut Americano with a little bit of cream. They whipped up a decaf, lavender-vanilla latte for me and it was everything I had hoped for—definitely try it out.
Each business has its own vibe as well. Sweet Shots is a retro, Rosie the Riveter-inspired stand, and manager Britni Rockey has been there since it first opened last June. They offer Big Train drinks and specialize in iced drinks.
Barking Mad offers more milk alternatives, including hemp, almond, soy and coconut. They also offer cold brew coffee, a ground espresso that’s steeped in cold water for an extended time. This results in more coffee flavor without the acid. Perfect for those with sensitive stomachs.
Their specialty, despite being an espresso stand, is milkshakes. Real milkshakes. “The espresso shake is very addictive.” Our summer might not be as hot as some would like, but there’s hardly a time when a milkshake, with espresso, isn’t a good thing.
And they deliver. Coffee. Delivered. Always a good thing.
Kids and pets are also welcome. Kids love the piled-high whipped cream covered in sprinkles and there are always dog treats available.
Whether you’re stopping by Sweet Shots or Barking Mad, you won’t be disappointed. They offer the two ingredients necessary for good coffee: friendly and fun baristas who know how to create just what you want and consistency in brewing that perfect cup.