PORT ANGELES — The downtown coffee shop and clothing store Caffeinated Clothier is on the verge of closing after a little more than one year in business.
While saying they didn’t know when the shop would close, owners Ayita and Anami Cloud hosted a farewell concert Friday that drew about 40 people to the resale clothing store and coffee shop at 133 E. First St. that opened June 1, 2011.
Both the Estafets and Trinity Avenue performed at the free show at the store — which not only sells coffee, but also locally designed fashions, jewelry, unique gifts and recycled attire.
The Caffeinated Clothier posted a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference on Facebook: “So long and thanks for all the fish!”
Ayita Cloud reminisced on the late-night open-mic nights they used to have as well as the people they have met and the relationships that have blossomed.
At the open-mic nights, teens would perform comedy, music and various other acts to entertain each other.
“You almost feel like a failure when you put all your time and energy in a project and it just flops,” she said.
“We tried to offer something for the younger community, but we don’t feel supported by the Port Angeles community,” she added.
“We have the added factor of kinda freaky, and people judge us, but our coffee is way better,” Ayita Cloud said.
Jeremy Blanchard, 18, said the Caffeinated Clothier is a place for people to come hang out.
“There’s not a lot of places for punks to hang out around town,” he said.
Anami Cloud said it is really neat to have seen friendships begin at the Caffeinated Clothier.
It’s like an urban family, she said, describing the relationship between customers and employees.
Ayita Cloud said it is so comfortable there that sometimes, she forgets she is working.
Not only does the Caffeinated Clothier allow teens to hang out, but it also hired teens.
“The teenagers I’ve had working for me are some of the best employees I’ve had,” Ayita Cloud said.
The Caffeinated Clothier also participated in a volunteer program with Work Source to give teens work training.
“I have a lot of memories from here,” said employee Annie La Fritz, 16.
“There have been so many times that people have came up and said the CC was great for the community.
“It felt good to know it was making a difference.”
But business has been slow, owners said.
Sometimes Ayita Cloud can sit in the Caffeinated Clothier and not get a customer until 2 p.m., she said.
“The economy is so bad, and nobody is downtown shopping,” she said.
“We generally need $170 a day, and it’s not happening.”
The shop is making about a sixth of what is needed to keep it going, Anami Cloud said.
“We spent a small fortune on advertising and don’t know what else to do,” she said.
“We can’t pour money into it if we’re not getting it back.”
With the Caffeinated Clothier closing, Ayita Cloud is going to work on her circus group, Cirque de Boheme.
“Hopefully, we’ll make enough money to pay bills,” Ayita Cloud said.
People need to “support local businesses, or they go away,” Anami Cloud said.
There is no definite end date for the Caffeinated Clothier.
We’re going to hold on as long as we can,” Ayita Cloud said.
Jesse Major, a recent graduate of Peninsula College and Port Angeles High School, is an intern with the Peninsula Daily News. To reach him, phone 360-452-2345, ext. 5056.