- Courtesy Of Vermont Coffee Company
- Inside the new Exchange Street Café
Soon Middlebury's Exchange Street — once called the "craftiest street in Vermont" in these pages for its concentration of craft food and beverage businesses — will be home to a bona fide café. The Vermont Coffee Company, known for its organic, fair-trade beans, is in the final stages of opening a new café and retail space inside its roastery at 1197 Exchange No. 3.
Marketing director Lily Hinrichsen says the café will open in early June, possibly earlier, and serve weekdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. "Our owner has always dreamed of doing this," she says, calling the café a "logical part" of the company's recent expansion.
Besides selling drip coffee and bulk beans by the pound, the 25-seat café will offer espresso drinks, chai from Middlebury's Stone Leaf Teahouse and light breakfast and lunch dishes, including toasts with sweet and savory toppings. "We like to say, 'We roast it; we toast it,'" Hinrichsen says of the menu.
The space is airy with hand-hewn touches — local woodworker Mike Horner made the long, communal-style tables with wood milled at VCC owner Paul Ralston's land in Randolph. The café will offer free Wi-Fi, and Hinrichsen says she hopes patrons will hang out. "We really want people to come and enjoy themselves," she says. "There are a lot of offices around Exchange Street. If someone wants a change of scenery, we want them to be able to come here and work."
Look for opening updates on VCC's website and social media outlets.