New espresso stand opens in Kennewick

Java Jet, Kennewick's newest espresso stand, wasn't named for the jolt of caffeine you get there. Instead the jet in the name refers to former career of one of the owners.

Kelly Gammon was working in the aerospace industry for ATK in Utah when he met his bride, Donna, while on a cruise last year.

"We just really clicked and kept in touch," he said. "I knew I wanted this woman to be my wife and she wasn't going to move to Utah."

So he quit his job, moved to the Tri-Cities and, in July, he and Donna were married.

"The next question was what could I do, or we do as a family, for income?," he said.

Donna's daughters, Brianna and Shana Smith, both in their early 20s, had been working as baristas at a Pasco coffee shop for several years.

"They had been talking about opening their own espresso stand so we thought why not invest in the girls?" Gammon said. "We would never have thought of opening Java Jet without the girls and their experience."

The four are now partners, with two part-time baristas.

They found an empty lot in Kennewick, leased it and built Java Jet at 5225 W. Canal Drive, near the Edison Street intersection.

"It was quite an experience. I have a business degree but I never realized what's involved in opening a business. There were so many hoops to jump through," he said.

Java Jet opened last week and specializes in organic, free-trade coffee beans.

"Doma organic beans really do make the best coffee. It's very smooth," said Gammon.

The menu also includes smoothies, tea and juices, as well as bagels and muffins.

Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513;; more news at