Coffee shop opens in Vinton Library, the fireplace is lit

VINTON–The Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Shop has now opened in the Vinton Library. Their first day of business was November 30.

The coffee shop is located on the mezzanine level of the new library. Their hours of operation are from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, on Friday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. when the library closes, and on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. They are closed on Sunday although the library is open on Sunday afternoons.

Patrons may enter through the Maple Street doors on the second level in the early morning when the library has not yet opened for the day.

During public planning meetings for the new library, before design and construction got underway, a coffee shop was one of the most mentioned amenities requested by citizens.

Owners Scott and Penny Felts were selected by Roanoke County in a bidding process to operate the coffee shop with a five year lease.

The Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Shop opened in the Vinton Public Library on November 30. They are located on the upper level. Shown left to right are Vinton Branch librarian Sarah Vaughan, coffee shop owner Penny Felts, and employee Laura Kempf.
The Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Shop opened in the Vinton Public Library on November 30. They are located on the upper level. Shown left to right are Vinton Branch librarian Sarah Vaughan, coffee shop owner Penny Felts, and employee Laura Kempf.

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee is a franchise operation, headquartered in Georgia. The company also has locations in the Daleville Town Center in Botetourt County, across Georgia, and in Florida, Texas, and Massachusetts.

This coffee company is not just a business—it is based on a philosophy. The Land of a Thousand Hills website states that, “We’re a coffee company that believes doing good. We invest in sustainable change through Community Trade. We work directly with our coffee farmers, pay them higher than fair trade prices, and we use our profits to invest in village projects.”

Their coffee comes from Rwanda in central Africa. Because of the country’s high altitudes and volcanic soils, farmers there are said to grow some of the finest coffee in the world.

In April 1994, a horrific civil war left Rwanda ravaged by genocide—millions were killed. In the wake of the devastation, Rwanda became the focus of the global community and subsequently made a commitment to national restoration.  The country asked the outside world to support them as they looked to heal and eradicate poverty, disease, and illiteracy.

In 2005 Jonathan Golden, founder of Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee, seized upon an opportunity to make a difference in Rwanda. He partnered with farmers and local community leaders to develop the coffee industry into a sustainable income which pays a fair wage to the farmers, helps them with their basic needs, and brings a quality product to coffee lovers around the world. Warring countrymen have learned to work together to build a lasting peace and a stronger economy.

According to the company, their coffee is 100 percent Arabica (one of the finest coffees in the world and thought to be the first cultivated), fairly traded, and roasted fresh.  Their slogan is “Drink Coffee. Do Good–your daily choice of quality coffee brings life-changing work to communities in Rwanda.”

One thing is for sure—their coffee and baked goods smell wonderful wafting through the library.

The Vinton Library Coffee shop is situated next to an indoor fireplace and the outdoor patio.
The Vinton Library Coffee shop is situated next to an indoor fireplace and the outdoor patio.

Business has been very good. During their first week of operation, Vinton held its annual Christmas parade which passed by just outside. Felts said they went through five gallons of milk in no time at all during parade serving lattes and hot chocolate along with their other beverages. The line was down the staircase.

Their drink menu includes an extensive list of coffees, espressos, and lattes. Their signature drinks include Carmanilla, white mocha, raspberry mocha, and tuxedo (half chocolate/half regular). They also serve hot and iced teas, Chai, green tea, lemonade, and Smoothies.

There is a breakfast menu with muffins, scones, bagels, croissants, breakfast sandwiches, and wraps, along with oatmeal and yogurt.

There is an extensive beverage menu, along with breakfast, sandwich, salad, and soup choices.
There is an extensive beverage menu, along with breakfast, sandwich, salad, and soup choices.

Their sandwich menu for later in the day includes roasted chicken, ham, chicken salad, or turkey on croissants, wheatberry,or Ciabatta bread, or in a wrap. A specialty is their Signature Thousand Hills Turkey sandwich with pimento cheese, spinach, apples, and raspberry vinaigrette. They offer veggie wraps, garden salads, and seasonal soups.

Son Kyle Felts, who assists them in the business, says their meats and cheeses are all Boar’s Head products—fresh daily–with an emphasis on healthy eating with no preservatives. They also serve gluten free items on the menu.

And maybe best of all, you can drink or dine at the counter overlooking the first floor of the library, seated beside the fireplace, or outdoors on the patio in good weather.

Coffee shop patrons have space to sit at the counter overlooking the first floor of the library.
Coffee shop patrons have space to sit at the counter overlooking the first floor of the library.

Their coffee can be purchased in 12 ounce bags or in bulk 5 pound bags. Churches are offered a special price on  bulk orders. Land of a Thousand Hills can provide coffee to large organizations onsite or off. They also sell gift cards.

“We are really happy to be a part of this beautiful new facility and look forward to getting to know the community of Vinton” said Penny Felts. “We also love telling our story and offer more than just a cup of coffee. It is much more than that. ”

The Felts have lived in Botetourt for about 20 years. They opened their Daleville location in June 2013.

More information is available on their website and Facebook page, at www.DrinkCoffeeDoGood.com, or by calling 400-6958.

 

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