“If we do it here, we can do it anywhere.”
Honor Coffee and Tea has been open in Seattle for two weeks and is already setting its sights on international expansion to China.
27-year-old CEO Hana Hu isn’t getting any younger.
“At the end of this year, we hope to have four stores open,” Hu said. “We’re building out spaces, singing leases. Next year, 10 to 20. We want to perfect the model here. If we do it here, we can do it anywhere.”
With a high level of cafe density, Capitol Hill does seem to be an excellent proving ground. Honor is set to open one of its next wave of stores at 15th and Pine in the space left empty by the exit of the Zaw pizza chain.
Hu tells CHS she is in the middle of her first weeks as a global coffee chain CEO but expects that Honor’s focus on community and service will be the keys to success here — and beyond.
“We’ve all been to places where the place makes you feel good. Coffee places that feel some kind of connection,” Hu said.
“People in China still worship Starbucks. The service industry doesn’t exist. We hope to change that,” she said.
When it comes to international expansion, Hu will have help on the ground. She is partnering with her cousin in China to make the venture happen, she said.
But first they want to get things right at KOMO Plaza and up on Capitol Hill. “We want to go into neighborhoods where we can bring people together,” Hu said.
The cafes are being designed to be inviting and to share signature elements like curves that echo “the Honor wave” in the company’s logo. The Capitol Hill location comes with a large walk-in that will allow Honor to add kegs and tap lines for beer and cider. A liquor license is planned along with later hours.
Eventually, Honor wants to roast its own beans but, for now, the company’s coffee also has a Capitol Hill connection. Hu is working with Victrola because “it’s how we would want to approach being a roaster.”
“With beans, we want to work with people who are intentional like us,” she said.
So, could Capitol Hill be the gateway to a new international coffee empire? Hu hopes to open the new cafe at 15th and Pine by the end of the year and begin to find out.
As a Capitol Hill resident, she knows what she’s up against. “The Hill is very challenging — it’s not very forgiving.”
Hu hopes the neighborhood will respond to Honor’s openness and invitation to enjoy coffee.
“It’s our honor to serve you,” Hu said.
Honor Coffee is planned to open by the end of the year at 1424 E Pine. You can learn more at honorcoffee.com.
Capitol Hill food+drink notes
- Open as of Thursday morning: Mighty-O Capitol Hill. Free donuts this weekend.
— Tom Hajduk (@Hajof2Hoods) October 29, 2015
- Open any minute? Renee Erickson’s E Union Bar Melusine, Bateau, and General Porpoise Doughnuts and Coffee:
- Also opening soon: Dumpling Tzar inside 12th Ave Arts. Here’s the clue :)
- Congratulations Stateside, Seattle Met 2015 Restaurant of the Year.
- Congratulations Jerry Traunfeld, 2015 Seattle Chef of the Year.
- Labor group says wage theft, paid sick law violations common among Seattle restaurant workers.
- Did you see the great tribute to Vivace’s David Schomer in the Seattle Times? Reminder that Vivace is building its new roastery on Broadway beneath The Garage.
- With WHO warnings about red meat, is it nuts to open a giant, 4,000-square-foot steak restaurant? Seven Beef will find out.
- Seven Beef’s future neighbors, by the way, will include this hotel and bakery project.
- Altura’s $5,000 truffle made the news.
- Nue: Now serving brunch.
- Metier is coasting in for a November grand opening.
- EuroPub — we told you about the new Broadway beer room and bottle shop here — celebrating grand opening in November.
— Europub (@europubseattle) October 27, 2015
- “Former Elysian Brewer: Anheuser Busch Wants ‘World Domination’“
- Liberty now offering tippy top shelf shots — at cost.
- ICYMI: Japanese hot dog king getting into the sushi business on E Pike with Iki
- 12th Ave’s Juicebox is celebrating Halloween with a witchy brunch:
juicebox gets spooky during halloween brunch
on october 31, 2015 from 10am to 5pm, juicebox cafe (located at 1517 12th ave) will be hosting an all day halloween themed brunch service during our normal business hours. think smoking cauldrons, black juice potions (activated charcoal), a carved pumpkin altar, lots of halloween themed specials, and mini astrology readings. we are also giving out free beet juice shots to any customer dressed in costume! see what tricks you can learn by treating yourself to mini astrology readings from 11am 1:15pm with stephanie gailing of planetary apothecary.
- Don’t forget. It’s your last week to say goodbye to Momo and TNT Espresso.
- Rancho Bravo’s drive-thru? Still coming:
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