I’m extremely loyal to my neighborhood coffee shop. It’s a happy stop and much needed wake-up call on my way to work each morning. While it’s a coffee buzz that I’m after, I always appreciate seeing familiar faces deep in conversation or buried behind a laptop, and imagine the number of stories that have unfolded in that cozy little space.
When I heard that East Nashville had recently become home to a new coffee shop, I was instantly curious and couldn’t wait to visit. Upon entering Barista Parlor, I knew the uniquely curated and well-designed space had to have a story of its own, and I was delighted when owner, Andy Mumma, agreed to tell me a bit about his new business. His keen eye for design, love for local craftmanship (Imogene & Willie, Otis James and Emil Erwin were tapped for uniforms), and seriously delicious brew make me proud to welcome Barista Parlor to the neighborhood.
Without further ado, here’s our Q&A with Andy Mumma, Coffee Guru:
How did you come up with the name Barista Parlor?
The name came from my idea for the design. It’s all about the Barista in an open layout where it feels more theater and interactive – which is also why i chose the word Parlor. I wanted people to ask questions and watch what we are doing, and just hang out and be comfortable, like an old speakeasy.
Is there a story behind the anchor in your logo?
The anchor represents a lot of things, but it’s mainly about transportation and how coffee is still brought over on big boats – the manual process of creating something.
Someone had a very specific aesthetic in mind in when designing your interior. What inspired the design?
I really just wanted to create a space that could showcase all my passions -coffee, art, design, music, transportation. Lines are really important to me. My design sense is a mix of mid-century (which I really grew to love when I lived in Arizona) with a twist of southern charm. Using all reclaimed wood from 250-year-old poplar to 150-year-old Tennessee Black Walnut adds warmth, but the lines are still clean. Everything at Barista is made by materials from Tennessee by people I know, even down to the lighting.
If someone walks into Barista Parlor for the first time and cannot decide what to order, what drink would you suggest?
I would suggest a hand-crafted cup of coffee and a Single Origin Espresso.
What did you do before Barista Parlor?
I’ve worked in specialty coffee for almost 15 years (since I was 18) which includes about a dozen coffee shops from Nashville to Arizona.
What made you choose East Nashville as the home for Barista Parlor?
East Nashville has been our neighborhood for almost 10 years. It has a wonderful sense of community and support for local small business. I knew they would support the risk in creating a whole different coffee experience.
If you could have a cup of coffee with anyone at Barista Parlor, who would it be?
If I could have a cup of coffee with anyone it would be my mother. She passed away in December. It was her dream to see me have my own place and Barista Parlor is a dedication to her.