Looking for an excuse to indulge in a better-than-average cup of joe? You don’t have to go any further than National Gourmet Coffee Day, which takes place this Saturday.
In honor of the caffeinated holiday, Volkswagen chose to spotlight Dom’s Coffee, a family-run coffee business out of Avon, CT. The European-style coffee store opened in May of 2015 by Andrius Plankis and Asta Plankiene, who both emigrated to America from Lithuania with their family in 2013.
Named after their 8-year-old son, Dominykas, specialties of Dom’s Coffee include craft brews and locally sourced, scratch-made treats. Their artistically crafted drinks include espressos, affogatos, specialty lattes (honey, maple, matcha, and charcoal, just to name a few), cold brews and hot chocolates.
The bright, minimalist brewhouse was recently recognized as the most beautiful coffee shop in the state by a national architectural magazine. “It’s really been an amazing adventure, and a lot of that is thanks to our community,” says Plankiene. “They are really supportive [of us] and people really appreciate what we offer.”
In addition to their popular brick-and-mortar shop in Farmington Valley, the family has a fully-equipped mobile espresso bar, which can be set-up and operated out of the trunk of their Volkswagen Atlas R-Line, when the car is parked. The mobile bar components are securely stored away in the vehicle when the car is in motion.1
The Volkswagen Atlas R-Line offers “a beautiful, modern, European-feel that is authentic to our brand,” Plankis said. Also, he loves that the car is spacious, and can be used for both business and family trips. “Our Atlas is a large part of our lives,” he says.
A regular fixture at their local Volkswagen dealership, the couple participate in regular Cars and Coffee events hosted by the Volkswagen’s showroom on Sundays. They serve espresso drinks from the trunk of their Atlas-R Line and answer questions about their Volkswagen to interested parties. “Most people are shocked because they had never seen anything like that before,” Plankiene says. In addition to their Atlas, their roster of former Volkswagen vehicles include a Passat and two Jetta cars, including a Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition.
With their portable coffee bar, the couple has the chance to grow in their community steadily and economically. “We know from our experience that opening a new coffee shop is quite expensive because of all the equipment, staffing, and rent,” Plankis said. By adding a mobile component to their brick-and-mortar enterprise, they can reach new audiences and build new customers. They hope that their unique set-up helps them inspire future baristas to enter the coffee business as well.
“We want it to be an inspiration to people,” said Plankiene. “You don’t need to start big to start a business. You can start small.”