Coffeehouse pumps out local blend, unique feel
Sept. 1, 2006
Copper Star Coffee is no Starbucks. And that’s the point.
There’s no green logo stamped on the building’s exterior. Instead, there are two gas pumps parked outside. Bill Sandweg of Phoenix has transformed a World War II-era gas station into a central Phoenix coffeehouse.
“We sell one blend,” he explained. “It’s artisan-roasted locally, fresh five or six days a week.”
Sandweg is no Starbucks basher. In fact, he spent a year working for the megachain several years ago in Southern California. After management stints with various restaurant chains in the Valley, Sandweg decided to make the move into ownership.
“After 18 years in the restaurant business it came time to stop saying, ‘If I owned this place I’d do things differently,’ ” Sandweg said.
Four months ago, he opened on Seventh Avenue just north of Indian School Road. Sandweg’s biggest challenge is keeping realistic expectations.
Sandweg credits the support of people in the Woodlea/Melrose neighborhood with keeping his doors open.
“The locals connecting to a local coffeehouse has been the biggest, most wonderful thing about this business,” he explained.
Brent Miller and his son, Brandon, were first-time customers on a recent weekend.
“We like this kind of concept better,” Brent said. “The privately blended. The concept is cool, unique.”