Local lawyer to open Clove & Cedar Coffeebar
By Charlie Wright
| Published: |
Via General Design Co.
A former lawyer is expected to open Clove & Cedar Coffeebar, a specialty coffee shop designed to function as a community gathering place, in Bethesda in the spring.
Janet Forlini, a Bethesda resident, worked on Capitol Hill and for multiple nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C., with a focus on aging and long-term care policy for the past two decades, but now she’s turning her attention to entrepreneurship. Clove & Cedar will be her first business venture.
“People really need that third space, somewhere to go where it’s not home, it’s not work,” Forlini said. “You can meet a friend, meet a colleague, or just get time to yourself to read or get work done. I just think we needed another place … just a place where people can spend time.”
The cafe, measuring more than 1,200 square feet, will be located on the ground level of the Bainbridge Bethesda apartment building at 4918 St. Elmo Ave., the former site of Goldleaf Bakery. Forlini will be using Annapolis-based Ceremony Coffee Roasters as her main source of coffee. She said she is finalizing partnerships with local bakeries, and that shop’s fare will include pastries, soups, sandwiches, quiches and gluten-free items.
Forlini said Ceremony Coffee, which itself will be opening a café in Bethesda in early 2019, is the ideal supplier, given the company’s commitment to education within the industry.
“They’re really dedicated to training all their wholesale partners. I’ve been going to classes at their Georgetown training site,” Forlini said. “They’re really unmatched when it comes to training and just making sure that their wholesale partners really have the resources they need.”
The Clove & Cedar name was inspired by the specialty coffee industry’s dedication to “lexicon and right language,” with high-quality flavors akin to the tasting notes of fine wine, Forlini said. The two spices were pulled directly from the flavor wheel released by the Specialty Coffee Association, a nonprofit group representing coffee professionals around the world.
Clove & Cedar will host community events such as story time for children on the weekends, and will offer free Wi-Fi. Forlini noted there are many organizations doing meaningful work in the area and she is currently exploring ways to give back to the community.
She said there’s “not much overlap” from her previous career to this new one, and she’s been working with local business owners to learn the nuances about running a business, such as hiring, setting hours and general operations.
“I know I have a lot to learn, but I think I’ve been willing to listen to a lot of people, both within the specialty coffee industry but also in other types of small businesses,” Forlini said.