Meet The Team

Java Kava was founded by the Phelps family. The first kava bar in Virginia officially opened for business July 1, 2019.

Scott (left) has been an entrepreneur in sales and marketing for over 25 years. He uses his sales and business experience to mentor and guide Makalla in her first venture. On his days off, he enjoys spending time with his family and flying as a private pilot.

Cloé (middle left) is a sophomore at Sherando High School; she mostly frequents the bar for iced caramel lattes, but does pitch in from time to time kavatending.

Makalla (middle right) is the owner-operator of Java Kava. Kratom, kava, and coffee is her passion. She enjoys introducing new products to the Winchester area, helping people discover fresh ways to enhance their daily lives. In her free time she adores traveling, hiking, playing with her puppy Gumby, and trying all different kinds of exotic teas. 


Courtney (right) is a proud mom and experienced business woman. She grew up in the entrepreneurial world and helped with her parents craft store, "Courtney's Cottage." She enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new cities. 

Gideon Kupka

Gideon is not your average Java Kava boy. With astrology in one hand and fun-facts in the other, this Gemini will serve you a hot cup of joe with some witty banter sprinkled on top. He fronts a local punk rock band, Destructo Disk, and loves to befriend new people. He’s 6’4 with ADHD, so he takes Kratom to focus and help with his back/neck pain. Catch him discussing video game design and trying to skateboard. His favorite color is green.

  • Instagram

Emma Starustka

Meet Emma: Winchester's only (natural) redhead Kava Tender!  Her favorite part of the job is talking to you--the customers! You won't be chatting with her for long before you find out that kratom helps her manage CrossFit aches and pains, and that kava is her favorite feel-good drink. She sees our regulars as family, and will always make an effort to welcome you with a cheer and a friendly smile. Follow her on Instagram to see her fantastic latte art skills and be notified when she works. BULA, baby!

  • Instagram