A cup of coffee always seems to hit the spot, regardless of the time of day or year (which still might affect whether you go for hot, iced, or decaf). In honor of fall flavors, we’re pumpkin-spicing it up with these 10 women-owned coffee shops spread throughout Virginia.
Gizem Salcigil White is perhaps better known in Alexandria as the “Turkish Coffee Lady.” She started her authentic gourmet coffee business in 2017 with the intention of bridging cultures one coffee at a time.
On her website she notes, “Turkish coffee is the world’s oldest coffee brewing technique, invented by Turks in the 16th century. It is not a coffee bean type; it is a method of preparing coffee.”
What distinguishes the coffee is its flavorful and strong aroma. Those looking to try their first cup of specialty Turkish coffee should start with the Istanbul option, a traditional flavor. More adventurous drinkers might consider a cup of the Mardin, which includes almond, chocolate, pistachio, caramel, and cardamom flavors.
Cervantes Coffee Roasters serves single-origin, ethically sourced, artisan-roasted coffee.
“We take time and effort to select the best available green coffee in the market working directly with suppliers, coffee cooperatives, and individual growers, so we know exactly where our coffee comes from,” the shop’s website reads.
It’s owned by Bolivia native Marialy Justiniano, who felt that opening a roastery was the natural next step in her progression. As a child, she picked coffee on her grandfather’s farm in eastern Bolivia, and as an adult worked with farmers to help them develop cooperatives that allow for them to better market and sell their products internationally.
Sweetbites Café and Bakery is the brainchild of Sandra Panetta, an environmental scientist with a finely calibrated sweet tooth. “Born into an Italian family, she learned from childhood how to bake European-style desserts, and soon brought her own unique flair to her ancestors’ recipes,” the company’s website states.
Visitors can find a variety of menu items, including seasonally influenced, fresh pastries made daily, cupcakes, cakes, and artisan desserts made from scratch. The menu also includes healthy alternatives for those in search of fresh, wholesome breakfast and lunch options.
The café has an equally impressive coffee menu. Those looking for a sweet coffee drink should try the Freddo Shakerato, a lightly sweetened espresso shaken with ice.
Owned by sisters MJ Stone and Andi Stone Chitty, Agora Downtown Coffee Shop offers more than just coffee, including a bookstore and gift shop. Adding to the atmosphere, it’s located in one of the oldest buildings in Fredericksburg, built in 1787.
When it opened in 2015, the two sisters claim to have each worked 120 hours a week to keep it running. Today, it has grown into a large operation with numerous baristas and a dedicated customer base. It even has its own roastery.
Give the butter coffee a try, featuring your choice of hot drip coffee blended with natural grass-fed butter and organic coconut oil. You can also add flavor at no extra cost—the shop recommends vanilla.
Deja Brew Café is a veteran- and woman-owned small business that’s dedicated to providing quality food and service to the local community while also cultivating the local literature, music, and art scenes through various weekly and monthly events.
“As mothers, our owners take pride in providing healthy meal choices made with real ingredients,” the café said.
The eatery uses single-origin organic and custom-blend beans from farms it has handpicked for their dedication to coffee. The beans are craft-roasted onsite several times a week to ensure maximum freshness.
Espresso flavors include latte, mocha latte, sugar-free mocha, seasonal flavored latte, flat white, cappuccino, macchiato, caramel macchiato, Cuban, cortado, café breve, and Americano.
Location: Virginia Beach
Pourfavor Coffee Shop is based in the Puerto Rican tradition and devoted both to coffee newcomers and aficionados—or those anywhere on the spectrum between the two.
“We explore more delicate and intricate flavors in coffee to create combinations that will excite your palate and challenge your expectations,” the shop’s website reads.
It’s owned by wife-and-wife duo Marie and Tina DePedro, who travel the world looking for the best coffee for their customers. The shop is well-known for its coffee flights, allowing customers to try several coffees at once.
Kindness Café + Play, a mission-driven coffee shop that employs folks with cognitive disabilities, was founded by Katie Kishore. She modeled the business on Bitty & Beau’s, a similar coffee shop that launched in Wilmington, North Carolina and now has 19 shops across 11 states.
The goal for Kindness Café + Play was to create a unique experience in which people with and without disabilities could interact as peers and make connections. The menu boasts a large selection of coffees, tea, lattes, and espressos along with baked goods and snacks.
In 2021, at the age of 25, Hailey Rogers purchased the coffee shop where she was employed and turned it into Coffee Hound.
“With her trusty (but nervous) Italian Greyhound, Gatsby, by her side, she came up with the name Coffee Hound to mean both ‘someone who seeks out and enjoys good coffee’ and ‘dog-friendly coffee shop,’” the shop’s website states.
Coffee Hound offers a range of coffee and non-coffee beverages. Give the rotating drip coffee a try with lavender flavoring added.
Little Green Hive is a woman-owned-and-operated coffee shop and smoothie bar. “We specialize in serving locally roasted, fair trade and organic coffee,” the shop’s site states. “We know that coffee is personal. We only serve real, quality ingredients because we want to support the life and vitality of our neighborhood.”
Virginia-based roaster Red Rooster Coffee Company supplies the shop with its coffee. Given the name of the shop, you may want to order the Honey Bee Latte, which comes with organic honey and ground cinnamon.
Em Fehr opened Bloom as a small coffee shop in 2017. Since then, it has blossomed into a staple for residents looking to grab a quick morning coffee, cozy lunch, or upscale dinner.
“We source high-quality ingredients for all of our dishes and drinks, including high-quality roasts from Heart Roasters that highlight the distinct fruit flavors that are found in coffee,” Bloom said.
The menu features a range of latte, macchiato, and coffee options.
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