FRIDAY Taste: Firehouse Coffee 1881 in Fort Monroe

It’s a “God thing.” The owner of this coffee shop claims it wasn’t her system to be here, but she wouldn’t alter a factor.

HAMPTON, Va. — Firehouse Espresso 1881 has a very long history. 

For one, the making was as soon as the oldest firehouse in the U.S. Military. 

Found near the water in Fort Monroe, you can notify when you arrive this place no more time is a hearth station, but the background nevertheless lingers inside of the espresso shop. 

Donna Wray is the current operator, but that hasn’t generally been the situation. Wray was grabbing coffee with good friends in 2018 when she says she found the owner was prepared to hang issues up. 

“It just happened, out of the blue,” she claimed. 

Wray experienced by no means been there just before. She watched as the owner seemed more annoyed throughout her stop by. Wray explained the next part of the story was a “God issue:” she questioned the owner how a lot to purchase the location. 

“My partner and I experienced plans to transfer back to the Panhandle. All the things was in motion, but things alter. Listed here we are, shock,” she laughed. 

Wray became the owner of Firehouse Coffee 1881 in January of 2019. She says she owes all the glory to God. 

“I did not want this, but God experienced a different notion. I know nothing about firetrucks. This is entirely out of my motif, but I’ve figured out a good deal,” she explained. 

Even though it is really been hard, she would not alter it for the environment. For her, this location is dwelling, and she would like to share it with anyone who will come by the doorway. 

“When people today walk in, we want them to know that this is their place, it truly is group. It’s a location they can appear and just convey their laptop computer and sit for several hours and do what they want to do,” she said. “We have toys, so when the moms come in, and they want to have a day, we’ve received toys in this article to entertain the small children,” she smiled. 

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The environment when you are within feels like dwelling. The pleasant people today at the rear of the counter,  the group associates traveling to and the little ones actively playing with the firetrucks on the floor give off a sense of family members and peace. That is precisely how Wray wants it to be. 

“We’re just who we are,” she mentioned. “We just treat you like dwelling, loved ones, and that is what it is. Group is our spouse and children.” 

There is a superior motive Hampton coffee drinkers love this place. They serve easy coffee, handmade food and fresh new pastries produced in-property. 

When it will come to the espresso, they maintain it pretty uncomplicated, but the flavors are there. They have your conventional menu objects and flavors, as well as a delightful chilly brew with a “top secret component” to make it flavor all the greater. 

When it comes to foodstuff, Wray normally takes pride in the truth that they make every little thing, like their signature hen salad, in-household. The rooster salad has grapes and dill seasoning combined in, which adds a excellent kick of taste to a croissant bun. 

Nonetheless, that’s not the only food stuff Wray’s happy to serve.

“My spouse smokes our pulled pork. Which is truly, really superior,” Wray stated. She reported they market out of the pulled pork each and every solitary time it really is on the menu. 

If you happen to be in the temper for dessert, they have one of a kind ice product creations and new pastries created by Payton Horton. 

Horton is a 21-yr-previous pastry chef presently in culinary university. She informed us operating at the espresso residence before she has her diploma is a blessing. She creates muffins with special flavors and a comforting taste they manufactured me really feel at dwelling in a single bite. 

“We like to tantalize the pallet,” Wray said. “We want issues that are various. You know? We are just different and we like getting distinctive. We want to give people an experience,” Wray mentioned.


When requested why Firehouse Coffee 1881 is so distinctive, Wray became emotional. 

“It is the people,” she reported. “Mainly because through COVID, there have been times that we failed to think — that ‘I’ failed to think — that we were being going to make it, and it was a test of faith. This local community really pulled with each other, and I thank them all,” she said.

Although 13Information Now was traveling to, you could convey to this local community loves Wray, and she them. Individuals would come and speak to her. She would inquire them about their loved ones, children and pet dogs it is a family members. That bond is strong. 

Even however Wray is the operator on paper, she mentioned this put does not belong to her. 

“It’s not for me. It’s for them [the community]. I could very own this, but it truly is for them. It can be theirs, it really is the community’s, it can be their spot,” she smiled.

You can come across Firehouse Coffee 1881 at 1 Ruckman Rd, Hampton. 

If you would like to attend their Bible analyze on Tuesdays, you can find out more by heading to their Facebook webpage. out?v=6g04HCg8EMY

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