From modest beginnings – a small space in the back of Galapagos Boutique where guys could find a refuge from clothes shopping – Dave’s Coffee has turned into a major Rhode Island brand.
Founder David Lanning first expanded into roasting his own coffee for whole bean sales, then introduced a line of coffee syrups found at retailers such as Whole Foods and Crate & Barrel. This summer, Lanning opened what he sees as a flagship Dave’s Coffee cafe on South Main Street in Providence, complete with a custom-built espresso machine and pour-over coffee bar.
PBN: With the opening of a Providence location, is this the start of an expansion that will eventually see Dave’s Coffees on every block in Rhode Island?
LANNING: I don’t know about every block, but I definitely see an opportunity for other locations, not just in Rhode Island but elsewhere in New England. I think Boston is interesting and Rhode Island could support another Dave’s Coffee somewhere.
PBN: Do you have something already in the works?
LANNING: I am looking at least a year down the road. We have had the location in Charlestown a long time. The original was in a 1740 farmhouse – we were limited in what we can do. I feel what we learned being there we really took into account in the Providence location. Just the logistics behind the counter and in front of the counter, we have put a lot of thought into work flow and customer flow and having that experience behind us helped a lot. This location in Providence would be our flagship store even though it is not the first one.
PBN: Is the Providence store fundamentally different from Charlestown?
LANNING: It is different aesthetically. We kept a natural feel to it. We worked with a great architect [3Six0] in Providence for a great design. The materials we focused on were wood, concrete and raw metal. It still has a nice, warm, warn feel to it. It’s one of the newer buildings on South Main.
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