Our Story....

Last fall, while biking through the landscapes of southern Maryland on his 1996 BMW Motorcyle, Mark Steele could not find many places to stop for a cup of coffee that was not a corporate chain organization.  He found it amusing that for all its small town charm, friendly people and amazing back road sites, it was difficult to find a well done cup of coffee similar to the cafe he opened and operated in Lewes, Delaware.  At that moment, Clarity came to be....

The search began for a suitable spot that would embody the charm of southern Maryland and its people to open a coffee shop that would fill the need Mark believed was clearly there.  First, it began as weekend adventures, seeking out sites, visiting coffee shops in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC observing trends and practices that would benefit potential customers.   Then drafting menus, outlining decor, attending coffee conferences to brush up on the trade, and many, many hours tailoring an operating plan specific to southern Maryland.

Joined by Clarity's owner, a successful minority-woman veteran, the team found a potential site after spotting a small "for rent" sign in a storefront window that had not been noticed before. Excitement grew on the hopes that this little space may work.  It was narrow, in need of significant repair and redesign, but Mark saw the vision and Clarity found a home (and one heck of great landlord in the package--thank you Sue!!).

Work on Clarity began in earnest in July, 2018.  On December 3,  Clarity opened to an overwhelming embrace from the community.  It had over 500 followers on Facebook before it even opened its doors and is set to hit 700 followers before the end of the year (after only three weeks of opening).  Customers have been exceedingly generous in their comments and expressing their appreciation for the service and care the staff provides to each and every customer--every time.  Its not a gimmick; its Clarity's mission and a reflection of the many hours pondering and hammering out the right coffee house for Indian Head.  

It has been a challenging year getting Clarity to Indian Head, but worth every bit of it.  Today, Mark is responsible for overseeing all of Clarity's operations as its General Manager and he has not failed to deliver on that well done cup of coffee.  Thank you, Indian Head and our surrounding southern Maryland towns, including LaPlata, White Plains and Waldorf, among others, who have all come by the shop to see what the excitement was about.  We know you won't be disappointed.  

The Vision

Mark Steele is a 30-year veteran of the food business. At the ripe age of 13 he began working at his family-owned business in Rehoboth, Delaware. First, in the back chopping up chickens (amazing he still has all his fingers) and then running the business successfully. Since then, Mark has struck out on his own with his brother in a highly suc​cessful restaurant in Lewes, Delaware, worked in Europe as a chef and most recently saved a failing restaurant in Washington, DC.

 Along the way, Mark has mastered the elements of high value customer service and experience, authentic, good food, and connecting community. He is bringing his sleek, sophisticated, yet down to earth style to Indian Head. Mark oversees all of Clarity’s operations and lends his talents in the kitchen to bring some of his favorite treats to Indian Head (check out our menu--his brainchild).

Mark is an avid reader and sailor who crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1994, as captain of his 32-foot sailboat! He’s worked in Boston, Paris, and Spain honing his skills on all things delicious. He is also the biggest Beetles fan on this side of the Atlantic and would be happy to reminisce with you.  

Today, Clarity is bustling with friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues coming together to reconnect.  Just what we envisioned for Indian Head. 

While this is our beginning, we have just as much hope for the future of Clarity at Indian Head. It is now your story, Indian Head.  This is Your Coffee House.