Philz Coffee is just like grandma’s house
Philz Coffee, filled with love and passion, will make customers feel like family in its first East Coast location: Adams Morgan.
On March 22, Philz Coffee previewed its first store on the East Coast in Adams Morgan. The store provided coffee samples of its mocha, ginger snap, mint mojito and Philz way drinks, and they blew me away with each sip.
As I nursed each cup and munched on a delicious almond croissant from the local Bluebird Bakery, Phil Jaber, the founder himself, and his son, Jacob, CEO of the family-owned company, told the story of Philz Coffee’s origin, and why the business wanted to bless D.C. with delicious coffee.
Philz Coffee has over 800 employees and 30 locations. Before opening his first coffee shop in San Francisco, Phil set out on a mission to find the best coffee beans and blends in the world.
After 25 years of testing coffee, Phil created 30 blends that include dark and light roasts. All are now available in his shops, in addition to several teas and pastries. At Philz Coffee, patrons can also enjoy croissants and sandwiches from local bakeries. Menu items are generally more affordable than corporate coffee shops’ products.
According to Phil, the blend that took the longest to perfect was the medium Tesora. With some cream and brown sugar, Tesora is transformed into Philz Way and is Phil’s favorite on the menu. Phil says the Italian name, Tesora, is representative of the love he has for the blend since it translates as “my treasure.”
To create an environment that matched his one-of-a-kind coffee, Phil dragged the breakfast table from his home into his first store, which was formerly known as Gateway Liquor & Deli. The table helped create a community in which customers could sit down as strangers but leave as friends.
Phil said his shops are “like Grandma’s house; filled with love and passion,” and he especially wants his customers to “walk out with a smile.” He refers to the baristas in the store as artists to give them more respect and freedom. With passionate leaders and owners, the coffee and the communal feel are added bonuses.
With neutral tones, modern lighting and furniture from home, the decor of the new Philz Coffee will fit the Adams Morgan area perfectly. The culture of the unique area is appreciative, authentic and humble, allowing its residents to be themselves, according to Jacob.
According to Jacob, the staff not only want to serve their customers at Philz, but also build a culture. Each store will serve the same coffee, tea and pastries, but the decor will differ based on the neighborhood, as seen in the contrast between images on their website and the store in Adams Morgan.
Phil explained that the locations of his shops are important to him by telling a story of how he was laughed at in a bar. He bought the shop next door to create a friendlier environment in that neighborhood.
Jacob and Phil both commended the District for its unique culture, and Jacob said the political influence, as well as the students living in the area, were some of the factors that played into their decision to expand to Adams Morgan. Their praise of the D.C. location suggested that choosing the District for their first East Coast location seemed to be easy.
The dynamic relationship between Jacob and Phil reflects the values of Philz Coffee. Phil recalls that Jacob was given the freedom to choose his life path, but decided to help the family business at around 18 years old.
The two have a respect for each other that is admirable.
“Jacob is my oxygen . . . he’s passionate about what he does,” Phil said.
Jacob represents the new, modern part of Philz Coffee, while Phil keeps the classic element intact. Both are down to earth, visiting stores and speaking with customers.
With passionate employees, delicious coffee, pastries and a warm atmosphere, Philz Coffee is the best coffee chain, and soon may be regarded as the best coffee shop in the District.
The soft opening for the Adams Morgan location was on Saturday, March 26th, and the store, at 1827 Adams Mill Rd NW, is now officially open Monday through Sunday from 5:30am to 10pm.