ST. PAUL, VA – APRIL 27, 2022 – More than just a full-service coffee shop, The Coffee Station in St. Paul, Va., also calls itself a mini-bakery and when it opens in early summer, it will also offer baked goods as well as space for local artisans to display and sell their goods. From its exclusive Clinch River Blend black coffee to espresso, lattes, frappes, smoothies, frozen lemonades and more, there will be a little something to appeal to everyone, according to owner, Andrea Hicks, who added gluten-free options will also be available.
Hicks’ new business, The Coffee Station LLC, was recently approved for a $10,000 VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund grant.
“The VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund was created to encourage entrepreneurship in Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and we have seen that happen since its inception,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “The seed capital grant recently approved for The Coffee Station is projected to create three full-time and two part-time jobs within three years.”
Hicks first opened The Coffee Station in March 2021 in one location of St. Paul, but after purchasing the former Carter Bank building in St. Paul, she temporarily shut down the original location and is in the process of renovating the new space which she expects will be complete in time for an early summer re-opening of the business.
“We have a great location right in the center of St. Paul,” Hicks said. “We opened in March 2021 with the bare minimum of equipment and space and we are using the VCEDA grant to expand and make the necessary improvements to our new building.”
In addition to providing coffees and baked goods on site, catering for small events will be offered and in addition to providing seating for restaurant customers, the Coffee Station has an upstairs area Hicks is calling the “Orchard Barn Studio and Event Space” which may be rented for private events and which is capable of accommodating up to 60 people, depending on the event set-up.
Event planning already on tap calls for a “Beauty and the Beast Tea Party” in May and this summer, a kids art camp. Also in the planning stages are “Made in SWVA Saturdays” which will occur on select Saturdays throughout the year at which selected vendors, whose products are made in the region, will be invited to bring in and to display and sell those products.
“If it had not been for VCEDA, this project would not have been possible,” Hicks said. “The grant has funded the majority of the renovation work and furniture and without it, we could not have done it. I really appreciate the effort and the help I’ve received all along the way. VCEDA has been prompt to help and respond when I’ve had questions and it’s just nice to know that once I received the grant money, I was not forgotten. It’s meant a lot to me as a small business owner.”
Hicks worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) in developing her application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Wise County Industrial Development Authority.
“It was a pleasure to work with Andrea on her grant application,” said MECC Small Business Development Center Director Becki O’Quinn-Purdie. “Her passion to provide her community with a place to gather and enjoy specialty coffees and homemade baked goods really shines. The Coffee Station will be a wonderful asset to the St. Paul and surrounding community.”
The business, located at 3052 4th Avenue in St. Paul, is on Facebook and may be reached by calling 276-237-2154.
About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.
About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: VCEDA region for-profit businesses one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in or plan to operate in the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton.