LITTLETON - Lake Gaston Coffee Company isn’t moving very far away, but setting up shop in its newest digs, which will remain in close proximity to Eaton Ferry Road, will be a significant milestone for a growing business that has become a favorite for locals and vacationers alike.
Lake Gaston Coffee celebrated groundbreaking for its new building, with hopes to open it by October, in a Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce ceremony on Friday after more than a year’s worth of planning.
“What we really want to do,” said owner Jason Shearin, “is be a destination in this area.”
Shearin referenced WatersView and The Pointe restaurants, noting the appeal of their lakeside atmospheres. At the revitalized Lake Gaston Coffee; the draw beyond coffee, food, smoothies, and tea will be a unique building design along with a dog-friendly park and walking trail.
Lake Gaston Coffee will be moving to a lot that can be accessed from Lynwood Road, which is almost directly across Eaton Ferry Road from Lake Gaston Outfitters and provides the primary pathway to Lake Gaston Baptist Church. The current Lake Gaston Coffee, which shares a building with Subway, is visible from the new lot next to Lynwood.
Don’t worry. Eventually, there will be new signage leading the way.
“I think it’ll be fairly easy to find,” Shearin said. “And we’re going to have it lit.”
The 2,000 square-foot building will be white brick with a black roof; a “rustic industrial” design, as Shearin described it.
“I really want a place where people come and see it’s an interesting experience,” Shearin said. “They like the way we decorated. They like the lights or the floors. They like the way it looks and then they enjoy our outside space.”
That outside space, with more than an acre designated for a park, is sure to be a hit with visitors and will include picnic tables, outdoor seating and a drive-thru window.
Other changes include more indoor space for Lake Gaston Coffee merchandise (T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, hats), seating for 25 and craft beer and wine offerings.
“My goal is to build an experience where people can not only come here to get something to eat, experience Lake Gaston Coffee to buy our coffee, buy our merchandise,” Shearin said, “but also even if they don’t want to buy anything from us, just have a nice, outdoor area where they can sit with their pets. A safe place. A place where they can park and just walk a few laps. It’s not a lot of places in this area to do that.”
When Shearin started the company seven years ago, it was roasting-only; selling coffee wholesale and online. The roasting business expanded and Lake Gaston Coffee became a brick-and-mortar shop. In the last two years, the incremental growth has steadily inclined.
“Now we ship coffee all over the country,” Shearin said.
The next phase of Lake Gaston Coffee also means transforming into a “whole restaurant.” Soups, sandwiches, salads, and wraps will be included in the new menu that is still being ironed out.
Shearin said an aspect of Lake Gaston Coffee that customers seem to appreciate is flexibility. Example: Some Aussies on vacation wanted flat white espresso drinks that aren’t on the menu. Shearin and company made them anyway for the duration of their stay.
“We want to do a good job,” Shearin said. “That’s the goal. I want to hear if we don’t. But also, the coffee industry itself; some of the new wave coffee shops, to me, can seem a little pretentious, a little coffee snobbish.
“There’s nothing pretentious about what we do. This is coffee; community, friendly. We appreciate every single customer.”