Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) Republik Coffee Bar was founded out of frustration.
Elan Irving, director of operations for Republik Coffee Bar, said when the founders of the coffee bar were looking a premium coffee options in the area, they were underwhelmed.
“We were looking for a place to enjoy premium coffee served in an inviting environment staffed by friendly baristas with a pleasant ambiance,” said Irving. “Surprisingly, there are very few places that embody all of these qualities, so we decided to provide such space for like minded coffee lovers.”
Irving said the largest challenge that faced the burgeoning company initially was finding a price balance.
“One of the challenges is to keep prices low without sacrificing on the quality of the product as well as keeping a staff of highly qualified baristas,” said Irving. “We were always in pursuit of better coffee, better brewing methods, and very competitive prices. We don’t believe in charging $5 for a six-ounce cappuccino.”
Since launching, Republik Coffee Bar has started an aggressive expansion campaign. Less than one year since its Ballston location opened, Republik has started a second franchise coffee bar in McLean. In six months, Republik plans to open two more locations inside D.C. and eventually another in Fairfax.
“If you are afraid of taking calculated risks, you shouldn’t be in business of investing in new businesses,” said Irving. “This is also true in our business. We are very confident in our concept and very happy to see the response we received in Ballston. This has encouraged us to expand into other locations.”
For now, Republik Coffee Bar is local, but the chain has much larger ambitions if the continued regional launches go well.
“Our short term goals are establish our brand into a very respectable local brand in the D.C. metro area,” Irving said. “If we are successful in achieving this, we will continue to expand regionally and then one day, nationally.”