I recently got a chance to sit down with Dave Swainston, one of the co-owners of Genuine Joe Coffeehouse, to talk briefly about coffee. Genuine Joe Coffeehouse is our first Sweet Spotlight feature, where we will highlight great coffee and tea houses here in Austin.
Austin Sugarworks: How did your business first start up?
Dave Swainston: My partner and I were working for corporations and we felt burned out. We wanted to do something on our own... we wanted somewhere people could come to that was cozy.
AS: What kind of vibes are you trying to put out with Genuine Joe Coffeehouse?
DS: We figured it out when we figured out the name for the coffeehouse. 'Genuine,' not edgy, and 'Joe' for the 'Average Joe' and 'a cup of joe'.
AS: What's your favorite thing about your customers? What sets them apart from others?
DS: They're laid back, nearby customers, who're very into independent businesses.
AS: What kind of events do you do during the summer, or in general?
DS: We try to work with the immediate neighborhood. Every October we close the shop for a couple of hours and have people pay to enter. Then, all proceeds go to North Central Caregivers. Last year we raised over $7,300 in that span of two hours.
AS: What's the most requested drink? Most odd? Any staff favorites?
DS: Most odd would be customers trying give complicated orders and customers who want privacy.
AS: Lastly, if you could tell us anything about coffee what would it be?:
DS: Make it good, but make it independent.