It’s time now for the first
installment of KMXT’s five-part series: Business on the Move. Each day this
week KMXT will feature a local business that is changing things up in 2013.
New Year is often considered a time for new beginnings, and so is the case with
today’s business. A short drive across the Fred Zharoff
Memorial Bridge will take you past a
recently opened drive-through café, the first and only coffee shop on Near
Island. Near Island Coffee is the brainchild of Jasmine Gilpin, who now manages
the stand. Gilpin moved to Kodiak five months ago, and after struggling to find
a job decided to make her own employment opportunities. She said she saw the
vacant lots on Near Island, one that already housed a small building, and
thought a coffee shop might be a needed amenity.
-- (Near Coffee 1 :11 “I found out that Shuyak … loved
it and hired me.”)
the OK from Shuyak Incorporated, Gilpin said she worked feverishly over the
holidays to make sure the shop would be ready to open in the New Year. Shuyak
owns the land and building, but Gilpin manages everything else, a noble task
for a 20-year-old, full-time student. Despite the work load, Gilpin said she
loves the opportunity to manage her own shop.
-- (Near Coffee 2 :15 “Oh
ya, I love managing ... understanding, I love it.”)
shop was open a mere 10 days when it was hit by a break-in last week, but
Gilpin didn’t let the incident rattle her or her business. The day after she had
security cameras installed, and opened up for business as if nothing had
happened. She said she has every intent to stick around for a long time, and
even hinted at future expansion.
-- (Near Coffee 3 :13 “Yeah, we’ve talked … has a
drive-through on it.”)
now, Gilpin said she just wants to focus on bringing quality, affordable coffee
to Kodiak community members. She said her prices are fairly comparable to other
coffee shops around town, but she strives for daily specials and incentives to
bring folks across the bridge.
-- (Near Coffee 4 :27 “Well from 3 to 9 a.m. any … employees
Gilpin, the shop is staffed by six employees, with only two being full time.
She said she plans to hire more help in the coming weeks and expand her hours
accordingly. For now, the shop is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m.
until 5 p.m., and on Sundays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Gilpin said she is
currently serving Caffe d’Arte coffee, but plans to switch over to Kaladi
Brothers very soon.
in to KMXT tomorrow for part two of the series, Business on the Move. KMXT will
take you across town to another coffee shop, Mill Bay Coffee. Join us as we
talk with the owners about the shop’s recent move and what to expect from the
two-decade old business in 2013.