A downtown Jacksonville business is transitioning. On Christmas Eve, the Elm City Roastery and Juice Bar as locals have come to love it will be no more in its current form.
Last Thursday, owner Jeff Newman announced that pieces of the business had been sold and parted out to different ownership and other businesses.
Elm City’s smoothies and smoothie bowls will become a part of the menu at Charlie’s Cones when they reopen from a short winter break on January 17th. The juice bar along with a new burrito bar and Newman will transition to KJB’s Pinthaus on January 4th.
The coffee, tea, and roastery side of the business have been sold to Ben & Stuart Smith, originally from Winchester. Ben has been roasting in-house with local roaster Richard Dunseth since August. He says it’s a passion that he and his brother want to pursue and keep going in Jacksonville. Ben said when he heard that Newman was attempting to sell the business, he called Stuart and said he wanted to buy it. Stuart says that coffee shops have been a part of Jacksonville for some time and a major part of his own life, contributing to portions of musical relationships as well as his personal ones. Both say they want to continue to bring quality coffee drinks to the city, while also offering fresh roasted coffee to retail locations and bars and restaurants in town.
The Smith Brothers both have jobs in the music industry. Ben works as an audio and sound engineer while Stuart is a full-time traveling recording artist. Stuart says that he gets to couple both passions in his life – coffee and music: “We found out through being self-employed, you work all the time, but you have the flexibility to choose when you work. This business is yet another extension of Ben and I’s passions. I found when I’d get home from a gig, I could come home and roast coffee and it would provide this sort of release. I could be as methodical and meticulous about it as I am music. Ben found after producing a podcast or something, he could come down here to Elm City and work with Richard and roast coffee and get that similar release from stress and satisfaction knowing that we are creating something of quality. We want to continue to do that for Jacksonville, and keep the history of having a coffee shop in town going.”
Stuart says he’s been picking the brain of former Due Gatti Coffee Shop owners Brian & Lisa Farmer of Jacksonville. He says with their blessing, he’s received the recipe to the infamous Due Gatti Latte, which will become a staple of their new menu.
The Smiths will continue to offer counter service for coffee and tea drinks, but also hope to expand to delivery of fresh roasted coffee. More about their ideas with Elm City Roastery are expected to be released over the next few weeks. Elm City Roastery will reopen with its new operations on January 15th.