One year ago today our good friends Mari and Nami of Anchor Coffee opened the doors of their first café. We wanted to celebrate and congratulate them on their first birthday with a visit and interview!
What made you want to open up a coffee shop? Meeting Dillon! He was our customer at our gift shop on Bedford avenue. We opened it up five, six years ago. We got to know him and Tessa over the years and when he opened up his spot at Persons of Interest Barbershop we came to check it out. Nami and I ordered a cappuccino and an espresso and it just like, blew our minds. Nami drank coffee but I never really liked it much until I met Dillon. It was like nothing we had ever tried before. We were amateurs but even then we could taste such a difference from any other coffee we’d tried. We felt that this was totally new, this was something I, at least, had never experienced before. So! We got really really into coffee. That espresso basically changed my life’s direction. We then had an interest to open up a coffee shop because we wanted to share that same experience we had: that surprise from drinking really great coffee.
Have you learned a lot about coffee in the process of opening this shop? Parlor trained all of us. Every day we are learning more and more. Today you’ll notice we are using Ethiopia Kilenso Mokonisa on espresso, not the Stockist blend. Thats because we are learning more about how to properly treat single origins, we are improving how we make our espresso all the time.
What are some of your favorite coffees you’ve had from Parlor to date? I’m excited about the Ethiopians! They are my favorite. They have this fruitiness and such smooth acidity. Its very soothing acidity. Thats what I feel when I drink an Ethiopian from Parlor. It’s beautiful. It has everything that makes coffee really good.
Do you feel well received by the neighborhood? I think so! I hope so. We have a ton of regulars, people we see everyday. Customers tell us that we are doing a good job. So, I think people are happy we are around. Our coffee shop is our place we connect with people.
How are you planning on celebrating your first birthday?! Probably a small party with some local people, friends. We are just going to appreciate our loyal customers. People have been so supportive.
How would you describe Anchor to someone who has never been? What is your shop about? We serve good quality coffee with good customer service. We really want to be friendly. It's really easy to say "Hi, Thank you." We just want to be part of the neighborhood.
Your shop has such great style! Is there anyone who is particularly responsible? Nami and I have selected all the furniture, we designed everything by ourselves. We painted it… The contractor is a good friend of mine so he was able to bring this space into reality from my sketch. A friend of mine is a graphic designer and he did all the painted signs. Our partner designed the logo. Everything is made by friends.
How did you come up with the name Anchor? Everyone here is Japanese. We are all from different places all over Japan but somehow we have all ended up here in Brooklyn! So we chose the name Anchor because we all feel we have let our anchor down here in BK.
Who is your staff comprised of? How did you all find each other? Our team is based from our music backgrounds. A bunch of us are in the same bands! We’ve all known each other for over 10 years as bandmates. Our team is our friends.
What are some of your plans for the future? Just focusing on one company. Just want to focus on the shop – making good coffee with the help of Parlor. That’s my future plan. Nowadays people go looking for major financiers and expansion. I’m just trying to manage our one little shop – it takes a lot of hard work.