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 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

 

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 is currently working towards becoming a Registered Nurse, in addition to owning Agora

Been with Agora since: The Beginning

 

 

 


Capture

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

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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

Kacie

Assistant Manager, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: London Fog with Rosewater

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

Been with Agora since: May, 2017

 

 


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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

 

 

 


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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

 

 

 

 

 


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

John

Baker, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Raspberry Coconut Italian Soda

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

Been with Agora since: March, 2018

 

 



Kaley

Baker, Barista

Favorite Agora Drink right now: Honeysuckle Matcha Latte with Almond milk

Fun Fact: Snowboarding is her jam

Been with Agora since: May, 2018

 

 

 


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

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

 

 

 

 


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

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

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

 

 

 

Headshots by KWH Photographs


      These ladies have so much talent and expertise. This is going to be absolutely wonderful!

    thumb Jenny Bailey
    6/27/2014

      Love this coffee shop! Not once I have came in and had a bad cup of coffee! Plus a major perk is how knowledgable the two young ladies behind the desk are about coffee! They are a major asset to the community and if you haven't been in to the shop then you're missing out!

    thumb Jericho Matthews
    8/03/2015

      Awesome place! Owner is super friendly and nice. Amazing lemonade not too sweet or sour. Coffee is delicious and I'm not a big hot coffee person.

    thumb Eric Jobes
    8/23/2015

      Superb, I used to be a barista at a Bay Ridge Brooklyn local treasure & until AGORA I haven't tasted anything as good!!! Go get yourself some!!!

    thumb Joe Sroke
    5/02/2015

      Agora is becoming one of my favorite places to hang out or study downtown. I love the homey feel and the coffee is amazing. All of the baked goods I've tried so far have been quite tasty. I think this shop fits in so well with downtown Fredericksburg. The owners are friendly and have a knack for creating a warm, hospitable space. I love how it feels like I am having coffee at a friend's house! Great addition to the community.

    thumb Brianne Croushorn
    11/03/2015

      Great people, great food, great atmosphere. Absolutely amazing!!!

    thumb Chitty J W Chris
    6/06/2015