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Author Katarina Todorovic
Katarina Todorovic
Updated on Jul 24th, 2023
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Café Kindred 2023: Feed Your Belly! Feed Your Spirit! Feed Your Soul!

In the bustling world of coffee culture, where chain establishments dominate street corners, Jennifer Demetrio and her team at Café Kindred have carved out a special place for themselves. As the Co-Owner of this independent coffee shop, Jennifer has created a haven where locals can savor more than just a cup of joe. Café Kindred offers an experience that goes beyond coffee, boasting everyday brunch and a myriad of other delights. Nestled in the heart of the community, Café Kindred has become a gathering spot where patrons can escape the hurried pace of modern life and find solace in the welcoming ambiance. With a commitment to quality, a passion for creating a welcoming atmosphere, and a dedication to serving the community, Demetrio has elevated the coffee shop experience. Join Delivery Rank and discover that Café Kindred is not just a place to grab a cup of coffee; it's a destination where everyday brunch, camaraderie, and the pursuit of excellent flavors come together in harmony.

What inspired you to open Café Kindred, and what sets it apart from other coffee shops in the area?

Gary and I wanted to have a neighborhood space where people could connect over coffee and pastries. Both of our backgrounds are as pastry chefs, and we planned on having more of a dessert place, originally. The business morphed into what it needed to be for the neighborhood, which was more of a focus on full breakfast and lunch, along with great, local coffee. Coffee was originally a partner for our pastries, but when we met with the good folks at Vigilante Coffee Roasters, we went through an education on their coffee, which then led us to feel a need to present and execute the coffee to the best of our ability. Our goal then became to bring high quality food together with high quality coffee. We felt it was difficult to find both in one place. 

Many coffee places had mediocre food, and many great restaurants and diners had mediocre coffee. We've been around since 2015, and this has changed a bit over the years, but when we were first opening, it was not commonplace. The original inspiration for Cafe Kindred was to bring our years of experience in high end pastries to a place that could reflect who we are as individuals. However, starting your own business can be a funny adventure. You don't always end up with your original intention. Now, our inspiration every day is to really focus on creating a space where we connect with our guests, and do everything we can to provide them with a hospitable space that also delivers delicious food and local coffee. Cafe Kindred sets itself apart from other places in the area, we believe, because of the integration of quality food and coffee. We also genuinely care about our guests and our team, as opposed to being strictly transactional. 

How do you curate your menu to offer a unique brunch experience for your customers?

Our goal for our menu is to mix tried-and-true classics with some creative options. We will always have a traditional American breakfast on the menu, but also want to give our guests the option to try something new. For example, this is where our Poutine menu comes in. It's non-traditional, and they're great shareable items. We also only offer food that we are confident we can make fresh in house. We have a very small kitchen, and if we want to put something on the menu that the kitchen is struggling to execute due to kitchen size, we pass, because our goal is always to be able to do fewer items well, than to make a thousand items that are not fresh and delicious. We also make decisions based on how well or poorly certain food items move. If we try something new, and guests don't seem to be enjoying it, we take it off and try something different.

In an increasingly competitive market, how do you stay ahead and maintain customer loyalty?

This is a very interesting aspect of running a business, and a conversation that is constantly being visited. But, as competition grows, we remain more focused on inside our walls than outside. If we're constantly playing a game of catch-up to our competition, we'll always be behind. We focus on who we are, what we want to provide, and the best way to engage with our guests. Interestingly enough, when there's growth within the industry in a particular area, it usually means growth in population as well, which means there's an opportunity for everyone to be successful. We hold the belief that you cannot be everything for everyone. Not everyone loves us, and that's ok. However, we find the people that enjoy what we do, and remain focused on their needs. 

To us, customer loyalty isn't a card punch, or loyalty points system. It's genuine, positive, engagement with our guests at every single interaction, every single day. It's finding the businesses in the area that compliment us, and us them, so we can build a community. Getting to know the people in your neighborhood, while standing by your intentions and values is our road to who we want to be. We have a genuine belief that you shouldn't have to buy guest loyalty. If people love and respect what you do, they stick with you. We believe this is part of the reason we were able to make it through COVID as well. We had a strong community behind us that wanted us to still be around after the pandemic ran its course. We're fortunate to be in a place where people choose Cafe Kindred in a world where there seem to be endless options. 

Can you describe the process of sourcing your coffee beans and how you ensure the quality of your coffee?

We directly purchase our coffee through Vigilante Coffee Roasters in Hyattsville, MD. We chose Vigilante early on because of their passion for what they do, and the way they source their beans. They are focused on high quality farms that pay their farmers and coffee workers a livable wage. Wages are paid by the hour instead of by the pound, so they can ensure they are receiving coffee that is properly harvested. The coffee is single origin, and not overly roasted. We are currently in the process of working with Vigilante to create our very own roast for Cafe Kindred, and we're very excited about the process, as well as the finished product!

As a co-owner, what is your vision for the future of Café Kindred? Are there any new initiatives or expansion plans on the horizon?

As business owners, we are always looking toward growth. We firmly believe that if you are not growing, you're destined to fall behind and become irrelevant. We would love to bring Cafe Kindred to more locations, and are working toward it, but are not yet under any contract. At the moment, we're focusing our growth on members of our team, to foster leadership skills, and hopefully create managers for multiple locations. We believe growth of the individual leads to growth of the business, so we're currently working on that step.

If you would like to find out more about Cafe Kindred, visit https://www.cafekindred.com/home.html

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