Pearls, Pastry, Prophecy:Armenian Pastry And Gift Offers A Variety O

By Monty Tayloe, Fairfax County, VA
July 31 2007

"The coffee at Starbucks is like beer. This is like a shot of fine
cognac! You have one and you are good all day," scoffs Kourosh Dastan,
setting down an intricately detailed, tiny cup of Turkish-style coffee.

Dastan is half owner of Armenian Pastry and Gift, Vienna’s only
combination coffee shop and jewelry store. Located at 165 E. Maple
Avenue, this unique take on a cafe opened just four months ago.

"She likes the coffee shop, and I like jewelry, so we combined,"
explains Dastan, referring to his partner, Hasmic Avedisian. Both are
Armenian by way of Iran and they’re doing their best to get Vienna
hooked on the shop’s unique charm.

It’s pretty safe to say that no other store combines Turkish coffee,
fine jewelry, Russian chocolate and French pastries the way Armenian
Pastry and Gift does. If they make an appointment beforehand, customers
can even get their future told in the fine grounds left in the bottom
of their coffee cup, similar to the tea leaf reading more familiar
to westerners.

To accompany the coffee and the divination, Avedisian carries an
extensive range of Armenian style bakery items, from the familiar
baklava to nazook, an Armenian sweet bread. The store also sells
Armenian videos and CDs. Dastan’s collection of Bob Dylan records is
prominently displayed in the store.

"I just like Bob Dylan," he said.

On the jewelry side, Dastan, a trained jeweler, takes consignments
and exchanges, and also custom orders. He knows about selling jewelry
in Vienna, because he used to own a pawn shop in town. According to
Dastan, his current store is more fun.

"They come in for the chocolate, and they look at the jewelry,"
he said.

This is Avedisian’s first business, and she sees the store primarily
as a source of fun.

"I want to make it sweet for everyone," she said.