Meet Dani Cone, the owner of Cone & Steiner in Seattle, Washington. At Cone & Steiner Dani puts a modern twist on her great-grandfather’s general store from 1915. Her neighborhood stores in Capitol Hill and Pioneer Square are one-stop shops for local and specialty goods.
Get to know more about Dani and Cone & Steiner in this week’s Business Spotlight Q&A.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What is your favorite part about the community your business is in and why?
I honestly can’t say enough about our community and how very lucky we are to get to be a part of not just the Capitol Hill and Pioneer Square neighborhoods, but Seattle as a whole. We believe that it is not just our responsibility, but truly our privilege to get to be an active member of these neighborhoods. Each day we get to open our doors to welcome any and all, and we get to be a part of their daily landscape…it’s amazing! We’ve gotten to be the backdrop of new friendships start, watch families start, kids grow up and so many wonderful dog neighbors too! Every day that we get to turn on the lights and unlock the doors is because of the incredible support of the community, and we are so thankful!
Why is it important to you and your business that people #SpendLikeItMatters? Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, but also truly the foundation of the community. These are the places that are a part of the daily landscape, owned and run by neighbors and friends and familiar faces, and this is what really creates a vibrant and diverse neighborhood. #SpendLikeItMatters has a huge impact as, despite the fact that small businesses are at the core of a community, they are also the most fragile. Each and every dollar does count and is a “vote” in a way for supporting the local economy and ensuring both economic and social vitality.
As a business owner, what’s the strangest or craziest idea you’ve ever tried? Oh gosh, so many strange and crazy ideas! I never would have thought this, but I guess I’ve come to learn that opening a “modern convenience store” is a strange and crazy idea in and of itself, especially in the backyard of one of the largest online retailers of everything in the world! But we think it fits just right as there is just no substitute for having a place to come together over good food and drink, and a place you can go where someone is glad to see you.
What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business? Cone & Steiner is modeled after my Great Grandfather’s store of the same name from the early 1900s, Steiner was his brother-in-law! Although that piece of history may be known, here’s an extra fact that I think is particularly fun, especially given my many-decades-long background in coffee: the original Cone & Steiner was at 2401 1st Ave South…current home of the Starbucks Headquarters!
What are some of your favorite local businesses and why?
Soooooo many!! Here are just a few: Velouria, Taswira, Bounty Kitchen, Rocket Taco, Monsoon, 19th Ave Hair Salon, Hello Robin, Burbs Burgers/Trophy Pizza, Elliott Bay Books, Big Little News, Retrofit Home, Ada’s Technical Books + Cafe, Sugarpill, Pike St Press, Watson Kennedy, Oddfellows, Macrina, New Luck Toy, Burien Press…omg the list goes on and on!