Aubrey Dickinson calls herself a mix of sweet and sassy, andanyone who frequents Little Red’s Espresso and Bakery is likely to agree.
The Lake Wenatchee native spent time living in Los Angelesbefore deciding she wanted to move back to the mountains.
“I like to make cookies and coffee, so I decided to make myown job.”
Aubrey put together abusiness plan and it became Little Red’s Bakery and Espresso.
At first, Aubrey ran her small drive up coffee shop onCole’s Corner on Highway 2 where it intersects with the Lake Wenatchee Highway(SR 207). She couldn’t find an affordable place to live, so she moved into anRV that she fondly called the mousetrap. For a couple years, she worked 12hours a day, 7 days a week by herself.
“I was determined not to go down,” she said.
On his way to Stevens Pass, her brother in law would stop byfor coffee and she would write him notes on his coffee cup. Soon, people wereasking if she could write on their cups, too. It became one of her signaturepieces – now, every coffee cup has its own hand-written note. The notes are amix of funny coffee quips and some sassy comments, complete with swear words. Shecontinued to make her cookies – as big as an outstretched hand, and weighing insomewhere between ½-1 pound. Her most popular flavors are chocolate chip andsalted butterscotch.
“The cookies bring people back,” she said. “I’ve mailed themacross the country.”
About two years into the business, Little Red’s won a Bestof the Northwest Award, and Aubrey’s determination started to pay off. She beganto gain a loyal following who were attracted as much to the coffee and freshbaked goods as they were by the coffee stand’s unique style.
“I wanted a rockabilly kind of style,” she said. “NotMarilyn Monroe – more like Rosie the Riveter.”
She encourages red lipstick in her employees, and works hardto create an image that fits the Rockabilly theme she started dreaming ofbefore she moved home from Los Angeles.
“I always want people to feel like they’re getting somethingspecial,” she said. “Nothing cookie cutter.”
Aubrey’s determination has been challenged several times.Within one year, she spent the last three months of her pregnancy in thehospital before giving birth and has had to move her Lake Wenatchee LittleRed’s three times. She also won the bid to run the espresso stand in theairstream trailer outside of Pybus Market, expanding her loyal following downvalley into Wenatchee.
Today, her Lake Wenatchee coffee stand is in a temporary homeon the Lake Wenatchee Highway, 7 miles from Cole’s Corner around the north sideof the lake. Regardless of its remote location, Aubrey’s loyalty to the areawhere she grew up has paid off: customers call in their coffee and food ordersand go miles out of their way to support her.
“The community has been really supportive – family, too,”she said. “People have rallied for me, driving out their way to come here. At thispoint I’ve put so much into it I refuse to go down.”
The Wenatchee Little Red’s, managed by one of Aubrey’sfriends, is a popular, successful coffee option. Aubrey is working on gettingher Lake Wenatchee location back to the Cole’s Corner vicinity. Once that’saccomplished, she wants to take the mobile coffee stand she’s using there totry out new potential locations in North Central Washington.
Little Red’s Wenatchee location (15 N. Worthen St.) is open 7 days a week from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.Their Lake Wenatchee location (Hwy 207 at Karl Rd) is open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.Monday to Thursday and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridayto Sunday. To learn more about Little Red’s or to visit their online store, goto littlereds.org.