Guatemala-connected La Coop Coffee has opened its second location in the Washington D.C. area, in Arlington, Virginia. Occupying approximately 1,200 square feet in the Arlington Forest neighborhood, the new La Coop includes subtle nods to the company’s original D.C. coffee shop, making fans of the brand feel right at home.
The new shop’s bold wallpaper and tile floor echo elements of the original shop, while the pink color of the first shop’s front door is borrowed in Arlington for an expanded tropical floral motif that may expand to an outdoor seating area when the weather warms.
“My wife Stefanie does all of the design work. She likes pattern mixing and mixing materials,” La Coop Owner Juan Luis Salazar Cano told DCN. “We wanted it to feel unique from the D.C. location, but similar enough that people could walk in and still feel like it is La Coop. We used the same La Coop neon, as well, which you can see through the front windows.”
Cano, who is originally from Unión Cantinil, Huehuetenango, continues to leverage direct connections to the Guatemalan coffee producer group he organized in 2006 called Asociacion de Caficultores de Union Cantinil (ASOCUC) for green coffees. Cano’s brothers Adolfo and Estuardo Salazar are helping to lead investments in that group, including in post-harvest processing.
Roasting led by Cano on a Diedrich IR-5 machine at the original location has climbed from approximately 75 pounds to 400 pounds per week over the past two years. As the doors open in Arlington, the company is also searching for a new production space to accommodate increased demand.
“We are excited to open in a community where we got our start,” Cano said. “In 2018 we started serving coffee for the first time at the Lubber Run Farmers Market, just down the road from our current location. We are excited to have a permanent presence in a community that so warmly welcomed us several years ago.”
At the Arlington bar, Nuova Simonelli Mythos Plus grinders provide grounds that are tamped by a Puqpress before heading to a La Marzocco Linea espresso machine. A Mahlkönig EK43 grinds for Hario and Aeropress manual methods and Fetco XTS batch brews, and a Brood nitro machine infuses cold brew on demand.
These and other drinks are served alongside small bites such as empanadas and pastries, some of which are baked on site. In the coming weeks, Cano said La Coop will be rolling out more sandwiches and salads, providing more sustenance for a community that has continued to help sustain the business.
“These are people who we have continued to serve at the farmers market year after year, and who have been rooting us on,” Cano said. “Kind people who want to see us grow in their neighborhood.”
La Coop Coffee is located at 4807 1st St N in the Arlington Forest Shopping Center in Arlington. Tell DCN’s editors about your new coffee shop or roastery here.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.