Calling all coffee lovers: There’s a new addition to Savannah’s café scene. It’s called 912 Brew and it will be opening its doors to the public very soon. Cofounders Anissa Craig and Alex Brooks decided to open 912 Brew because they noticed an increasing decline in small, locally-owned businesses and the overwhelming influx of major corporations. As lovers of local business and their role in the community, Craig and Brooks both share a goal to give back and support the betterment of the Savannah area and the people who live here.
“It's important for me. I come from a family of small business owners, and I've always wanted to support small business, and then working with a large company, and seeing the other side of it, which I don't like. They're taking over everything. So, we want to be a small local place and do things differently, but we also want to give back to the community and do stuff to donate and raise money for the area. That’s important to us,” said Craig.
Craig has been in the retail service business for over 20 years. Her retail experience includes working for her grandparent’s gift shops at the Jersey Shore since she was a young child as well as working at her parent’s family-owned western wear retail business and being a customer service manager at a big box home improvement store for 7 years. She also served in the Army for several years. Brooks worked alongside Craig as the operations and fleet manager for Primetech Logistics where they met four years ago.
“I started as a driver working with them, I quickly moved up to management, and then for the last two and a half years, we ran the company together. The more we got to know each other, [Craig] had a love of coffee and always thought about doing the coffee shop. We were like, ‘we should do something together and then get our own thing out here.’ So we just talked about it back and forth, and then finally we decided to see if we could find locations,” said Brooks.
They ended up finding their location in an unlikely place.
“When we found this location, actually, it's a crazy story. The lady that owns this building is my chiropractor. . . We talked about having a small space and she said she had a space about 1000 square feet. So, she said, ‘well come look,’ and soon as I looked at it, I told her I would take it,” said Brooks.
With the location secured, the two began planning their concept and decided on a hyperlocal café with a variety of specialty brews, elixirs, drinks and foods.
“We have a lot of different teas, some specialty juices, a lot of different kinds of lattes, matcha lattes, lavender lattes, and turmeric lattes among others. We also have a variety of cold brew shots that'll be packaged to go. We have a lot of stuff that people can just come in and grab and go, and we also have a huge amount of gift stuff,” said Craig. “Everything, even our coffees are all organic, everything's natural. We also have food from Auspicious Bakery. We want everything to be all natural and organic as well.”
Craig and Brooks have handpicked and handcrafted all the elements of their coffee and tea shop. With the help of a contractor, and a lot of hands-on work, they aimed to create a unique space and experience, unlike any other in Savannah.
“We import our own coffee beans that are green from Ethiopia and places like that. We'll roast them in house, then we have a piece of coffee equipment called the Ground Control Coffee Brewer, a very unique thing. There's only about 400 of them in rotation. They're from the West Coast. So, we make the coffee there, and we have the ability to make cold brew. The average cold brew, you sit it in a container and it takes about 18 hours to make. We can make cold brew in about 15 minutes. So, we'll make it and then we'll infuse it with Nitro, and have it on tap, just like beer works,” said Brooks.
Both co-owners are big on supporting the local community, and have tried their best to source their products from locally-owned and small businesses in the area.
“To be honest with you, I couldn't find as many locally-made products that I wanted to, but everything that we're purchasing is from small businesses, even if they're not local. We're still trying to support small businesses,” said Craig.
Craig is 51 percent owner and Brooks is 49 percent owner, making the business a veteran and woman-owned business, in addition to being locally-owned. The duo is looking forward to welcoming patrons into their compelling café very soon.
“We want to have a nice relaxing atmosphere and a beautiful area. We just wanted a simple area for people to enjoy and relax. We love local businesses and we want ours to be a local business that many people feel welcome in,” said Craig.
912 Brew Coffee and Tea House opens just after the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 25. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 912 Brew will host their grand opening weekend complete with specials, free samples and other fun surprises. They are located through the gate behind the Thompson Chiropractic Office at 600 E Broughton St., in Unit B. For more information, visit 912-brew.com/