‘Bikini Beans’ Is Serving The Hottest Coffee In Washington, But Not Everyone Is Happy About It

A
controversial coffee shop is taking Washington by storm, not for the
quality of their beverages, but for the staff’s dress code. Bikini Beans
Espresso, which also operates in Arizona, has baristas dressed in
bikinis, underwear, or even just a conveniently placed sticker while
they make your drink and it has been a huge success.

The cafe that quite clearly caters to a predominately male customer
base currently has a five star rating on Yelp and has thousands of
social media followers. Not everyone is happy about the store, however,
with many stating that it is a step in the wrong direction for gender
equality, but the outlet’s female owner, Carlie Jo, feels differently,
believing that Bikini Beans Espresso actually empowers women.

The francise’s website proudly states, “As the first bikini barista
shop in Arizona, we want to empower women to be, and feel good about,
themselves. Women everywhere have the right to vote, to be gay, to be
successful community leaders and business owners, or even run for
president! We have the right to work with grace, confidence and dignity,
regardless if it’s in a business suit, scrubs, or a bikini.”

However, not everyone agrees. A local resident known only as “Kimberly” told Zagat
that she was appalled when she saw the store while walking with her
children. “The problem wasn’t as much what they saw. It was having to
explain to my eight, seven and five-year-old kids why there are women
without shirts on serving coffee and why there are men in line to get
this coffee.”

The franchise has caused such an uproar that Spokane, Washington city
councillor Mike Fagan has tried unsuccessfully to outlaw bikini coffee
stands in his home state. In a Youtube video that was also posted on the
Zagat website, Fagan echoed the sentiment that outlets such as
Bikini Beans Espresso are run on a business model based on a foundation
of female exploitation.

coffee 5

“Having frequented at least one time in each of these shops, just to
see what the consumer is subjected to, we’re talking about three
stickers strategically placed – and I’ll leave it up to everybody else’s
imagination as to where those stickers are placed,” he stated in the
video, adding “It should be all about the coffee and not about the
body.”

The store’s staff, however, don’t feel particularly victimized or
believe it’s offensive. “I have full families that come in that love
me,” barista Kimberly Paterson told People magazine. “Whichever
stand I’m at they bring their whole family. They bring their kids, you
know, I’ve offered to babysit before,” adding “so it really doesn’t
affect kids at all, I think they are just trying to find another thing
to be offended by.”


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