BUSINESS: La Mano gets a hand

La Mano owners Anna Petrillo and Javier Rivas,


For just $25 you can join many of Takoma Park’s coffee aficionados and become an owner of the area’s newest coffee bar, sort of.

Anna Petrillo and Javier Rivas, the brains behind Takoma Park’s newest coffee bar, La Mano, have turned to the community for support to give them the last bit of cash they needed to cover some unexpected expenses.

Petrillo and Rivas are just a few weeks away from securing the final permits so that they can open La Mano’s doors, however, they recently hit a couple of roadblocks that have caused expenses and delayed the coffee bar’s opening.

The window at 304 Carroll Street, hopefully the future home of La Mano.

The window at 304 Carroll Street, hopefully the future home of La Mano.

A little over a week ago, Petrillo and Rivas, prompted by members of the community, created a campaign on, a crowdsource funding site, to raise the additional money they required. They have already raised more than a third of the $15,000 that they need.

For as little as $25, anyone with a web browser can make a contribution to La Mano. And while you will not actually own a part of their business, you can at least own a really cool coffee mug and receive discounts anytime you use it.

This money will help them complete the work needed to obtain the final permits and help cover their expenses while the opening is delayed.

“This is what it takes to be a small business owner. Big companies can wait and are fine to go two to three months off schedule. We don’t have that kind of margin of error,” Petrillo said.

Petrillo and Rivas began planning for their new business venture several years ago when Petrillo began working for Rivas at Modern Times Coffeehouse in D.C.

La Mano owners Anna Petrillo and Javier Rivas,

La Mano owners Anna Petrillo and Javier Rivas,

In September of 2012, the plan finally became a reality once they selected a location and began renovations on the property at 304 Carroll Street.

The Old Takoma Business Association (OTBA) has been involved with them throughout this process and has remained an active supporter in their business venture.

“We think they are a great addition to our Main Street,” said Laura Barclay, co-executive director of the OTBA, “and we have been trying to support them in their efforts to overcome their building issues.”

The community was so anxious for this coffee bar that Petrillo and Rivas decided to open up pop-up coffee bars around the area during the construction of their permanent shop. Trovh and the farmer’s market became frequent locations for their popup coffee bar and the community quickly embraced La Mano.

La Mano's pop-up coffee bar.

La Mano’s pop-up coffee bar.

La Mano means hand in both Italian and Spanish. Rivas is of Spanish decent and Petrillo is of Italian decent, so the name represents each of their families’ heritages.

“La mano reflects the products we make here, all of our pastries are made by hand,” Petrillo said.

Rivas added, “and the food is small and has to be carried out by hand.”

Rivas and Petrillo hope La Mano’s doors will open in the next few weeks. But in the meantime, their supporters can check out their page and purchase a part of their shop.

About the Author

Lindsay Simpson
Lindsay Simpson is a journalism masters student at the University of Maryland. She is a summer intern for the Voice. Lindsay played soccer at the University of Maryland. After a stint in the corporate world, Lindsay decided to return to Maryland to pursue her master's in sports journalism. Lindsay is originally from Atlanta, but is proud to call Washington her home.

1 Comment on "BUSINESS: La Mano gets a hand"

  1. Thank you Ms. Simpson and to all the generous people of Takoma Park, Silver Spring, Washington, D.C., Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, College Park, Rockville, Annapolis, Mt Rainier, Hyattsville, Baltimore, and lots more that have supported our campaign with your donations. We can’t wait to open up and serve you wonderful, fairly traded coffee, organic teas, and from-scratch treats made with local ingredients. We hope to offer a unique experience to the community and are eager to meet everyone.

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