IT'S MORE THAN ABOUT GREAT COFFEE.
Being a shore dog is a state of mind.
ShoreDog Cafe is an unexpected result of our family's hope to find a small business near our home in Richmond's west end. After several years of looking at existing businesses that weren't quite right, we stumbled on a vacant storefront in the Tuckahoe Shopping Center and the idea of a café was planted.
Our family has always loved great food and coffee; whether during our many years living in San Francisco, or more recently on Virginia's Eastern shore and in Richmond. To us, the Tuckahoe Shopping Center represented a platform to offer a great farm to table menu anchored by the terrific coffee roasted by Lamplighter Roasting Company and exquisite ice cream created by the Montgomery and Bowers families of Homestead Creamery. Both local, both organic, good for the earth and best of class! We complement these offerings, whenever possible, with locally grown breakfast, lunch and dinner ingredients.
The name of our cafe, "ShoreDog", is how we affectionately referred to our former Boykin spaniel, Mallie, who passed away earlier this year. ShoreDog was one of eight names that we were considering. As we thought through each one of them it occurred to us that Mallie really represented everything that we loved about the Eastern shore… Locally grown organic food, beautiful vistas and super nice people. That notion tied in very nicely with our mission statement, which is to create a neighborhood meeting place where people can connect with awesome food, and interesting, friendly people in a pleasant environment.
LAMPLIGHTER ROASTING COMPANY, Richmond, Virginia
After failing to find the quality of coffee she wanted in Richmond, Noelle Archibald met Jennifer Rawlings, who, some years ago, had run a Richmond coffee shop called 17.5.
The two recognized their mutual obsession with coffee and decided to partner to create a roastery and cafe, with Archibald’s husband, Zach, creating the menu. “Nobody thought we were going to be successful,” Archibald said. “We’re young. We don’t look like typical business owners.” What trumped the naysaying, Archibald said, is a simple, successful premise: “The coffee is expertly roasted, expertly prepared, and the food is really good.”
Lamplighter coffee beans come from farmers across the world: Africa, Central America, Indonesia, Hawaii, among others. Many advertise their coffee as fair trade, but unfortunately, fair trade coffee doesn’t guarantee the money from the premium price reaches the farmers themselves.
“We consider our beans to be ethically sourced,” Archibald said. The owners use their supply brokers to ensure that the farms that supply Lamplighter’s beans provide living wages to its workers and that farms are conservation minded. “We wanted to build our name and build it on quality,” Archibald said. “I’m not going to use junky, crappy ingredients.
Lamplighter’s commitment to quality and ethical business dovetails perfectly with what drives ShoreDog, and we could not have asked for a better partner to roast and select their amazing coffee for our cafe.
HOMESTEAD CREAMERY, Wirtz, Virginia
All the milk at Homestead Creamery comes from two local farms, both in their third and fourth generations of family ownership. We share similar beliefs that food tastes even better when you also love the way it's grown, and they created the “Responsibly Grown” rating system with growers, scientists and agriculture experts to rate their fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers on sustainable farming practices. All of their milk is free of hormones and antibiotics, and because the milk is sold in recycled glass bottles it tastes fresher longer and is more environmentally friendly.
The quality of these products not only impacts the consumer, but also everyone whose hard work goes into the production. At Shore Dog, we appreciate these values and also focus on community, and strive to benefit everyone from farm to table.