But pure serendipity is to thank for the perfect union at the corner of 4th and C in Petaluma, right next to the actual bus stop. Bus Stop’s owners, Nathan and Katie Nies, first met while making coffee at Seattle’s Best Coffee (prior to Starbucks’ ownership). They saved enough cash to buy their own cart, and moved to Petaluma, Katie’s hometown, to run it. Stopping into Mail Depot one day to get a mailbox (business address for permitting process), Nathan overheard a customer asking Mail Depot’s proprietor why she didn’t have a coffee cart outside.
Bus Stop was born.
Eight years in, Nathan is still smiling. That smile is regularly mentioned in yelp (all four- and five-star) reviews, as are speedy service and fabulous beverages. Bus Stop buys its organic fair trade coffee from Thanksgiving Coffee Company, which Nathan points out has always been way ahead of the crowd on every ecological choice.
“We sampled a lot of coffee,” Nathan says. The couple chose family-run, Fort Bragg-based Thanksgiving Coffee not only for its impressive track record in fair trade and climate change issues affecting coffee growers, but also, of course, for taste.
“They roast daily and deliver to us on Fridays,” Nathan says, adding, “and their trucks run on biodiesel.” Bus Stop also serves cookies from Preferred Sonoma Caterers and pastries from Sebastopol’s Sonoma Muffin Works.
When I visited Bus Stop, Nathan was concocting a smoothie of sorts for a regular customer, who brings the ingredients to him to blend. “That’s the nice thing about being a small local business; we can build relationships with our customers,” he says.
Bus Stop helps out nonprofits and schools on a regular basis, and now will be promoting Petaluma Ca$h Mob, the Facebook group of economic activists supporting local independent businesses. All week, from Monday October 22 through Saturday the 27, Nathan and Katie will serve up special deals in honor of a weeklong Petaluma Ca$h Mobbing, offering every customer one raffle ticket per visit to win the grand prize of an entire month of free coffee. Hours are 5:30am to 2pm M-F, 6:30am-12pm Saturday.