• Baylor grads roast nationally recognized coffee in Waco

    John David Beard working behind the counter at Pinewood

    Did you know that a Waco hotspot appeared in Food & Wine’s list of the best coffee shops in America?

    It’s true: in 2019, Pinewood Roasters turned heads nationally with a place on the elite list. Waco shined in the description as well: “Is Waco secretly one of the coolest places in Texas right now? This out-of-the-way find, where the house coffees are handled with care and there’s always a good record on the turntable, is one of the growing number of excellent small businesses making a very strong case.”

    Not surprisingly, the visionaries making that case are Baylor grads: Dylan Washington (BA ’14) and John David Beard (BBA ’14, pictured above). And long before Pinewood opened in 2016, the signs were there. As a freshman, Washington began roasting beans on a skillet in his dorm room. Those early forays led to him to further tinkering and practice, and an eventual partnership with Beard (and his Baylor management background). They began their official efforts in a garage, then moved to a roasting space in nearby McGregor.

    In 2016, they set up shop in a downtown restaurant, and their popularity quickly outstripped the shared space. A year later, they opened their current location in Uptown Waco, and it quickly became a staple. Baylor students have made it a regular study spot, enjoying its inviting interior and adjoining courtyard. We described the scene like this in 2022: “We can’t imagine a better place to grab a latte and bring a good read (whether for academic or entertainment pursuits) and enjoy the fall foliage and the comfortable hustle and bustle of one of the nation’s best coffee shops.”

    If you’re wondering, the name Pinewood comes from Beard and Washington’s shared East Texas background. “Pine trees always felt like home to us… and we wanted a name that would basically make us help people feel like they are at home,” Washington told The Baylor Lariat in 2016. The name may be from East Texas, but six years after it opened, Pinewood has come to represent coffee breaks in Waco for Baylor students, faculty and visitors alike.

    Sic ’em, Dylan and John David!