What started as an off-handed idea turned into a reality for six church friends in February.
Their business, 309 Coffee, opened Feb. 4 after three couples—Christina and Tyler Woodall, Lyndsey and Steve Testone, and Karen and David Melles—decided to take a leap of faith and open a coffee shop in the heart of Georgetown.
Located just three blocks north of the Square, 309 is a refurbished house the Melleses previously rented out.
“I just said, ‘Wouldn’t this make a lovely coffee shop?’” Karen said.
After a great deal of help from friends and community members, 309 has a volunteer-built wraparound porch with several picnic tables. Inside, two rooms create different seating options for customers.
Book clubs, study groups and business meetings often take place at the shop, the owners said.
“We very much encourage people to come and stay,” Karen said. “We’re not rushing you out. We’re not going to come and clear your table so that someone else can use your table. We want you to stay. We want you to relax.”
With no prior experience in coffee other than appreciation, the owners brought in Garrett Hill to manage the store. Hill also owns Apothecary Coffee Co., which is sold at 309. Hill said the business works to elevate the coffee experience by treating it like it is a craft.
The shop also offers wine and beer on draft as well as seasonal drinks, Hill said.
For example, on its summer menu, the shop had a Shaken, Not Stirred drink of iced double espresso, milk and sweetener. Hill said the drink will likely stick around since it was so well-received. This fall, 309 has a drink named Mulling It Over with citrus, herbs and spices, Apothecary espresso and milk, Hill said.
Lyndsey said because all of the owners live in Georgetown—with a few of them moving to the city for the sake of the business—they are able to build relationships with their customers on a level other shops may not.
“People are coming here because they feel welcome,” Lyndsey said. “This is a place that [customers] are known.”