On a walk in South Lake Union Tuesday morning, I noticed, for the second time, a community banana stand manned by Amazon employees known as “banistas” (as in banana barista). Like the last time, there was a steady stream of employees and passers-by stopping by to grab a wonderfully ripe and flavorful banana.
It seems so out of place, but it’s been operating since 2015. Why a banana stand? It was an idea borne simply out of the desire to help provide the community a healthy snack. But it is kind of weird and quirky so how did this idea get this far? According to an Amazon banista, the idea came from Jeff Bezos.
They’re absolutely free and open to anyone in the neighborhood. They’re so popular, in fact, they’ve already expanded to a second location at the Denny Regrade.
They’ve already passed out over 1.7 million bananas in the community, which averages to about 8,000 a day. Would it have grown to the success it is today if Amazon went with their original fruit idea – oranges? No one knows. But we’re all glad they went with a banana stand – there’s always money in the banana stand. Perhaps that explains how their stock price just rose above $1,000 a share.