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 time, MJ was finishing her M.S. in Business at Elmira College in Elmira, New York, 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

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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, Operations Manager, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Mama Rose Latte

Fun Fact: MJ is a talented pyrographer

Been with Agora since: The Beginning

Capture
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Kacie

Manager, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: London Fog with Rosewater

Fun Fact: Kacie is a classically trained ballet dancer, but her favorite styles to perform are contemporary and tap

Been with Agora since: May, 2017


 

Barret

Baker, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Soy Blueberry Cardamom Latte

Fun Fact: In summer of 2019, Barret biked from Fredericksburg to San Francisco in less than a month

Been with Agora since: September, 2019

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View More: https://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

Brandon

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Iced Honey Lavender Latte with Oat milk

Fun Fact: Brandon is an artist who loves to work with watercolor and hand lettering. He's also obsessed with thrifting and plants

Been with Agora since: January, 2020


 

CeCe

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Iced Flirty Chai

Fun Fact: CeCe was on a step team in elementary school

Been with Agora since: September, 2018

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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


 

Jess

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Brown Sugar Cinnamon Iced Americano with soy

Fun Fact: Jess is a Theater major at the University of Mary Washingotn with a minor in Arts Administration

Been with Agora since: July, 2017

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View More: http://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

Keri

Baker, 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


 

Kristy

Baker

Favorite Agora drink right now: Pumpkin Cinnamon Spice Latte with soy milk

Fun Fact: Kristy is a both a Master Gardener and a Master Food Volunteer

Been with Agora since: The Beginning

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View More: https://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

Lara

Baker, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Dirty Chai with Oat milk

Fun Fact: Lara has a Master's Degree in English Literature

Been with Agora since: August, 2019


 

Linda

Baker

Favorite Agora drink right now: Sparkling Lavender Lemonade

Fun Fact: Linda and her husband built a teardrop camper and have started traveling with it.

Been with Agora since: April, 2019

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View More: https://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

Madison

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Dirty Chai with Almond milk

Fun Fact: Madison is a Political Science major with a minor in Practical Ethics at the University of Mary Washington, and can also play two instruments, the clarinet and the piano

Been with Agora since: October, 2019


 

Maggie

Barista, Maintenance Manager

Favorite Agora drink right now: Mocha

Fun Fact: Maggie's dream is to live somewhere in the mountains, off the grid, with her own personal library

Been with Agora since: July, 2018

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Mary

Baker, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Vanilla Matcha with soy milk

Fun Fact: Mary has 18 tattoos, a few of which she has done herself

Been with Agora since: September, 2018


 

Megan

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Iced Hazelnut Mocha

Fun Fact: Megan has her Bachelor's degree in Music

Been with Agora since: July, 2019

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Payton

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Dirty Chai with Oat milk

Fun Fact: Payton loves to practice the flyine trapeze and aerial silks

Been with Agora since: October, 2019


 

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

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River Headshot

River

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Cold Brew

Fun Fact: River used to be an oceanfront lifeguard. He is an avid runner and swimmer and hopes to one day compete in a triathlon.

Been with Agora since: November, 2019


 

Selene

Baker, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Strangely Delicious

Fun Fact: Selene is a master juggler

Been with Agora since: April 2017

View More: http://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

 

View More: https://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

Sylvan

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Cozy Peppermint Chai with Oat milk

Fun Fact: After she graduates from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor's in Biology, Sylvan hopes to travel the skies as a flight attendant

Been with Agora since: December, 2019


 

Tyler

Barista, Inventory Manager

Favorite Agora drink right now: Iced Flirty Chai with oat milk

Fun Fact: Tyler was once chased by moose down a mountain in Colorado

Been with Agora since: March, 2019

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Headshots by KWH Photographs (Kacie), a portrait and lifestyle photographer currently based in Fredericksburg, serving the DMV Metro area region to Richmond and beyond. Also a wonderful Agora barista and Manager!

    5 star review  Stopped by there tonight with Susan B Brown during a walkabout downtown, enjoyed a tasty iced coffee and oatmeal raisin cookie. Great atmosphere, friendly engaging staff, meaningful decor and Scrabble in the backroom!

    thumb Kevin Brown
    5/23/2015

    5 star review  I don't get into town much these days and today was particularly nasty, just the kinda day for a hot cup of joe and bakery treat. It was nice to see several peeps there taking advantage of their treats and down home hospitality. I was especially taking in by the wonderful art adorning the walls. Made me warm inside despite the cold rain falling outside!

    thumb Hunter Perkinson
    12/06/2016

    5 star review  So far, this is my new favorite place... The staff is friendly,as well as knowledgeable! the atmosphere is welcoming, and they actually have comfortable seats! this is probably one of the best businesses in Downtown!

    thumb JonathanandKristi Burke
    6/18/2015

    5 star review  Great music with awesome coffee last night. Thanks.

    thumb Milagros Rodriguez-Penalo
    7/16/2017

    5 star review  Went there with my husband this morning and we both got the spicy mocha (mine- iced w milk, his- hot w coconut milk) we loved it! The service was friendly and the atmosphere was pleasant. We will definitely be back!

    thumb Jessica Gambriell
    5/25/2015

    5 star review  Not only was the hot chocolate excellent (and it comes in "children's temperature" which is for adults, too!), but the service was friendly and charming! One of the little girls with me dropped her hot chocolate on the way out the door, and not only did they help clean up but they made her another that said "No need to cry over spilt milk" on the cup!!! Adorable! Moms, bring your kids here - it's family friendly!!!

    thumb Kelley Gaske
    12/13/2016