Crimson Cup Welcomes Stonewall Coffee in Clarksburg, West Virginia

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Stonewall Coffee in Clarksburg, West Virginia celebrates its Grand Opening on December 6 with $1 coffee drink specials and a Stonewall Jackson impersonator. The new venture is one of hundreds of independent coffee houses, cafés and bakeries supported by Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea, Roast magazine's 2016 Roaster of the Year.

Stonewall Coffee Clarksburg West Virginia
As a coffee roaster and coffee franchise alternative, Crimson Cup believes we succeed only when our customers do. We support coffee shop owners at every step including scouting a great location and writing a coffee shop business plan.

Columbus, Ohio coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea recently welcomed Stonewall Coffee in Clarksburg, West Virginia to the group of independent coffee shops, cafés and bakeries it supports in 29 states. Located at 218 Court Street in historic downtown Clarksburg, the new coffee house plans to celebrate its grand opening December 6.

Owners Kevin and Sarah Zakariasen named the shop for Clarksburg’s most famous native son, Civil War General Thomas Johnathon “Stonewall” Jackson. A statue of Jackson sits in the plaza adjacent to the coffee house in front of the Harrison County Courthouse.

The shop’s December 6 grand opening will feature $1 espresso-based coffee drinks all day as well as a Stonewall Jackson impersonator riding a horse around the coffeehouse. A portrait of Jackson painted from life also will be on loan from the local library.

“We’re excited to support Kevin and Sarah in their new venture,” said Founder and President Greg Ubert. “Training entrepreneurs to run their own independent coffee shops is a big part of our success as a specialty coffee roaster and coffee franchise alternative.”

The Zakariasens and their children settled in Clarksburg five years ago after spending eight years as missionaries at an orphanage in South Africa. They realized that downtown Clarksburg was ripe for revitalization and saw an opportunity to strengthen the community through coffee.

To learn how to run a successful coffee business, the Zakariasens turned to Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea, Roast magazine’s 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year. Through its 7 Steps to Success coffee franchise alternative program, the specialty coffee roaster trains entrepreneurs to run successful coffee shops.

Before signing with Crimson Cup, the couple explored coffee franchise options and visited Jitters Coffeehouse in Millersburg, Ohio, a nonprofit coffee house supported by Crimson Cup.

Initially, the Zakariasens were reluctant to purchase the 7 Steps book and to follow its tenets.

For example, despite the book’s warnings against used equipment, they purchased a previously owned espresso machine that proved unusable. Eventually, they decided to follow Crimson Cup’s guidance, which is based on experience with hundreds of independent coffee shops in 29 states, Guam and internationally in Bangladesh.

“Knowing what we know now, we would have paid much more than $69.99 for the 7 Steps book,” said Kevin Zakariasen. “It is one of the best investments we have made.”

Crimson Cup’s business model is based on mutually beneficial relationships. “As a coffee roaster and coffee franchise alternative, Crimson Cup believes we succeed only when our customers do,” Ubert said. “As a result, we support coffee shop owners at every step – from scouting a great location and writing a coffee shop business plan to choosing equipment, hiring staff and providing marketing support.”

Crimson Cup’s support for new coffee houses includes comprehensive training of owners and staff. 7 Steps Trainer Steve Bayless worked with the Zakariasens and remained on site for Stonewall Coffee’s soft opening in October. On the first day of operation, the Zakariasen family served more than 130 people, with a line extending out the door.

"It's been really exciting and neat to see the community come out and say, 'Hey, this is exactly what we needed here in Clarksburg,'" Kevin Zakariasen said.

The Stonewall Coffee menu features hot, iced and frozen espresso drinks – including mochas, lattes and cappuccinos – as well as iced coffee and tea, cold-brewed coffee, hot chocolate, fruit smoothies and other custom drinks. Comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi beckon customers to sit and socialize or catch up on work.

The shop is entirely family operated by the Zakariasens, their children and extended family members. The owners believe Stonewall Coffee will be a vital part of downtown Clarksburg's revitalization. As Sarah Zakariasen noted, “To us, coffee is more than just a drink you drink while sitting in morning rush-hour traffic; it is an experience. It is a return home for the holidays. It is the successful conclusion of a mutually beneficial business deal. It is the celebration of surprising good news. It is the centerpiece of conversation, culture, and new beginnings.”

In client surveys, Crimson Cup has found that 85 percent of coffee-shop customers completing its 7 Steps to Success training program have been in business for five years or longer. By comparison, federal government statistics show that half of all new restaurants – including independent coffee shops – close within three years of opening.

About Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea

Columbus, Ohio coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea is Roast magazine’s 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year. Since 1991, Crimson Cup has roasted sustainably sourced specialty and craft coffee in small batches. The company also teaches entrepreneurs to run successful coffee houses through its coffee franchise alternative program, which includes a coffee shop business plan. Crimson Cup coffee is available through a community of more than 350 independent coffee houses, grocers, college and universities, restaurants and food service operations across 29 states, Guam and Bangladesh, as well as the company’s own Crimson Cup Coffee Houses. To learn more, visit crimsoncup.com.

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Cheryl Claypoole
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