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

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

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


 

Richard

Assistant Manager, 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

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

 

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

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


 

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

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

 

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

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


 

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

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

 

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


 

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

Maggie

Barista

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


 

Mary

Baker, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Vanilla Matcha Mocha with soy milk

Fun Fact: Mary has 16 tattoos, a few of which she has done herself

Been with Agora since: September, 2018

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

 

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


 

Tyler

Barista

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

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

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  Agora is an awesome fixture of the Fredericksburg community. With the number of community centered events hosted, collaboration with other local small businesses, focus on supporting local authors, artists, and artisans, and genuinely friendly staff Agora feels inseparable from the local community. Great service, great atmosphere, and the best chai lattes in town.

    thumb Brad Smith
    11/24/2016

    5 star review  My favorite! The best coffee shop in town! Hands down!

    thumb Amy Itsoilgood Jones
    8/22/2015

    5 star review  Visited for the first time yesterday after seeing the shop on Yelp. I was not disappointed. Excellent coffee, very friendly and pleasant staff to boot. I loved the selection of local authors, local made products and used books. This place will be my favorite coffeeshop now!

    thumb Lisa Hager-Wilcox
    4/10/2017

    5 star review  I love Agora! The staff is wonderful, and the physical premises has a home-y, comfortable feeling that makes it such a treat for me just stay and enjoy my coffee and delicious sweet treat. I love the nice little nooks they have arranged so that you can meet with friends and feel you have some privacy to enjoy each other's company. And as was said earlier they really do have the best coffee in town. It is the only coffee shop in Fredericksburg I ever go to anymore.

    thumb Peggy Findlay Wickham
    10/13/2017

    5 star review  Great food, great owners, there's no question that this is a quality establishment.

    thumb David Moore
    12/03/2014

    5 star review  A success waiting to happen! Congratulations!

    thumb Katheryn Cramer
    6/25/2014