Day-O Espresso opened its first drive-thru in October of 1999 in downtown Sonora, California. Patrick and Barbara Day had an 8’x15’ hut constructed by a company that builds backyard garden sheds. It was delivered on the back of a flat bed truck and unceremoniously “dumped” off at its new home. The Days then finished the interior themselves with the help of friends.
The business was started for Barbara and a couple of friends to have “something to do”. After the first month it was obvious that the demand for drive-thru espresso in Sonora was more than just a passing fad.
As the lines grew, Patrick started looking for another location in the county and in July 2000 opened the second Day-O in Jamestown on Highway 108/49. The business continued to grow and the Days soon realized that the little hut in Sonora was too small for four people to work together during the busy morning shift. A crane was brought in and the original hut was moved to the rear of the lot, hooked up to water, sewer, power and phone, and construction began on a new larger unit. The business was only closed for the second ½ of one business day to hook everything up, and then reopened the following morning.
The new hut, completed in May 2002, was 10’x 20’, a 5’ breezeway, and a 10’x 12’ bathroom and storage room. The employees were most excited about not having to walk down to the corner gas station anymore when nature called. The new hut was SO big the Days thought about renting it out for wedding receptions and dances when they weren’t serving drinks. It seemed like there was enough room for a 40 piece orchestra, about 30 tables and a dance floor…But common sense prevailed.
The original little hut sat at the back of the lot until a location was found in Mono Vista, across the highway from Soulsbyville, between Sonora and Twain Harte. The original hut was put on a trailer and hauled up the hill and opened for business in June 2003.
On September 2010, a new hut was built in the historical area of Columbia.
On August 2013, the original little hut at Mono Way was sold and a new hut was built on a new location next to the Outpost Gas Station.
On October 2013, the Uptown (non-drive thru) by the Sonora High School was added.
After long thoughts on June 2, 2014 Patrick and Barbara Day sold Day-O.
The new owners Anthony, Deborah, Tony (son) and Chanel Benites have been involved with the business community for the past 36 years. The new owners plan to build on the business model the Days have developed over the years.
On January 2015 Day-O opened two new locations in San Andreas and Lockeford.
Continuing with there expansion Day-O bought out Jitters in Valley Springs on September 2016. After a month of remodel Day-O of Valley Springs was open for business.
We look forward to adding more “huts” to new communities so others can experience our quality products, outstanding service, and friendly (Happy-Happy) people. After all Day-O has been voted 13 years straight “Mother Lodes Best Coffee”.