Former Portlander Eric Spivack has opened a mobile coffee cart in Richmond, Va., where he says he hopes to “help Richmond develop its coffee palate to match its sophisticated food knowledge.” Alchemy Coffee is serving drip coffee and espresso drinks with beans provided by Richmond’s Blanchard’s Coffee, as well as some offerings from Durham, N.C.-based Counter Culture Coffee.
Here Spivack discusses how he’s come to love Richmond, while also explaining the apparent need for his business:
When I moved from Portland to Richmond, I was worried about leaving the fabulous culinary culture of the Pacific Northwest. To my pleasant surprise, I quickly fell in love with Richmond’s diverse, independent scene where creativity is rewarded by loyal customers.
While some things are very similar to Portland, e.g. the river and running culture, the climate is very different. I don’t miss the gray winters but wouldn’t mind some 75 degree summer days amidst the 95+ degree stretches! Most people I knew in Portland, including myself, didn’t have air-conditioning. I couldn’t imagine living here without it.
Richmond also has a similar feel from a hipster culture, though it’s much more balanced. People don’t seem to try new things here just to be different and counter-culture, there seems to be a greater sense of intention behind why it needs to be done different.
The one thing I found that was missing here was consistently good coffee, especially espresso-based drinks, in a convenient format. While there are some great independent shops, there is room to help Richmond develop its coffee palate to match its sophisticated food knowledge.