Cus­tomers pour into new cof­fee bar for fresh taste

New shop of­fers study, fam­ily rooms

The Enterprise - - Front Page - By CAROL SMITH csmith@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @somd_bized­i­tor

Cather­ine Grube took her dream to own a cof­fee shop from pas­sion to pour­ing at St. Inie’s Cof­fee on South Shangri-La Drive in Lex­ing­ton Park. The new cof­fee bar opened for busi­ness on Mon­day, Oct. 16.

St. Inie’s Cof­fee of­fers 17 va­ri­eties of medium and dark roast cof­fees, sold by the bag or by the cup. Cus­tomers can also pur­chase teas, baked food items and hand-crafted ce­ramic mugs.

“The cof­fee is all fresh-roasted guar­an­teed within 30 days,” Grube said.

The shop also fea­tures a pourover cof­fee bar, a liv­ing room where peo­ple can re­lax, work or study, and a sep­a­rate fam­ily room for kids.

Grube said cof­fee has al­ways been a part of her life, both at home and abroad.

“I have a ma­jor in Span­ish and Latin Amer­i­can stud­ies and so I trav­eled to Costa Rica, trav­eled to Chile, saw cof­fee plan­ta­tions while I was there,” the St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land grad­u­ate said. “I’ve been drink­ing cof­fee for my whole life. I worked at Star­bucks in col­lege.”

Grube said that when her chil­dren ap­proached school age she be­gan to search for work that would al­low her to com­bine her in­ter­ests and “be there” for her chil­dren dur­ing the week.

With the sup­port of her hus­band, Grube made the de­ci­sion to start her own home-based cof­fee roast­ing busi­ness.

“I did a lit­tle re­search for about six months to find out how to roast cof­fee, where to get cof­fee from, all the things that go into it. We de­cided to buy the roaster from a roaster in An­napo­lis and give it a go at the farm­ers mar­ket.”

Grube said that in 2015, she set up a stand at the Home Grown Farm Mar­ket in Lex­ing­ton Park and sold bags of her roasted cof­fee beans and cups of hot cof­fee.

“They got a free cup of cof- fee with a pound, so they could try the cof­fee and then de­cide if that’s the one they wanted to buy,” she said. “So I started there do­ing cups and had a small stand in the back, and then the busi­ness grew.”

Grube said that as her busi­ness be­gan to grow, so did her cof­fee of­fer­ings.

“I started of­fer­ing other things like cold brew cof­fee and more va­ri­eties,” she said. “And it kept grow­ing and grow­ing and grow­ing, but was still con­tained to Satur­days.”

It was last year when Grube said she took the next step to ex­pand her busi­ness by open­ing a cof­fee shop.

“The county needs a place where fam­i­lies can come and feel like they can ac­tu­ally re­lax and visit and their kids can have fun,” she said. “But then it’s nice to also have work­ing space and study space for col­lege stu­dents, [Navy] base work­ers and par­ents with­out their chil­dren. That’s when the con­cept of the two rooms de­vel­oped.”

Grube said the liv­ing room and fam­ily room at St. Inie’s are filled with books donated by mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and sold at min­i­mal prices, with the money from book sales used to pur­chase ad­di­tional books for the shelves.

In ad­di­tion to the two rooms, Grube said the shop has two meet­ing spa­ces avail­able for use by lo­cal non­prof­its and sim­i­lar or­ga­ni­za­tions “do­ing good things” for peo­ple in the com­mu­nity.

At the pour-over cof­fee bar, each cup of cof­fee is pre­pared us­ing a two-step pour­ing process. Hot wa­ter is care­fully poured into a glass “pour over” that is lined with a pa­per fil­ter and filled with a serv­ing of finely ground cof­fee. The wa­ter seeps through the cof­fee grounds down into the cup be­low.

“You do one pour and make sure you’re only hit­ting the beans and not the fil­ter,” she said. “Then let that ex­tract and then you do a se­cond pour.”

St. Inie’s serves cof­fees sourced from sev­eral coun­tries around the world, as well as spe­cialty cof­fee blends.

Flight Deck is a pop­u­lar blend that Grube said she makes as an “ode to [Naval Air Sta­tion Patux­ent River] and all the test pi­lots and avi­a­tion that hap­pens over there.”

“It’s three high-al­ti­tude cof­fees grown in high al­ti­tudes. So, that’s above 4,500 me­ters,” she said. “They’re roasted sep­a­rately and then they’re blended to­gether af­ter the fact for Flight Deck.”

Re­becca Wa­ters of Lex­ing­ton Park said she has been a cus­tomer of St. Inie’s for more than a year and pur­chased the cof­fee at the farm­ers mar­ket.

“My hus­band prefers her dark roast,” Wa­ters said. “I re­ally like the Flight Deck that is a com­bi­na­tion of two medi­ums and a dark. It’s good enough I don’t need to put sugar in when I’m not nor­mally a black cof­fee drinker. It has a won­der­ful fla­vor. And [I like] her cold brew.”

Wa­ters said she has also vis­ited the new cof­fee shop, as well as her kids who spent time in the shop’s fam­ily room.

“They love it,” Wa­ters said. “There’s a wide va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties, so even our tod­dler is en­ter­tained for long enough for us to drink cof­fee and chat and have sort of a leisurely morn­ing.”

“It’s re­ally nice to see a lo­cal busi­ness com­ing in and one that’s ac­ces­si­ble to a wide va­ri­ety of peo­ple in the com­mu­nity,” Wa­ters said.

Go­ing for­ward, Grube said she plans to add in­di­vid­ual gal­leries to the shop for lo­cal artists to sell their art, and pro­vide spa­ces where lo­cal ar­ti­sans can mar­ket their goods.

Grube said she also wants to ex­pand her out­reach to the com­mu­nity by em­ploy­ing in­di­vid­u­als with in­tel­lec­tual and de­vel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties, and by al­low­ing a space for lo­cal non­prof­its to meet.

She said she looks to take part in ef­forts to re­vi­tal­ize the lo­cal com­mu­nity, as well.

“I would very much like to be a part of that change,” Grube said. “I think just be­ing here and hav­ing a place for peo­ple to talk about those ideas and work to­gether on things like that and run into peo­ple they might not oth­er­wise run into will help with that.”

STAFF PHOTO BY CAROL SMITH

Owner Cather­ine Grube pours a cup of cof­fee at the pour over cof­fee bar at St. Inie’s Cof­fee in Lex­ing­ton Park. The cof­fee shop opened for busi­ness Mon­day, Oct. 16.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Pic­tured is the fam­ily room at St. Inie’s Cof­fee in Lex­ing­ton Park.

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