North Dakota as a whole is now one of just 10 states in the union where men outnumber women. But Gray sees it as good odds for a lucrative business opportunity.
“Business is awesome,” she said on a recent Wednesday as she surveyed a growing line of trucks filled with men waiting to place their orders.
“Looking for a smiling face in this male-infested town.” Nyssa Gray proudly shows off her coffee stand, Boomtown Babes Espresso, in Williston, North Dakota.
That’s thanks to the “man camps,” rows of trailers that house oil workers on the outskirts of town.
Though the man-camp residents don’t officially factor into the city’s population, the temporary settlements make Williston one of the most male-dominated parts of the country.
“I mean, you get cute girls in here that actually know how to make coffee…business is so booming.” Many of the guys working on the oil fields have left their wives and children back home.
Others are single, divorced, or —perhaps— soon-to-be. “They’re just friendly,” said company manager Angela Newman, referring to her typical customers.
Nyssa Gray paints Boomtown Babes Espresso, her lingerie-style coffee stand in Williston, North Dakota, an eye-catching bubblegum-pink hue.
City officials say that there are now four men for every woman living in Williston.
But local residents estimate the real ratio is closer to 50:1.