Standing in the drizzle in open-toed sandals, the foggy beach behind him and the smell of coffee in the air, it’s exactly the setting that Campstuff Coffee owner Kyle Bingham calls classic “Pacific Northwestern.”
Bingham wants to sell more than just a cup of coffee. To him, his business is about selling an experience — a warm cup of joe while visiting Deception Pass State Park, creating memories of a cozy drink experienced while in the great outdoors.
He wants people to “get outside and enjoy life.”
“We wanted to enhance the outdoor experience,” he said, “And having a warm cup of coffee helps enrich that experience.”
The mobile coffee stand has only been open for three weeks, but already, business has gone “better than expected,” Bingham said. In the mornings, the small coffee trailer is located in the Deception Pass Lower Loop Campground, and moves to West Beach in the afternoons.
It’s the perfect spot to sell coffee, and the frequent jets overhead are no problem, Bingham said.
In fact, he and his wife Sarah welcome the noise — they thank service personnel for keeping them safe, he said. Campstuff Coffee offers discounts to military, police and firefighters.
His life is all about adventure — of running a coffee stand with his wife of eight years, the hiking exploration he does in his free time and running his other business, a small travel company where he leads groups on trips around the world.
Bingham said he enjoys chatting with customers. On a sunny day, you’ll likely find him sitting in a wooden lawn chair by Campstuff Coffee, reading a book from his personal library.
If you’re interested, he’ll let you borrow one of his books.
Sarah Bingham has been in the coffee business since high school. Between the two of them “she’s the coffee pro,” Kyle said.
He handles the business operations, and Sarah works on whipping up the drinks — “so we’re combining our strengths,” he said.
“I love being able to be my own boss,” Sarah said. “I love making coffee and the fact I can do it on my own terms.”
The outdoorsy couple say they enjoy their location rain or shine.
“It’s raining today, but this is my office by the beach,” Kyle said. “You’re not in a cubicle, there’s no florescent lights. It’s all natural.”
The mobile stand is a vintage 1966 Shasta trailer, refitted to suit their needs.
“We totally disassembled it and put it back together in the shape of a coffee stand,” Kyle said.
They painted, sanded and polished it, changing the outside color to blue instead of white.
On the Campstuff Coffee menu there’s a variety of drink options
Also for sale are steel and enamel mugs, printed with sayings such as “going to the woods is like going home,” “life is good in the woods” and “save the drama for your llama.”
They’ve gotten customers who have bought the mugs and sent in photos of them traveling with them, Kyle said.
Campstuff Coffee is active on social media, with a blog, Instagram and Facebook pages, all aimed at getting people outdoors as well as selling coffee.
The Binghams estimate that on busy days, they get several hundred customers and on slow days, between 75 and a hundred.
Sundays are their busiest days, Sarah said, and they get customers from all over the world who are visiting Deception Pass.
“We’ve met people from Maryland and Canada and that’s just today,” she said.
If they had to choose a favorite item off their menu, Sarah said she’d go for the simple Americano.
“If I were stranded on a desert island, with an espresso machine,” Kyle said, “I’d go for the white chocolate mocha.”