Photo by Max Cooper
Some buildings are a collection of rooms; others, even when they're empty, are places (or perhaps Places with a capital P).
Allgood Coffee, which opened Monday, Feb. 25, in Weaverville, benefits from a building that brings personality to the business. The former site of the fire department, between Jack of Hearts and Maggie B's Wine Shop on Main Street, feels like an in-town hunting lodge with a high ceiling and intricate wood inlay on the walls.
The only thing missing is a fireplace, but owners Anna and Eric Anderson hope to warm the shop with specialty coffee and tea instead. “It's a wonderful space, so it created itself,” Anna says. “It just all works.”
The Andersons know that the feel of a coffee shop is just as important as the drinks it serves. For 14 years, they owned Sweetwater Coffeehouse in Sautee, Ga. Anna describes it as a community spot, a little house where they got to know their neighbors and hung kids' artwork on the walls. They sold that business when they decided to move to Asheville four years ago.
Eric hopes Allgood Coffee will become a “third place” for Weaverville, a gathering spot apart from home or work where customers can come to relax and spend time with their friends.
“I think we'll fill a little niche, just a place for people to come, and bring their families and their kids, and come get specialty coffee and things to snack on,” Anna says. “We're going to have food from open to close.”
The food offerings focus on light fare: sandwiches, appetizers and soups, all of which will be vegetarian. Baked goods will come from West End Bakery in West Asheville.
Allgood will serve coffee and specialty drinks using beans from Mountain Air Roasting of Asheville and 1000 Faces Coffee of Athens, Ga. Smoothies, tea and steamers are also available.
To order, customers stand at a wide, wooden bar built by a friend of the Andersons. The surface is made from the wood of a single tree that they picked out themselves. It's flat and smooth, and the grain of the wood spirals out in delicate patterns. The holes and crevices in the wood are inlayed with turquoise dust. It's the kind of furniture that makes people linger and talk as they run their hands over it.
“It's art that you can be a part of,” Eric says. “You can look at it and touch it and enjoy it.” As Allgood grows, he hopes the wood will become worn by hot cups of coffee and curious hands.
Allgood Coffee, 10-B S. Main St., Weaverville, opens daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit allgoodcoffee-nc.com.