Crystal Bundy, the owner of a popular Rochester coffee stand, has plans to expand the business to a second location, located on Yelm Highway and Burnett Road.
The “Yelm Public Notices” webpage shows that Bundy has turned in an application with the city of Yelm to begin the development process on what is listed as “Bundy Commercial Center.”
The plans, Bundy said, are to build Northwest Grind’s coffee stand first, at 9243 Burnett Road SE, by October. After that, Bundy plans to build a shopping center the following year on the same acre of property she bought a couple of years ago.
“The next (Northwest Grind) is going to be slightly bigger,” Bundy said. “I have a surprise that I’m not going to announce yet, but it’s going to be coffee and something else.”
She said she prides herself and her employees on being customer service minded, as they go the extra mile for their patrons.
“Our coffee shop is super popular,” Bundy said. “We’re crazy busy. We’re known not only for our wonderful drinks, but we’re kind of over the top, we’re ‘extra,’ as you would say.”
Like the one in Rochester, the stand will have a drink of the month that’s some form of a 32-ounce blended drink that has all sorts of treats on top. Take this month’s special, for example. It’s the “S’more Northwest Coffee Please” drink, which is a blended, 32-ounce beverage with whipped cream, toasted marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate and a cherry on top.
But as Bundy said, customer service is queen at the shop, and if a drink doesn’t come out right, Northwest Grind’s guarantee on all drinks allows the baristas to make a new one for free.
Bundy said she even prefers if someone tastes their drink before they pull away from the stand, just so everyone can be 100% sure the customer is satisfied.
When a customer drives up to the stand’s window, Bundy said the goal will be to answer the call to service within three seconds.
The shop also sells branding merchandise, fresh food that’s never been frozen, and each drink comes with a candy on top.
She said she knows the coffee market can be competitive, but her policy is that no employee of hers ever talks bad about competing businesses, saying that “we’re all good vibes.”
“Sometimes people tend to bad talk other businesses,” Bundy said. “Especially coffee shops. People will try to talk bad about other coffee shop people. And we don’t do that. We don’t play that game.”
Ultimately, Bundy said she’s heard wonderful things about the Yelm community and hopes to receive a kind welcome.
A family-owned and operated institution, Rochester’s Northwest Grind opened four years ago at 10408 Highway 12 S.W., in Rochester and became wildly successful, Bundy said. The Bundys originally planned for the mini storage they own on the same plot of land to be the star of the show, but all that changed on day one.
“The first day we opened, it was a big hit, and I knew it,” Bundy said. “I knew at that time that this was going to be something big, that it was going to be special. I would have never imagined. And I definitely never dreamed of having more than one. I don’t know, I didn’t think about it, but it’s definitely a good thing.”
The Rochester store hosts seasonal pop-up markets, with the first one of the year being May 7, where about 25 vendors will open up shop in the parking lot, hawking their local products and services. Bundy expects to conduct similar events at the Yelm store.
And business has been good at Rochester, Bundy said, reporting that each month’s sales have been better than the last.
With most of its operating life being concurrent with the COVID-19 pandemic, Northwest Grind has worked to be a place of solace during hard times, even offering a few drinks on the house to people going through a hard time, Bundy said.
“The times are stressful and challenging, but we never slowed down,” she said. “We just try to make everyone’s day better. I mean, we have people that come through, and they are very upset. Their jobs are in question, or someone’s sick in their family. We lend an ear and … try to make their day a little bit better.”
Bundy and her team believe in charity and giving back. They recently donated a portion of their proceeds to a Rochester family that lost their home in a fire.
“It makes us feel good that we can contribute anything, and Rochester has just really taken us in with open arms, and I feel like Yelm is going to be the same way,” Bundy said.
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