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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and Fredericksburg.com. This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.
Blackstone Coffee to open second location on UMW campus in Fredericksburg
RELATED: See more UMW news
The Eagle Village coffee shop will be in the school’s new Information and Technology Convergence Center, which opens when students return to campus in August.
Don Merritt, owner of Blackstone, said his products have been offered at the school for a year in dining halls and he’s heard positive feedback from students. The Eagle Village location, a short walk over the U.S. 1 bridge from UMW, is also popular with the campus crowd.
Merritt opened Blackstone Coffee Co. three years ago after he decided to turn his hobby of roasting coffee beans at his Spotsylvania County home into a business.
Merritt said the new location will have expanded prepared food selections for students to grab on the go.
He plans on hiring about 15 people at the new location. The coffee shop will be immediately to the left of the center’s entrance and take up about 1,400-square-feet.
“We’re definitely expanding,” said Merritt about the Blackstone brand.
Blackstone Coffee products are now sold at Paul’s Bakery and the butcher shop in downtown Fredericksburg.
He is seeking a trademark for the logo and name, and plans on bringing the shop elsewhere is the region.
Spaces in downtown Fredericksburg and along the Route 610 corridor in Stafford are being considered. At one location he hopes to install a new coffee bean roaster and educate customers about how the bean gets from the grower into their cups.
He said that offering beer and wine differentiates Blackstone from similar spots in the region, giving people a more relaxed atmosphere for a drink after work.
Jazzman’s Cafe, the former UMW bookshop coffee provider, closed last year.