A medium roast blend at Summit Coffee, Kilimanjaro highlights different small-farm coffees from African countries.

Spilling the Beans

Franchisee couple excited to bring Summit Coffee to their community

By Michelle Boudin

Anthony Rossi admits he’s obsessed with everything about coffee. He’s perpetually searching for the best beans, hates drinking the same kind twice and even plans vacations around his destination’s local coffee shops. Now he’s about to own one. His love for a good brew dates back to when he was a college student at UNC Charlotte and visited an area coffee shop so often that they offered him a job as a barista.

“I think of drinking coffee like a good bourbon or scotch. Once you develop your palate, you start appreciating it. I grind my own coffee at home. When you do that, you want to find fresh beans, and in Ballantyne, we’re limited.”

That’s about to change. Rossi and his wife, Amanda, are opening Summit Coffee on the west side of the Ballantyne® campus — across from The Ballantyne™ Hotel between Chase Bank and Bank of America — this summer.

Summit Coffee roasts nine blends that range from light to dark. The café will also offer beer, wine and pastries in the 800-square-foot space, featuring an earthy-yet-chic aesthetic and a spacious garden patio.

Anthony and Amanda Rossi were on their honeymoon in 2020 when they first thought about becoming Summit Coffee franchisees.

It’s the 12th franchise for the family-owned, Davidson-based Summit Coffee. Rossi says he and Amanda also come from entrepreneurial families, but this venture was something of a happy accident.

“We got married in 2020 and had some time off for our honeymoon. We had a lot of free time and always wanted to be entrepreneurs. People in our family own pizzerias and other things, so I always wanted to do it. Just by chance, I happened to be on the Summit page and saw they were starting to franchise.”

Rossi says the other inspiration for the new venture was his MBA from Wake Forest, but all the activity in the Ballantyne development right now sealed the deal.

“It’s exciting. I think it’s the perfect opportunity. It’s very rare for all the stars to align, and I think that’s what helped convince my wife that we had to do it. All these big things are about to happen here, and if we can get in right at the beginning, I think it’s going to be amazing.”

The couple moved to Ballantyne Village in 2019 to be closer to their jobs. He’s in finance, and she’s in tax and works for a company in the Woodward building.

“Community is important to me, and Summit has a great culture. We’re excited to bring that here to Ballantyne.”