January 29, 2001 - Business Journal: Morocco RPCV David Fowle runs Prize-winning downtown Raleigh coffee shop

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Morocco: Peace Corps Morocco : The Peace Corps in Morocco: January 29, 2001 - Business Journal: Morocco RPCV David Fowle runs Prize-winning downtown Raleigh coffee shop

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-48-41.balt.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, October 11, 2003 - 12:49 pm: Edit Post

Morocco RPCV David Fowle runs Prize-winning downtown Raleigh coffee shop

Morocco RPCV David Fowle runs Prize-winning downtown Raleigh coffee shop

Pouring success by the cup: Prize-winning downtown Raleigh coffee shop has its `perks'
Denise Sherman

Raleigh - Café Udine, with a marble counter and flowing water fountain in the atrium of the Sheraton Capital Center, is David Fowle's prize-winning coffee bar.

For the second straight year, Café Udine has earned the coveted Golden Cup Award from the Long Beach, Calif.-based Specialty Coffee Association of America. It is the only coffee shop in the Triangle to have earned the award and only the second in North Carolina, the other being Spoons Café in Kernersville.

"The Golden Cup just reflects that commitment to excellence that we have," says Fowle, a Raleigh native.

Fowle attributes his success to a "commitment to quality, believing in the product and getting great technical support from our roaster, Counter Culture Coffee in Durham."

Counter Culture helps Fowle with tasks as routine as assuring that the grinder is working properly. But if the owner detects a more serious problem - say, even the slightest deviation from the flavor he desires - Counter Culture will track down the cause.

Fowle says Counter Culture owner Fred Hauk has been at it for 15 years. "He gets really good beans. He roasts them with care, and I brew them with care. We get our coffee roasted once or twice a week. We use filtered water and use lots of coffee in the brewing process and we don't store it that long."

After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1985, Fowle served in the Peace Corps and was assigned to an outpost on the edge of the Sahara Desert. He worked with women's cooperatives and observed as the people in the region scratched to provide the bare essentials for themselves and their families - even food.

Following his stint in the Peace Corps, he traveled to the western United States where he became acquainted with the coffee business by managing Java shops in San Francisco and Seattle.

"I just enjoyed the business," says Fowle. "I worked for a gentleman (in San Francisco) who had nine espresso bars." He says coffee speaks its own international language. "It is the second largest commodity in the world after oil. The whole cycle is fascinating."

He returned to Raleigh in 1994 with his wife, Liz, and opened Café Udine in the lobby of the downtown Two Hannover Square. Liz was pregnant with their daughter Catherine, and the couple wanted to be closer to family. They now have a second daughter, Carolyn.

Café Udine is believed to be the second oldest specialty coffee shop in Raleigh after Cup of Joe. It was relocated last year from a kiosk at Two Hannover to the more inviting café setting at the hotel.

Fowle, who grew up in North Hills, named the café after his neighbor's hometown in Italy - a city he visited a few years ago. "It's got a hometown feel," he says of Udine, Italy.

Fowle believes espresso and good drip-coffee bars are here to stay. It's part of the nation's tradition. "We go back to the Boston Tea Party," he says. "We dumped tea in the water and started drinking coffee."

Running a small business gives Fowle a perspective he didn't have before, he says, and he continues to focus on the secret to success: The coffee must be good.

"The specialty coffee business over the past 15 years has seen quite a resurgence," he says. "Once you start drinking good coffee, you start to seek it out."

Besides his trade, Fowle enjoys meeting the Fayetteville Street Mall crowd and the people who come to his café. "I deal with the CP&L folks, the banks, people from government," he says. "We have a nice group of regulars."

Café Udine also has attracted its share of celebrities and public figures. Fowle has served former Gov. Jim Hunt, O.J. Simpson lawyer Johnny Cochrane, country singer Bonnie Raitt, ABC-TV newsman Ted Koppel, management guru Tom Peters and several Broadway stars.

"We're trying to brew up success in downtown Raleigh, which is not an easy feat," he says. "It's a challenge, but if you do something you like, you stick with it."

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Business Journal

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Morocco; Coffee; Business



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.