Walking into the Quality Boutique & Brew located in Midtown at 2312 K Street, you get the sense that you are visiting a friend’s house, as you are immediately greeted by a loveable Boston terrier/French bulldog mix, Sancho. With the smell of coffee brewing in the background and big comfortable chairs in the front of the store, I could’ve happily sat there passing the time reading a fashion magazine. But my inner fashionista would not let that happen. Coffee is nice, but shopping for a great outfit is even better.
Before I got too ahead of myself I took the time to sit with owner, Capone Burns, in those big comfortable chairs to find out more about what makes Quality a unique store amongst the Midtown boutique clothing scene.
Sitting with Burns and talking about his store was much like sitting with an old friend. He, like the store, is approachable and talks about the furniture in the shop, coffee, and the pictures decorating the walls with the same amount of passion as the clothing he picks to go on the racks. An owner of 3 businesses in Sacramento—the boutique, a café, and vending machines—owning a business has always been in the cards for him.
He explains that desire, “I’ve wanted to open a store since I was 7 years old, so it was more of a question of when that would happen, not if it would happen. And I just never have believed in failure. There is only opportunity.”
That desire fueled him to open his first shop in what was Downtown Plaza back 2005. At the time his shop was one of the first to carry brands that were more popular on the East Coast and in Japan, like Diesel, True Religion, and other street wear brands. The shop thrived at its location, and at a young age he was living the proverbial dream. But as luck would have it, a business decision to change locations and a real estate deal gone sour led him to close his first shop. With two young sons to raise he had to grow up fast, and he eventually took a corporate job with Albertson’s.
But the call of his passion was unrelenting, and he started storyboarding the ideas of what Quality Boutique was going to be. His ideas finally came to life, and he opened his doors in Roseville before eventually moving his shop to the heart of Midtown in September 2015.
“This has been a family endeavor, from my parents who helped me start to my kids who now are part of the business and help me run it. This is us. This shop is who we are.”
When his shop was in Roseville, Burns was happy with the location, but unsatisfied with the store’s performance. He knew he needed to do something different. One day, two men walked into his store, and as they got to talking they mentioned that they were opening a coffee roasting business in Roseville called Mast Coffee Company. Remembering a motorcycle shop in Brooklyn called Jane that served espresso, it was as if lightning struck for him at that moment. He took them out to lunch, and started picking their brains about how to brew, roast, and serve coffee. And with that, the “Brew” part of Quality Boutique & Brew was born, and Mast Coffee is now proudly poured one cup at a time.
Once you’ve had your cup of coffee, it’s time to check out the boutique, which carries clothes and accessories for men and women at reasonable prices and with a versatile style. Although they carry clothing inspirations from the LA Market, they also feature local designers as well.
A creature of habit, Burns still has the same style he had in his younger days, so when asked about who he is buying for he says,” Your typical person is not a runway model that is tall and skinny. My clothes fit comfortably and compliment any figure. So sometimes it may seem like I come up short in fashion, but I am real, and that’s what I want my stores and clothes to represent.”
When asked about his inspiration when deciding what to buy he says, “Sacramento has a unique feel, and I try to capture that, beyond what the runway is saying is hip. I focus on functionality of clothing and making sure you can dress it up or down.”
Not only does the store showcases local designers, he also supports local artists who use his walls as their gallery to exhibit paintings and photographs. When asked why he opts for an ever-changing array of décor, he says,” The only way to have more is to be inviting. Keeping the store looking fresh is part of that. If the walls are always changing it has life, and there are so many local artists it would be a shame not to open up my walls in the store so that they can showcase their art.”