About Agora Downtown

Agora Downtown Coffee Shop, owned by sisters MJ Stone and Andi Stone Chitty, is a coffee shop, used bookstore, gift shop, and a tremendous labor of love.  Located in one of the oldest buildings in Fredericksburg (built in 1787), and most recently a residence, Agora is described by customers as feeling like a friend’s house that also serves you coffee and delicious homemade treats.

 


Here’s what you’ll find:

Espresso, coffee, tea, & other drinks
Specialty liquor drinks
Baked goods and sandwiches
Free wifi
Printing Services (color and b&w)

Dog-friendly outdoor seating
Live performances
Local handmade wares by over 90 local entrepreneurs
Used books
Plenty of charging stations/outlets


As teenagers, MJ’s dream was to open a coffee shop and Andi knew she wanted a bakery.  Being so young and close in age, we of course did not get along well enough to consider having them combined into one, but we used to joke about having them next door to each other!  We grew closer in college and, at the suggestion of our mother to open a coffee shop/bakery downtown, jumped on the idea.

Agora Downtown Coffee Shop
Photo by Beverly Toves

At the the time, MJ was finishing her M.S. in Business at Elmira College, and Andi was in her last year at Virginia Tech getting her degree in Food Science and Technology.  We spent our last year in school having Skype meetings to write our business plan and visiting coffee shops in New York and Virginia to meet with their baristas and owners.  Immediately after graduation in 2014, we dove in as a family to find a place, renovate it to rezone it into a commercial space and then into a restaurant, and staff it.  As a stubborn “do-it-yourself-er” family of 7, we ended up spending almost eleven months working close to full-time on a tight budget to get the space ready.

Our first day open was May 2nd, 2015.  We didn’t have any employees until 5 months in, so while Andi and MJ put in about 120 hours a week each, our two younger sisters and our little brother often helped out behind the bar, our father worked maintenance for us, and our mother took care of the outside landscaping and came in a couple times a week to make sandwiches in the coffee shop’s kitchen for us to sell.  With everyone pitching in, it truly became a family-run restaurant.

 

Since then, we’ve grown a lot in both staff and offerings in the coffee shop.  With all the hard work put into Agora, it has turned into something incredible that we and many others have fallen in love with.  We have wonderful baristas and customers that quickly turn into some of our best friends, delicious high quality baked goods and espresso drinks, and the unique ability to help out the community by representing artists, contributing to community events, and hosting fundraisers for local causes.  It has actually become a dream come true.

If you’re reading this because you’re interested in visiting Agora, we hope you stop by and enjoy our labor of love!


Meet Our Team

 

Andi

Co-Owner, Baker, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Hot Americano, black

Fun Fact: Andi is currently working towards becoming a Registered Nurse, in addition to owning Agora

Been with Agora since: The Beginning

 

 

 

 


MJ

Co-Owner, Office Manager, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Mama Rose Latte

Fun Fact: MJ is a talented pyrographer

Been with Agora since: The Beginning

 

 

 

 


Kacie

Assistant Manager, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Vanilla Almond Tea Latte

Fun Fact: Kacie has been eel-hunting in a rice paddy in Bali

Been with Agora since: May, 2017

 

 

 


 

 Sharon

Assistant Manager, Baker, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Rosewater Matcha Latte with coconut milk

Fun Fact: Sharon has written a children’s book about a wily fox (The Adventures of A. P. Fox), awaiting publication

Been with Agora since: April, 2017

 

 


 

 Jen

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Soy London Fog

Fun Fact: Jen is a proud owner of two pet rats

Been with Agora since: September, 2017

 

 

 


 

 Keri

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Soy Raspberry Matcha Latte

Fun Fact: Keri is currently a student at the University of Mary Washington, studying Computer Science

Been with Agora since: September, 2016

 

 

 

 


Heather

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Vanilla medium and dark roast Butter Coffee

Fun Fact: Heather is an avid hiker

Been with Agora since: April, 2017

 

 

 

 


 

Richard

Baker, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Strangely Delicious

Fun Fact: Richard can name all 50 states in alphabetical order

Been with Agora since: January, 2018

 

 

 

 


Selene

Baker, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Strangely Delicious

Fun Fact: Selene is a master juggler

Been with Agora since: April 2017

 

 

 

Headshots by KWH Photographs

 

      Great smoothies and muffins, super friendly service and as a reader I loved that a bool club had a section reserved where they could get together and chat. The section we set at had a set up to play games or read a book, it would be my hang out spot if I lived more in the area. Still a really great stop along our trip.

    thumb Brittany Shi-Anne Esquivel
    6/01/2017

      What an awesome spot, with so much heart. I don't wanna play this game, BUT YEAH, easily the best coffee shop in town. Or anywhere. Drink of choice? Iced flirty chai with soy for life!!! Thanks Sami and Ellie for always knowing it's what I'm going to get without even ordering... Since I get it every time LOL.

    thumb Stephen Harrison
    7/26/2016

      I absolutely love Agora. Everyone is always so friendly. It's a calm and peaceful atmosphere that's perfect for doing school and work. And the coffee is amazing.

    thumb Tori Eiselstein
    4/29/2017

      Cute little place..got the iced chai with a little something extra!! Very friendly staff & plan to stay longer next time (Daughter had Dr appt �)

    thumb Jennifer McMenamin Knicely
    7/16/2017

      Warm and inviting! The owners truly care about where they live and want to help other businesses in Fredericksburg. Looking forward to relaxing with one of their amazing creations very soon!

    thumb Zenda Rhoads
    8/07/2015

      Agora, It's where the elite meet to eat! Just kidding. It's the most personable, inviting, friendly, quaint, and oh did I say Yummy, place to go to. They serve the best coffee in town and the best homemade, healthy goodies to boot! Why go anywhere else?!

    thumb Beverly Toves
    10/13/2017