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Ryan Fleming drank a lot of coffee in his former life working in finance.
“I started out of necessity,” says Fleming, who worked in New York and then San Francisco. “In finance, sometimes the hours are 80, 90, 100 hours weeks and coffee is the only thing that can get people through that—the only legal way to get through that.”
But living in San Francisco, Fleming began to take a deeper interest in coffee beyond its caffeine power. “The more I explored, the more I looked, the more I was intrigued by how incredible it can be.” He started taking coffee and food consulting classes, learned how to roast, and traveled across the West Coast learning more about coffee and visiting as many as 100 different coffee shops.
Now he and co-owner/fiancée Miranda Mirabella, who works in health care consulting, are in the process of opening a not-yet-named coffee and cocktail spot in the storefront of branding and design firm Fathom Creative at 1333 14th St. NW. (Fathom will continue to operate in the back of the building.)
“Coffee quality across the board has been rising up,” Fleming says. “What we feel is missing is the service side of the coffee experience.” The goal, he says, is to help guests better understand what they’re drinking, beyond just knowing where the beans come from.
Fleming and Mirabella are keeping a lot of the details under wraps for now, including the cafe’s name and the specifics of their “unique equipment.” In addition to coffee, the shop will serve cocktails (including coffee cocktails). There will also be light food offerings, like pastries and other small-plate snacks.
Mirabella says they considered New York, Boston, and D.C. for their new venture “and this felt the most comfortable, and we were most excited about D.C.”
Fleming and Mirabella aim to open the coffee spot in early 2014.