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Charlottesville-based Grit Coffee opens first Richmond location at Libbie and Grove

Drawing on a love of coffee as well as cooking, Grit takes a culinary approach to roasting. As would a chef, Grit’s Director of Coffee, Travis Mason, views the quality and freshness of the ingredients as paramount.

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Amid an incredibly difficult year for the restaurant industry, Grit Coffee, the Charlottesville-based coffee shop and brand, opened its first Richmond location in the Libbie-Grove corridor this past Thursday.

In what was previously a Sweet Frog at 409 Libbie Avenue, Grit Coffee opened with options for carry-out and online ordering of coffee drinks, ground, and whole bean coffee, as well as pastries from Pearl’s Bake Shoppe. Owners say they hope to provide an approachable, relaxing environment to enjoy a good cup of coffee – especially after the nearby Starbucks on the corridor closed its doors.

Founded in 2008, Grit currently has five locations in Charlottesville, a thriving wholesale network through the state, and a coffee subscription service that has taken off since March.

Drawing on a love of coffee as well as cooking, Grit takes a culinary approach to roasting. As would a chef, Grit’s Director of Coffee, Travis Mason, views the quality and freshness of the ingredients as paramount. But equally important – and often overlooked in coffee – is the roasting, akin to how a chef might cook his ingredients to coax out the inherent and unique characteristics of each coffee.

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Lamplighter co-owner cooking up new Chipotle-style breakfast concept in West End

Zach Archibald, co-owner of Lamplighter Coffee Roasters, is betting on a new Chipotle-style breakfast concept near Freeman High School.

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From Richmond BizSense:

Zach Archibald is betting there’s a place in the West End for his style of breakfast.

The co-founder and co-owner of Lamplighter Coffee Roasters will launch Surrounding Counties Specialty Coffee Explorers Club, a quick-serve breakfast concept on Nov. 1 at 8801-A Three Chopt Road.

The 1,500-square-foot spot in the Westbury Shopping Center will sell coffee drinks and breakfast food in a to-go format with a cafeteria-line format similar to the Chipotle experience.

Continue reading here.

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Richmond Region Tourism launches Tourism Master Plan during annual meeting

The Master Plan, “Richmond Region 2030, A Strategic Direction for the Richmond’s Visitor Economy,” was developed in 2019 with extensive feedback and input from the community. Consultants asked questions of key stakeholders during 115 interviews and surveyed 1,000 visitors and 2,100 residents, and hosted 50 people in visioning workshops. 

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At its Annual Awards and Meeting program last Friday, Richmond Region Tourism introduced its tourism master plan, a 10-year strategic vision to enhance the region’s visitor experience while balancing the quality of life for residents. The virtual event, organized via Zoom, also included an awards program and updates from national expert Adam Sacks on tourism trends and COVID-19 economic recovery predictions.

The Master Plan, “Richmond Region 2030, A Strategic Direction for the Richmond’s Visitor Economy,” was developed in 2019 with extensive feedback and input from the community. Consultants asked questions of key stakeholders during 115 interviews and surveyed 1,000 visitors and 2,100 residents, and hosted 50 people in visioning workshops.

The 10-year plan aims to responsibly grow the region’s tourism industry while supporting quality of life for all residents. It includes three initial focus areas:

  • Experience development: Enhancing and developing tourism experiences within the Richmond region that meet the needs of contemporary travelers.
  • Infrastructure and investment: Investing in facilities and infrastructure to maintain, refresh, and upgrade the existing tourism experience, addressing gaps and capitalizing on future growth opportunities.
  • Industry advancement and advocacy: Devoting capacity, influence, skills, and resources to projects aligned with the mission of marketing the region as a destination, while at the same time advancing initiatives that improve the destination experience for visitors and residents.

“The Richmond Region 2030 plan takes a strategic and community-based approach to defining an overarching vision and competitive positioning for our region as a destination,” said Jack Berry, president and CEO of Richmond Region Tourism. “This is an exciting roadmap for the future of our region. We look forward to actively engaging and listening to the community as we move forward with the plan and its priorities in the years to come.”

Richmond Region Tourism’s annual meeting also showcased local leaders for their contributions to tourism and the economy.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Director Alex Nyerges and former Hanover County Administrator Cecil R. “Rhu” Harris Jr. received the Tourism Impact Award, the highest honor given each year. Both were recognized for their long-term and significant impacts to the region’s tourism industry.

Members from the BLK RVA Action Team – Enjoli Moon (chair), Josh Epperson, Amy Wentz, and Free Bangura – were honored with the Chairman’s Award, given to a person or organization who has made the greatest contribution during the previous year. BLK RVA is a collaborative initiative between Richmond Region Tourism and an advisory board of community members focused on developing unique ways to attract tourism while highlighting Richmond’s Black culture and businesses.

As part of the meeting, Adam Sacks, president of research firm Tourism Economics, highlighted data trends and economic rebound strategies to support COVID-19 economic recovery.

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Kickstarter-funded Ruby Scoops ice cream shop to open on Brookland Park Boulevard later this fall

“We’re trying to create memories, and we’re trying to create moments in your life that you will always remember that kind of stem from what we make,” Kamara said.

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From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Rabia Kamara recalls drinking a sweet, sugary Colombian beverage as a 5-year-old in Silver Spring, Md. It wasn’t until she was at an international market over 25 years later that she came across the beverage again and fell in love with it anew.

Kamara wants to create similar memories for customers at her ice cream shop, Ruby Scoops Ice Cream and Sweets, which is in the works on Richmond’s Brookland Park Boulevard in North Side. There, Kamara plans to add a unique spin on ice cream flavors, with twists such as Peaches N’ Herb, Sweet Corn Basil and Lemon Honey Chamomile.

“We’re trying to create memories, and we’re trying to create moments in your life that you will always remember that kind of stem from what we make,” Kamara said.

Continue reading here.

Want to kick in to the Ruby Scoops Kickstarter? You can do that here.

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