Walk into our cafes and you’ll notice two things about the furnishings: We like old stuff and fine craftsmanship. More importantly, though, we love to re-purpose and salvage useful things that others may do away with. So when we look to source furniture and fixtures for our cafes, we turn to the salvage masters, Housewerks. For more than a decade they have spent their days gutting buildings all over the Mid-Atlantic region searching for decorative, delicate and useful pieces. With their eye and expertise, we salvaged several pieces that have been used throughout the Del Ray Coffee Bar to complete its historic industrialized look. 1415 Bayard St, Baltimore, MD 410.685.8047 Partner Link:  

By | February 28th, 2014|Categories: Responsibility|Comments Off on Housewerks

From Specialty Coffee Retailer – Staff Training featuring Swing’s

Issue Date: SCR - January 2014, Posted On: 1/14/2014 Staff Training: Serving up Success By Melissa Niksic It doesn’t matter if your coffee shop has an amazing house blend, or the best latte in town. If the service at your location is subpar, your customers will remember that and nothing else. At any establishment, staff members are performing right at the front lines, making an immediate impression on guests. Locations that invest in both initial and ongoing training opportunities are often those whose customers experience the best overall service. Whether you oversee the training process yourself, utilize web-based or other interactive platforms to maximize employee engagement, or bring in an external consulting team to assist, it’s essential that your operation have a strategic training plan in place. Training begins before day one Many retailers assume that staff training starts the first day an employee arrives on the job. However, many industry professionals say that owners and managers should begin thinking about training before they even embark on the hiring process. Consider what types of people are most likely to thrive in your retail environment. Those are the people you want to make sure to hire in the first place: the ones who will fit in and be successful. Louisa Graves is the co-owner of, a Los Angeles-based company that offers barista training, one-on-one consultations, store design advice, and general staff training to coffee retailers. She suggests that retailers have staff training in mind during the initial stages of the employee hiring phase. “Make sure you hire engaging people,” Graves says. “You want your staff members to be friendly, welcoming, and able to effectively engage with your customers so those customers turn into repeat customers.” For many coffee [...]

By | February 7th, 2014|Categories: Blog|Comments Off on From Specialty Coffee Retailer – Staff Training featuring Swing’s

Free Burlap

Why Mr. Rude had to go hating on burlap is really beyond us. We quite like it, and we keep thinking of new uses for it: re-upholster an ottoman; cut out the art work and frame it; use it as a comfy spot for your pooch, or bury it in the garden to prevent weeds from growing up. The point is that we go through a lot of burlap and will never throw it away or sell it. It’s free for the taking at our Alexandria roasting facility. Stop by and pick some up, it’s sitting right by the front door.  

By | February 3rd, 2014|Categories: Responsibility|Comments Off on Free Burlap