After 14 years of serving coffee, Movie Magic is slated to close

Movie Magic Espresso, in business for 14 years, will close Sept. 30.

Movie Magic Espresso, in business for 14 years, will close Sept. 30.

Owner Jackie Merrill recently announced her decision to close the espresso drive-through business and café and is now working for Bank of America, a job that she says offers an ideal schedule, benefits and flexibility for her and her family.

The issue of job security played a large role in her decision to move on, she said, as the Movie Magic building has been for sale for the past year, and if it sells, she might have had to relocate and begin anew somewhere else.

“It seemed like the right time to step out,” she said.

Still, the decision to close her business, which has grown every year since opening in 1998, did not come easily.

“This has been a difficult choice to make, but one that is for the benefit of my kids and their future,” she said recently. “They have grown up watching what it takes to run a business and the commitment involved, and they sense that Mom will be a little less stressed at the end of the day.”

Merrill noted that she is hoping for the same outcome as at the Vashon Tea Shop, which changed hands earlier this year, when Elizabeth “Boo” Dinan-Slack bought the business from Beng-Imm Low, who had planned to close if a buyer did not appear.

If a buyer for her business steps forward between now and the end of September, Merrill said she would help make the transition as smooth as possible.

“I would work with the party to show them the ropes,” she said. “I would be willing to pass the torch.”

The business is listed with Susan Lofland at John L. Scott for $20,000, and the building itself is listed there with Ken Zaglin at a recently reduced price, $349,000.

If no owner steps forward, Merrill said, she will sell off all the pieces of equipment in October by listing them either on eBay or Craigslist.

In the meantime, Merrill is working both at Movie Magic Espresso and the bank, where she said she expects to see her former customers frequently.

“I’ll probably be doing the drive-through,” she said. “I’m sure a lot of people will wish I could serve their coffee, too.”