Customers pour into new coffee bar for fresh taste
New shop offers study, family rooms
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.”
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.
Pictured is the family room at St. Inie’s Coffee in Lexington Park.