Gypsy Java aims to stay local to Washington, Idaho

Local coffee shop has rotating menus during holidays; drive-through and walk-up area



Gypsy Java offers a variety of drinks

JOSHUA SONEDA, Evergreen reporter

Gypsy Java is a Romani-owned business operating out of Eastern Washington and Idaho. They have two coffee stands, one in Moscow and the other here in Pullman.  

Lead barista Leilani Fitzgerald said the place is simply a coffee stand. It’s mainly a drive-through.

There is also a walk-up window under the cover under shade, which is convenient during the warmer months of the year, Fitzgerald said. 

Lead barista Jasmine Lander holds the goal of keeping the business local. 

“[Gypsy Java is] just trying to focus on the fanbase and the growth they have right now,” she said. “Our whole thing is we want to keep local, you know, like giving back to the community in that sense.”

Lander said the company gives back by only buying local ingredients, coffee and pastries from local suppliers.  

Another part of Gypsy Java’s charm is the fun names that all the drinks have, Lander said.  There’s a sort of mystical theme with some of the names, like The Celt; their rotating holiday menus include drinks such as Spellbound or Maple Woods.

The Pullman branch opened toward the beginning of 2020, Fitzgerald said. But, because of the pandemic, they did not get popular until last summer. 

Gypsy Java is not trying to be a massive corporation or a competitor to Starbucks, Lander said. At most, she expects that there would be around five stands in the future, which would have all their coffee and pastries be supplied locally.

Fitzgerald said the name of the business has caused some controversy because the term ‘Gypsy’ has grown to be noticed as a more negative term by the public. 

Gypsy Java is a Romani-owned business, so when it first popped up, the owner did not see it as problematic, she said. 

As time went on, people began to complain about the company’s name, Lander said. But, the general sentiment from the lead baristas is that it’s not their place to tell the owner what words he’s allowed to use.

“Our goal is quality customer service, providing people with caffeine to get through their day,” Fitzgerald said.