The lush, green hills of Southwest Virginia are alive with howlin’ fresh coffee now that a local roasting company has taken up its flame in historic Abingdon.
Known locally through the farmers market, Wolf Hills Coffee has grown into a 3,300-square-foot retail and roasting space in a building that’s more than 100 years old, opened in early October. The coffee company is sharing the retail space with plant-seller Appalachian Teas & Botanicals and cider-maker Tumbling Creek Cider Company.
A warm shade of green pervades the space to complement plants and botanicals. Clothing racks left over from the building’s previous half-century of life as a women’s apparel shop have been repurposed to establish cozy booths, while 12-foot front windows fill the space with light.
“This light brings your attention up to the original tin ceilings,” Wolf Hills Coffee Co-Owner Sarah Beth Childers told Daily Coffee News. “We have hung pictures and memorabilia to honor the former dress shop, Maxine’s. In all, we hope to provide a comfortable space with a retro feel that will be back in the nostalgia of the early 1900s.”
The building is called the Spring House for its history of having been built on the spot of a spring that once provided fresh water to the older surrounding buildings. Fittingly, the shop is now becoming a hotspot for craftier beverages, and a resource for healthy plant life. Childers said Appalachian Teas & Botanicals will also fill a small greenhouse on the back patio with plants and more seating.
“We have been working to restore it, and believe it is original to the building,” said Childers. “We are excited for our guests to enjoy the seating and having a cozy spot to drink coffee.”
Currently, the coffee company roasts to maintain its own supply while also satisfying the demand of five area restaurants and four stores around town through a 1-kilo Aillio Bullet roaster, while a 15-kilo Ambex undergoes some restoration work. The company is primarily focused on organic and Fair Trade-certified green coffees it sourced through importer Royal New York.
“We enjoy the lighter end of the roasting scale, and have found a real following for this type of roast,” Childers told DCN. “The Bullet has provided us with a low-cost option and the ability to control the roast; the downside is the volume is very limited. [We] cannot wait to get the additional volume.”
For additional safety amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the company only serves food and drink in compostable and biodegradable cups, dishes and flatware made by Ohio-based Green Paper Products. At the time of this writing, guests were welcome indoors while wearing masks and abiding by prescribed social distance regulations.
The shop is open in its first phase, with basic seating and service indoors and out. The next phase will involve an additional room with more seating, a wall that will serve as a gallery for local artwork and a stage for live music, although performances are not yet permitted due to the pandemic. Phase three will include a stairway up to a mezzanine with even more seating, offering a high-up view of the stage and greater collaboration with Tumbling Creek.
Wolf Hills Coffee is now open at 112 Court St NE in downtown Abington, Virginia.