Editors Note: Sweet Shots is no longer open.
Just off of exit 79 in Chehalis, Sweet Shots espresso is a regular stop for thirsty, caffeine-needing drivers who regularly travel the Seattle to Portland route. The stand has a retro look with a spotlight on pinup girls both sweet and tough, like Rosie the Riveter.
Despite a lot of the customers being from out of town, Britni Rockney, manager since Sweet Shots first opened in June 2015, says that she has gotten to know her customers very well. “You know what they drink, what they like and what they don’t like,” she says.
Family owned along with Barking Mad espresso in Chehalis, the business believes strongly in building up the relationships with employees as well as the customers. “We don’t just know the women who work here, but their families and their kids too,” says Evans. “We’re like a big family. We care about each other.”
It’s obvious how this closeness is translated into the interactions the baristas have with their customers. Rockney adds, “I love my customers. They’re all so sweet and nice.” Conversations beyond coffee orders is the norm. This is why the cars keep lining up. That, and, of course, the drinks.
“And this is the most important thing I’ve learned about coffee—you want it consistent,” says Evans (one of the three owners). “Part of what makes our baristas so great is because they want to learn. They want to offer our customers the best.”
“It’s fun to try the random things you can make,” Rockney adds while telling me about the Stormtrooper Big Train drink she came up with. It’s a white chocolate-based mixed drink with toasted marshmallow syrup, half and half, and a chocolate drizzle.
Another favorite is the Rockabilly Mocha and it’s definitely worth trying out. Also very popular is the Sunrise Red Bull that has peach and strawberry syrups, Red Bull, and a splash of orange juice. Sweet Shots likes to add some adventure into their drinks. Don’t expect just plain drip coffee here! Many of their customers trust the baristas to pick a drink for them, just furthering the sense of caffeinated adventure.
Because of her roots in Lewis County, the owners say it’s important to her to stay connected with the community. They sponsor the Chariots Car Show, helping with trophies and pictures with the cars. The retro vibe of Sweet Shots is very much in sync with the car show and everyone has a good time. They’re also looking to do a yearly calendar sometime in the future—make sure to ask about one!
1349 State Avenue
Chehalis, WA 98532