Emerging Leader Kaitlyn Davis (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Emerging Leader Kaitlyn Davis (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Kaitlyn Davis: Turning quick coffee into a community enterprise

At 24, Davis bought her first espresso stand. She has since grown into a local business advocate.

This is one of 12 finalists for The Herald Business Journal’s annual Emerging Leaders awards for 2022. The winner will be named at an event on April 13.

Kaitlyn Davis, 32

Owner, Moe’s Coffee

Kaitlyn Davis wanted to buy her first business at 19. Her parents convinced her to focus on school instead.

After graduating from college she wasn’t about to let her second chance at owning an espresso stand pass her by.

So at 24, Davis became the proud new owner of Moe’s Espresso in Arlington. But she wasn’t satisfied with the status quo.

“I saw areas where I could improve the business,” David told The Daily Herald in 2018. “I didn’t make an emotional purchase.”

Davis grew the enterprise and today owns two coffee shops and a cocktail lounge. She went from seven employees to more than 45, and now uses her business acumen to help others.

She is a business advocate who wants others to have the kind of success she has had.

To that end, she currently serves on the Stilly Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Arlington Career and Technical Education Advisory Board and the Darrington Career and Technical Education Advisory Board.

“I love being a part of the growth of Arlington and creating a town where people want to spend time,” Davis said.

After graduating from Marysville Pilchuck High School in 2009, Davis knew she wanted to get into the coffee business.

“I was passionate about it and I loved the joy it brought people,” Davis wrote in her Emerging Leaders of Snohomish County application. “I loved the craft of coffee. I loved the people I got to meet, and I loved the fast paced environment.”

Back then she considered buying an espresso stand she saw for sale on Craigslist. Her parents nixed the idea, which Davis later came to believe was for the best.

“I’m glad they talked me out of it,” Davis told The Herald. “I wasn’t ready. I still had a lot to learn.”

Davis planned to earn a master’s and become a teacher, just like her mother. She studied at Whatcom Community College and spent her free time working at espresso stands. She said balancing a workload that included classes and a part-time job helped sharpen her deadline, scheduling and management skills.

A few months after graduation she got a call from the owner Blanchard Mountain Coffee.

Her former boss told her the owner of Moe’s Espresso in Arlington was thinking about selling the business.

Davis didn’t hesitate. She called Moe’s owner that day. A family member provided a private loan to help with the purchase.

“I was a lucky 24 year old, but the hustle and dedication had been happening for the last eight years,” Davis said. “Dreams can come true when you capitalize on opportunity, and that is what I did. Coffee is a great stepping stone and it gets a lot of people to the next level in life, and I wanted to be the boss that encouraged them to follow their dreams.”

Eric Schucht: 425-339-3477; eric.schucht@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @EricSchucht.

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