Welcome back to Launch Week Celebration & Giveaway, Day 4!
Today I’m pretty excited today to give you not only a peek at my favorite local (Vienna, VA) business, but also an interview with the owner! Oh, and yes, there’s a great coffee-themed giveaway to top it all off.
You’ve probably seen me go on and on about Caffe Amouri, my local coffee roaster /coffee shop, either on Twitter, Facebook, or this blog. That’s because I’m a huge fan. Have you ever tasted coffee that is freshly roasted? It’s unbelievable! Ever since Caffe Amouri opened last summer, I’ve been a totally loyal customer. It’s a totally chill place to go read a book, do some work, blog, or catch up with friends. And I feel very fortunate that I’ve gotten to know Michael Amouri, the owner and roaster, because not only is he an awesome guy – he’s been a huge source of inspiration and also advice as I head down my entrepreneurial path. (Thanks, Michael!!)
If you’re ever in the area, you should visit Caffe Amouri first thing in the morning, when the coffee beans are roasting. (Follow on Twitter and Facebook to know when the roasting is going on.) You can smell it in the air – I don’t even know how to describe it, but it’s awesome. Upon entering, you can’t help but notice the big yellow roasting machine:
The walls of the shop are covered with Michael’s vintage record collection:
But those vintage LPs are more than just decor. Friday nights are “Club Night” at Caffe Amouri, one of the ways in which Michael has expanded the shop to be more of a community gathering place. During Club Night, customers of all ages can choose records off the wall, and Michael plays them on a good old-fashioned record player. How cool is that?
Another fun design element (to me, at least) is the wooden siding on the counters. The rough-hewn boards are reclaimed lumber from an old building that was torn down:
In addition to offering the usual espresso and coffee drinks, Caffe Amouri serves a delicious variety of teas, iced teas, 100% fruit smoothies, and Italian Cream Sodas. Some days I have the hardest time choosing just one drink from the menu.
See all those glass jars? Those are the many different beans and blends that are roasted in-house. Once you start trying the different coffees, it’s amazing to notice all the nuances of flavor that accompany beans from different regions around the globe.
Are you curious what goes into the making of a coffee shop (and roaster)? Michael was kind enough to answer a mini-interview about the details behind the making of Caffe Amouri.
What inspired you to take the plunge and not just open Caffe Amouri, but turn it into a coffee roaster as well?
What is the hardest part? When sales slack off and I wonder what it is that we’ve done wrong to turn people off? Or not getting folks flocking in during the morning hours……eats away at me. Also, as you mentioned above, the sheer number of things that have to get done and the anxiety over not “getting to them”.
What advice would you give to someone who’d like to start their own business, especially a brick-and-mortar business like yours?
Just kidding. Refer to the info above – just plan, plan, plan.
So there you have it – a peek at what goes into starting and running your own coffee house. Ever since I’ve learned just some of the work Michael put into launching his business, I haven’t been able to look at a coffee shop the same. It’s amazing how much thought and work is behind that cup of coffee or tea!
Giveaway #4: A Clever Coffee Dripper & 1 Pound Fresh-Roasted Coffee
**This giveaway is now closed.**
The lucky winner of this giveaway will win a pound of coffee (your choice of a particular roast/origin) and a Clever Coffee Dripper, packaged inside one of my handmade coffee sack gift bags.
What’s a clever coffee dripper? It’s an awesome little single-cup coffee maker that is totally space-efficient, and totally portable. It’s perfect for storing in your office or packing in your suitcase (if you’re a coffee snob, like me). In order to have an amazingly fresh, delicious coffee anywhere, all you need is boiling water, some ground coffee beans, and your Clever Coffee Dripper. Trust me, it makes a killer cup of coffee.
Still curious as to how exactly it works? Come back next week when I”ll be sharing a how-to on using the dripper to make an awesome cup of coffee.
Here’s how to enter:
- Simply comment on this post! If you want, spill the beans (ha,ha) on your drink of choice. Coffee? Tea? Something else entirely?
- This giveaway closes on Monday, 6/20/2011 at 9:00 PM
- The winner will be randomly chosen and announced after Monday, 6/20/2011
Legal mumb0-jumbo: I was not compensated in any way for this post about Caffe Amouri or the Clever Coffee Dripper. I just happen to be a huge fan!
And that’s it for today! See you back here tomorrow for the 5th and final Launch Week Giveaway post, with a big prize from my shop!