A year off seems to have done little to dampen enthusiasm for Amity Coffee Roasters in Greenwood.
On Memorial Day, the coffee shop held what was intended to be a soft opening at its new location at 8 West Market Street. It did not announce the opening on its social media accounts, which it had used throughout its extended time off to keep fans updated on progress in finding a new building.
It was crowded with customers anyway.
At times that morning the line was 20 or so people long, and a similar number gathered at the tables and couches around the new space.
When I interviewed owners Elmer and Melody Slaubaugh in August of last year, we stood in what was essentially an old garage, dirty and definitely not looking much like a coffee shop. They had closed down and moved out of their other location down the street not long after a May 18 fire at the bar next door. At that point they were hoping to reopen in the new building by December.
That was not to be. But now, just a little over a year after closing its doors, Amity is back and planning an official reopening ceremony on Saturday, June 26.
The Slaubaughs worked other jobs over the past months while also doing a lot of the work preparing the new building.
Elmer said some people thought they should open up sooner because customers would start forgetting about them. But, he said, “We wanted to do it right."
“It’s just amazing that the community didn’t forget about us, being closed for a year,” Melody said. “It’s almost like they loved us more, as the time went on.”
“It doesn’t feel like we lost a step,” Elmer said. “It feels like more people know about us now.”
In fact, one of the recent weeks after restarting may have been their best on record since they’ve owned the shop, Melody said. “Which shocked us, because we didn’t do any advertising that we are opening.”
The new space in the former fire company garage is about three times bigger than their old location, and it showed on the day of their soft opening. Despite a steady stream of customers, there always seemed to be a seat available.
There’s a large glass front, an open ceiling, and a seating area at the counter, where newly exposed brickwork adds to the background. Couches, armchairs and wooden tables offer seating. It’s a much more modern look than the old space, and yet it still feels like Amity – the toy section for kids, the coffee roaster at the back, the display with coffee beans and T-shirts for sale. And, of course, the familiar faces.
“Somehow, it still feels like home here,” said Mark Tennefoss, a regular customer from before who was seated at a table on a recent morning, working on a laptop. He lives in Dover but works in Milford and swings by Amity about once a week, he said. He often sees people he knows at the coffee shop.
“It’s beautiful,” he said of the new look. “They had a vision for it, and I think they nailed it.”
The Slaubaughs still have some plans for improvements at the new shop, like a mural on the wall outside, but for now they’ve been working hard getting things rolling and staff up to speed.
Their time of owning Amity has been quite an adventure. They took over just as COVID swept over the country in 2020, and then came the fire next door, so they haven’t had much in the way of “normal.”
Being closed for so long, Melody said, “I think it was one of the worst and one of the best years we’ve had. It was really challenging. But we grew a lot.”
If you go:
Customers can park in the back, using the Framptom Funeral Home entrance next door, or on the street.
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Thursday: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Saturday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sunday: Closed
Further reading on Amity's back story: