David and Amy Starr opened the shop in February 2007 at 7028 Columbia Pike in the Annandale Shopping Center in a space that was formerly occupied by a cell phone store.
By then David Starr’s coffee-roasting adventures in the garage of their Lake Barcroft home had become “a hobby that ran amok,” he says. So they decided to put together a business plan and opened their own coffee shop. It’s still a sideline, though, as they both continue to work at regular jobs. They are both lawyers—David is in private practice and Amy works for the federal government.
|The coffee-roasting room.|
Beanetics gets coffee beans from Jamaica, Brazil, Costa Rica, Yemen, and other coffee-growing areas worldwide, mostly from importers, and the Starrs also buy beans directly from farmers in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
The Starrs wanted to give local artists an opportunity to display and sell their work, so every month, there’s a new exhibit of paintings, drawings, or photographs. The public is invited to monthly meet-the-artist receptions at the shop. The Starrs also believe it’s important to be involved in the community, so they donate coffee to lots of local events, like teacher appreciation luncheons.
|Bags of coffee beans ready for roasting.|
As part of a partnership with Falls Church High School, students in the culinary program created their own coffee blend for Beanetics, and students taking a marketing course designed the logo and label. Students sell the coffee at community events. Some of the students in the program are from countries where coffee is grown, so this gives them an opportunity to see the entire process, David Starr says.
People always ask him to consider opening other Beanetics shops, but he’s not interested in expanding. “There’s only so much time in the year to devote to this. We still have our day jobs,” he says. “We’re happy with the Annandale location. We love the community.”