Slowing Down for Coffee Comes to East Coast

San Francisco coffeehouse is hoping to slow Washington, D.C., residents down long enough to smell the beans and enjoy a cup of coffee.
March 24, 2016

MCLEAN, Va. – Slowing down for coffee seems counter to the time-starved consumer, but for those willing to wait, Philz Coffee of San Francisco has spent the past 40 years convincing its customers to hit the pause button and enjoy a cup of customized brew. Now, the company is taking its slow-down-for-coffee philosophy to the East Coast, USA Today reports.

“We're trying to change the way people think about coffee," CEO Jacob Jaber told the newspaper.

This week Philz Coffee is opening two stores in Washington, D.C., in the Adams Morgan neighborhood and the Capitol Riverfront area near Nationals Park. The news source questions whether Philz can remain true to its roots amid expansion plans that increase the store count to 30 with 800 employees, or if it is at risk to become a big-chain coffeehouse.

"Never!" company founder and namesake Phil Jaber told the new source. "We're not cookie-cutter," he added. "We put love into our coffee."

Through the company’s training program, Philz University, new hires learn about the corporate values: "Love. Trust. Integrity." USA Today writes that all store managers are promoted from within the ranks of the company's baristas and are rated on customer experience and employee reviews instead of sales. New stores feature a very minimalist “blank canvas" design that allows staff and customers to “put their own stamp on it, via a collection of tables, chairs and sofas,” notes the news source.hrough the company’s training program, Philz University, new hires learn about the corporate values: "Love. Trust. Integrity." USA Today writes that all store managers are promoted from within the ranks of the company's baristas and are rated on customer experience and employee reviews instead of sales. New stores feature a very minimalist “blank canvas" design that allows staff and customers to “put their own stamp on it, via a collection of tables, chairs and sofas,” notes the news source.

Starbucks is the largest coffee chain in the United States, with sales expected to rise 12% this year to $21.5 billion, notes the news source. But 55% of the U.S. market is held by specialty retailers, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and bringing customers over from those rivals is a part of the plan.

“We earn every customer. If you come to my store once, I have you for life,” Phil Jaber told the news source. 

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