|By Cathy Jett, The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Both have made their dreams come true by trying their hand at new ventures in the town of
They've taught her the art of roasting, included their recipes in the sale and are available if she has questions. The business, said
Nagro, who moved to
He had opened
It opened in May with
"Anything that Mike fixes is my favorite food," said Nagro. "He makes specials every day. One was cold peach soup. Let me tell you something, it was unbelievable."
creating coffee blends
Orange County Coffee Roasters is located in a small brown building that was once housed a heating and air conditioning business. The interior walls are painted a vivid orange, the same hue as the bags of coffee that
"We can work with anyone's taste preference," said
For those who want a darker brew, for instance, she might pair espresso with Colombian. She can also add various flavors to the beans.
"Blueberry jam is the No. 1 favorite,"
She keeps a relatively small inventory of beans on hand, and runs the roaster twice a week so the coffee is always fresh. She's fond of saying that comparing mass-produced coffee to that from small roasters such as hers is like taking a bite from a store-bought tomato and one fresh off the vine.
"There's a world of difference,"
Orange County Coffee Roasters' blends and flavored coffees are primarily sold to restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts and organic markets, but clients also include a printing company, an insurance agent who gives small bags as gifts to customers and a few locals who buy them as teacher gifts.
"We sell in
In addition, the company does the roasting for two customers who supply their own beans, bags and labels. And it can help customers find the right coffee brewing equipment for their business and provide training.
"If coffee's not brewed right and served correctly, then we're going to get a bad reputation,"
She plans to expand the business, and has already signed on three new customers this month.
"In five years, I would like to double our business," she said, "but not be so big that I can't provide customer service and a quality product."
RESTAURANT HAS HISTORY
C.J.'s is in a large white building that has been home to a number of restaurants over the past 30 years. It was originally the Orange Gourmet, then Fox's Den, Morgan's and
Today the interior is decorated with vintage English fox-hunting scenes that reflect Nagro's love of horses. The dining room can seat 50 with ease, and there are two porches with additional tables and chairs. One can seat 30 and another seats 25.
There's also a bar where 30 can sit on stools or at nearby tables.
"For a wedding party, we can close off the main room and let the rest come in to the bar and the porches," Nagro said. "The key is that we're family-friendly. We have a bar, but we don't want rowdy people."
The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, and the menu includes such appetizers as spinach-artichoke dip and fried green tomatoes. For entrees, there are Delmonico steaks, lobster tails and pasta, among other dishes.
Tyler also prepares specials such as that cold peach soup and the restaurant's signature poppy seed dressing.
C.J.'s recently donated five gallons of the soup to a fund-raiser to help fight breast cancer, which Nagro said went over "really, really well."
"Any time people come in for a donation or outreach, we try to help," he said.
People are just starting to discover C.J's, according to Nagro. It didn't open with a big splash because he had just had a heart attack.
Now that Nagro is back at work, he's considering hiring a pianist to play easy-listening music on weekends, and possibly a bluegrass or country band to play for the crab fests that will be held on the porches and lawns.
But, he said, "There will absolutely, positively be no rap."
(c)2014 The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.)
Visit The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.) at www.fredericksburg.com/flshome
Distributed by MCT Information Services