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.

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.  Big, grateful shout-out to Collegetown Bagels in Ithaca, NY and Soulful Cup in Corning, NY who sat down with us for hours in 2014 teaching us about running a coffee shop!

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.  We even roast our own beans, now! 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

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

Andi

Co-Owner, Baker, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Hot Americano, black

Fun Fact: Andi spends her days playing "monster" and reading storybooks with her two young children, 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
View More: https://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

Kacie

Manager, Senior Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Lavender Honey Latte

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


 

John

Kitchen Manager, Baker, Senior Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Cuban Coffee

Fun Fact: John will drop anything he is doing to talk to you about Star Wars

Been with Agora since: March, 2018

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

Tyler

Inventory Manager, Senior Barista

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

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

Been with Agora since: March, 2019


 

Keri

Maintenance Manager, Baker, Senior 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

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

Mary

Baker, Senior Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Vanilla Matcha with soy milk

Fun Fact: Mary is covered in tattoos, a few of which she has done herself

Been with Agora since: September, 2018


 

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

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

 

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

Linda

Baker

Favorite Agora drink right now: Sparkling Lavender Lemonade

Fun Fact: Linda hopes to one day soon open her own bakery

Been with Agora since: April, 2019


 

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

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


 

Payton

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Half-Sweet Hazelnut Flat White with soy and oat milk

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

Been with Agora since: October, 2019

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

River

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Iced Americano

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


 

Brayden

Office Assistant

Favorite Agora drink right now: Brown Sugar Cinnamon Maple Latte

Fun Fact: Brayden is currently learning to be a blacksmith

Been with Agora since: November, 2019

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

Brandon

Social Media & Decorations Coordinator, 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


 

Zarah

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Salted Honey Bear Latte

Fun Fact: Zarah has sung at the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman

Been with Agora since: January, 2020

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

Madison D.

Baker

Favorite Agora drink right now: Chili Pepper Mocha

Fun Fact: 

Been with Agora since: February, 2020


 

Ellie

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Sparkling Lavender Lemonade

Fun Fact: Ellie is studying to become a Special Education teacher at the University of Mary Washington, and is fluent in Spanish

Been with Agora since: September, 2020

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

 

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

Julia

Baker/Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Breve Cortado

Fun Fact: Julia is currently writing a fantasy novel

Been with Agora since: April, 2021


 

Allie

Barista

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

Fun Fact: Allie loves cheese. Her favorite food is cheese. She endeavors to try every kind of cheese there is.

Been with Agora since: May, 2021

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

 

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

Jovi

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Iced Lavender Sage Honey Chai with oat milk

Fun Fact: Jovi's first tattoo was a little coffee cup that she got while in Greece

Been with Agora since: June, 2021


 

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  My favorite is the blueberry muffin... I could eat it everyday!!

    Jennifer Brown Avatar Jennifer Brown
    October 11, 2016

    5 star review  So cozy and warm to visit. The company is great and the ladies behind the counter are very eager to learn about you and make you feel a part of their lives! They are the best and they create the best in food and drink!

    John Symonds Avatar John Symonds
    May 4, 2015

    5 star review  I have been on a mission to find really good black coffee as I have changed my lifestyle to be healthier. This coffee is a 5 star for me. I may make this my daily spot. Hopefully they will start a frequent buyers card. Lol. 😝😋😍

    Tiara Smartt Avatar Tiara Smartt
    September 16, 2017

    5 star review  The ambience is homely and I love the opportunity to browse those books on sale, nice place to spend time with coffee

    Shashidhar Sastry Avatar Shashidhar Sastry
    October 12, 2017

    5 star review  I've heard so much about Agora, I had to try it out. It's fantastic! Coffee is wonderful, (I had the coffee with rum!) The blueberry muffin was tasty n the service was awesome! Thank you ladies! ☕️

    Darlene Jerman Rose Avatar Darlene Jerman Rose
    February 6, 2017

    5 star review  Great small business with delicious drinks with fresh ingredients, including liquor, and goods baked in the kitchen. You can sit in the shop, in the kitchen, the library-like back room with games and books, or the quiet outdoor space with occasional live music.

    Ed Ward Avatar Ed Ward
    June 17, 2017