Hot chocolate was a staple for Bryan Reynolds, not coffee. It wasn’t until a barista splashed a shot of espresso into his drink of choice 18 years ago that he discovered the power of java beans.
“I loved the flavor,” Reynolds said. “Twenty minutes later when my head was exploding from the caffeine, I realized that my life was forever changed.”
His family’s local coffee shop chain, Anthem Coffee, is opening its seventh location at 10305 156th St. E. in the Sunrise Village area on Friday.
With an eighth expected to open it doors Wednesday at Puyallup’s Sunrise Medical Center on 11102 Sunrise Blvd., the Pierce County-based coffeehouse has exceeded family expectations.
Bryan and his parents, Larry and Janie Reynolds, began Anthem as Larry was finishing up a 33-year career at an outdoor gear shop and the couple had adopted an 8-year-old girl.
The Reynolds started in the coffee industry as part of a franchise, but when the licensing fees doubled in 2011, they set out on their own. In 72 hours, the family renovated their shop from an Italian-themed cafe to a vintage coffeehouse and beer garden.
The family settled on “Anthem” as an appropriate name for their adventure, calling on customers to find their own anthem and “live loud.”
“The Reynolds are not risk takers by nature, but we have become risk takers throughout this process,” Bryan said.
Each family member has a role that helps push the coffee shop forward. Bryan does day-to-day operations, his mother balances the books, and his father designs the spaces with his woodworking and layout.
“We just knew how to do projects as a family really well,” Bryan said.
In the past 18 months the company has grown to include eight locations with more than 100 employees across Pierce County.
Anthem uses java from Dillanos Coffee Roasters. The local roastery sets Anthem apart, Bryan said. Beans come from across the globe to be roasted in Sumner before heading out to Anthem shops.
The Reynolds have opened up Anthem’s playbook to other coffee shop entrepreneurs. A three-day “Coffee School” teaches business owners branding and marketing skills, how to turn a profit and barista techniques.
Bryan said coffeehouse owners from as far as Florida and Chicago have taken the class.
“We are trying to learn how we can become a pioneer in the industry,” he said.
Their menus includes drip coffee, pour coffee, espressos, a wide-range of teas and bistro-style foods. Anthem also has in-house energy drinks, wine and six beers.
“There’s something for everyone,” Reynolds said.
But when it comes to recommendations, Reynolds steers customers to an old favorite, the Grown-up’s Chocolate Milk: a cold brew with dark and white chocolate.