Thanks to YOU we made our goal!!! Our grand opening is Tuesday, Sept. 3rd at 6am!!! Please check our facebook page for the latest updates or sign up on our mailing list at lamanocoffee.com. If you would like your reward mug mailed to you via USPS, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll arrange a send off.
Who We Are
La Mano Coffee Bar is a coffee bar and bakeshop located in the Takoma neighborhood of Washington, D.C., directly across from the Takoma Red Line Metro Station and a few blocks from Historic Main Street of Takoma Park, Maryland.
We will feature manually prepared espresso drinks and a selection of hand-poured coffees sourced from craft roastery Ceremony Coffee of Annapolis, MD. A variety of sweet and savory fare will be prepared both in-house and sourced from local producers, including organic vegetables, grass-fed livestock farms, and fellow small business owners.
La Mano Coffee Bar is principally owned and operated by Javier Rivas and Anna Petrillo, both residents of the Washington, D.C. area for over 10 years. Since 2005, Mr. Rivas has owned Modern Times Coffeehouse, a successful independent coffeeshop and cafe located inside Washington D.C.'s landmark bookstore, Politics & Prose. Ms. Petrillo brings 15 years of experience in the restaurant industry to the venture, six of which were with Modern Times.
Since late 2012, we have been offering "pop-up" coffee services at special events in the neighborhood while working on the complete renovation and design of a commercial property. We have fast become familiar names and faces to many and are eager to finish construction and open our doors for business. We have been told over and over again that what the neighborhood desperately needs is "a good coffeeshop".
We are located in a 460 square foot, street level storefront on a mixed-use corridor of Carroll St NW. We share the block with a barbershop, a dry cleaners, two eateries, a community arts space, and other thriving locally-owned businesses. We have secured this location through a 5-year lease with an option for extending. At this time we have raised nearly all of our required start-up funds from a collection of personal funds, angel investors, and private loans, with no investments or partnerships from corporate restaurant groups or loans from big banks. We have spent over $100,000 on renovating this long-vacant property to bring it up to the standard building codes as required by law.
We are in our final push to open our brick-and-mortar and need your help to finish the job!
What We Need and What You Get
Having already raised the vast majority of capital needed to open, we are seeking $15,000 to help ensure a timely opening and smooth transition into full operational status. We want to make sure we are fully powered, well-staffed and ready for the enthusiastic crowds from day one. Your funds will help us open our doors by:
- Covering costs to connect to the electrical service from the public domain outside our front door into our meter inside. We, the small business owners, are responsible for paying Pepco to "flip the switch". The price to do that is set at their discretion and their time frame. We do not receive any reimbursements, credits, or breaks for paying for this neighborhood improvement, from either our landlord, the city, or Pepco itself. We owe them over $10,000 within 30 days or we will lose permit approval of our request and have to start over from the beginning of the permit process again.
- Covering payroll for the hiring and training of our employees. We expect to create eight to ten new jobs in Ward 4 of Washington, D.C.
We are pleased to offer you a variety of thank you gifts in exchange for your support; from discounts on coffee, a travel mug, free coffee for a year, coffee education classes, and our catering services. Please note that you can contribute ANY amount you wish, as long as it's at least one US dollar. The "perks" levels described to the right are for those of you that want to receive a thank-you gift by donating at a specified level. If you do not want a perk and just want to make a donation, simply enter your own donation amount in and click "No perk, I just want to contribute".
Even if we don't reach our entire goal, Indiegogo will award the amount we were able to reach and the funds will be used towards the expenses in the order described above.
Why Fund Us?
We feel we truly embody the spirit and work ethic of small business America. We both came as young immigrants to this country and have dedicated nearly all of our adult lives to working in the demanding and low-wage service industry, learning from direct experience about the challenges of managing and starting a food-based business from the ground up. We did not fall into this by leaving another career path; this is not a hobby that we always have done on the side. We have been working up to this point for the past 14 years and need just a little more help.
We have taken sole responsibility for the creation and management of our company-- from writing our own business plan, raising start-up capital, to navigating the web of regulations, permits, and licenses to own and operate a business in this city. As the two sole owners of the company that live within a few miles of the business, we will always be on site and available to our staff and customers.
We chose to open a business in Takoma because we want to be a part of our community through doing the work we love. The location was just as, if not more important than, our own desires to bring you a special concept or food trend. We see this business as an opportunity to make a broken piece of this community stronger. By installing the approved, correct electrical services for this abandoned former deli, we are actually turning it into a legally sound piece of commercial property. Your donation becomes a part of this improvement that we all benefit from-- the restoration of viable commercial/retail real estate in a neighborhood where the existing residents need more services and where many more new residents are expected to come in the next several years. We are happy to "give back" your donation by offering you the multiple rewards described on this page. More importantly, we will honor you by running a responsible, honest, business that carries products that you love, provides a place for you to meet with family and friends, and will give you a chair to sit in while you come up with your own great ideas on how to make our community a better place.
Up until now we have been able to fund our business through the generous support, trust, and confidence from family & friends, community lenders, and private loans. We have received all sorts of in-kind and donated services from legal advice to artistic and technical expertise. We have not accepted financing from any big banks nor are we attached to any restaurant group or corporate sponsors. We are still accepting offers for private loan agreements. We offer competitive interest rates and flexible terms of agreement. We would be happy to meet with you and share our business plan with you if you are interested in being a bigger part of La Mano.
We find ourselves lucky to be surrounded by family, friends, and a community that support our passion and vision. We want to engage our customers in a higher level of appreciation for our business than as just "a good coffeeshop". We hope to contribute to the great sense of place that Takoma has created throughout the years and we look forward to sharing with you our core values of: craft, technique, process, aesthetics, sustainability, community.
Very Special Thanks
The Rivera Family
The Helmer-Strassburger Family
The Petrillo Family
The Petrillo/Kaplan Family
The Petrillo/Flynn Family
Old Takoma Business Association
Main Street Takoma
Constituent Services of Councilmember Muriel Bowser
Modern Times Coffeehouse
Mei Mei Chang
Charlotte & Michael Owsianny