Rappahannock Coffee's First Retail Store
Opening Day  

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It finally happened. At 6:00am, Saturday, May 19th 2001, the door was flung open!

Getting ready

5:21 AM: The cash register is loaded with the first cash. Caitlyn (left) and Kaitlyn (right) are the first two staff members on duty. The other two staffers, Ben and Jerry (really!), work on different days.

Bakery items

5:24 AM: Brian slathers up the first baked goods headed for the oven. Holley is in the background readying the blenders which would be running a lot today. Robert McNeal (left) and his wife Chris (not shown yet) spent this entire day (and the next) busting their butts to make sure the operation was a success. Also, hats off to Amy Zavadil who came in to drive things along. Other allies are Chuck from Alliant Foods and Raquel from Metropolitan Foods who unselfishly pitched in. All of them came in several times before this for training sessions.

First Customer

6:37 AM: The first customer! He was driving to Georgetown to run his dog when he saw the lights and stopped for a cup of coffee.

Crowded Lunch

2:30 PM: From that first moment, the place gradually filled with well wishers, friends and plenty of neighborhood people we've never seen before. Some who came in earlier came back with an entourage in tow to do it again. Here, the window seats are filled (behind the camera), the main tables are filled, the seating in the back is filled and several tables outside were in use. Later, there was all that plus a line six deep at the register. Everyone on staff was jumping through hoops to get every demand satisfied. Chris McNeal is shown speaking to Eric Gibson posing as a customer.

A Little Break

6:10 PM: A little break in the action. For about 10 minutes, there were no customers in the store. Here's the appropriate response after a day like that. Holley and Chris were GONE! Michele Moore used this time to pump some food into baby Kate.

By the 10:00 PM closing time there were probably 130 customers that first day. Some were invited, most just discovered it, some returned again and again.

Next:Café Menu

Hours & Location