Neighborhood siblings combine talents to open coffee shop with a twist
When Happy, Heather and Heidi Beaumont (yes, their parents were fond of alliteration) decided to open Gachet Coffee Lounge on Lower Greenville, they knew they would face obstacles. Surviving in the face of the Starbucks empire was an obvious challenge, but they also had to accomplish this while being adult siblings who found themselves living under one roof.
“That wasn’t planned,” Heidi insists. “It’s all part of the craziness.”
The three sisters separately spent about a decade in a variety of places — including Manhattan, Chicago and parts of Europe — before they returned home within a year and a half of each other. Heather had lived in Phoenix for awhile, where she worked at a mom-and-pop coffee bar owned by people trained in Seattle. With Happy and Heidi ready for a career change, they began talking about opening their own shop.
“Heather brought all the coffee knowledge with her, and Heidi and I brought all the business sense,” Happy says, “So between the three of us, we all complement each other well.”
The sisters consolidated into Happy’s M-Streets home to help their cash flow and began reading up on opening a small business. But it wasn’t until they acquired the former Lava Room bar that reality sunk in.
“When we got this space, it was either going to happen, or we were going to have a lot of extra storage space,” Heidi says.
Billed as a coffee lounge/wine bar/art gallery, Gachet was intended to be much more than a place to grab a cup of Joe. Its split personality is a result of the sisters wanting to incorporate their own interests.
“We decided there have to be other people in Dallas who enjoy the same things we do,” Heather says.
Customers can order a cappuccino at the bar, but they can also order liquored coffees and wine. The décor is continually evolving, because the sisters change out the art every month with a new exhibit by a local artist. And they attracted a cult following when they began showing movies on the roof every Monday night. Past films have included everything from “North by Northwest” to “Napoleon Dynamite.”
“It’s kind of like a really close drive-in,” Heather says. “People bring dinner in Tupperware and buy a bottle of wine.”
The sisters are thrilled that their business has succeeded — they recently decided to open another shop in Victory Park — but they are most happy about the friendships that have formed over the counter and across the tables.
“We get into people’s lives,” Heather says. “It’s not, ‘Can I get a grandé decaf?’, and then they move to the side and you don’t know anything about them. Our lives are an open book.”
Though they’ve had their share of tense moments — “we do laugh a lot a lot, because sometimes it’s a matter of laughing or crying,” Heather says — the sisters say Gachet has definitely brought them closer together.
“It’s do or die,” Heather says, “and we remind each other when it gets tough that it’s just us.”
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