This coffee shop is opening an expanded roastery to keep up with demand

The new location will open up in early summer. (Southside Daily/courtesy of Three Ships Coffee Facebook)
The new location will open up in early summer. (Southside Daily/courtesy of Three Ships Coffee Facebook)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Three Ships Coffee is a locally-owned coffee shop that sits in the ViBe District, catering to the growing coffee tourism culture in Hampton Roads.

Brad Ewing, co-owner of Three Ships, said the business has been in the ViBe District for three years but got its start nearly 6 years ago at the Old Beach Farmers Market.

Both he and his wife, Amy Ewing, co-own the business.

“The move to a larger location was more out of necessity,” he said.

The demand at the store was growing and they wanted to have more room to roast their coffee in house, Ewing said.

The new location at Hilltop will open primarily as a roastery for their coffee beans, he said.

Ewing describes the location as a large warehouse with space for a small cafe that would open in the early fall.

“We want to showcase our roasting facilities and we weren’t able to do that at the current location,” he said.

Customers who visit the cafe once it opens will get to drink their coffee while watching the roasting happen right in front of them.

The coffee tourism business is huge in the area, Ewing said, and they wanted to cater to that specialty roasting that tourists like to find at local coffee shops.

Three Ships Coffee gets their coffee beans from all over the world with their winter roasts coming from primarily South America and Central Africa and the summer roasts coming from Central America, Ethiopia and Kenya.

In addition to showcasing their attention to detail and expanded roasting facilities, Three Ships Coffee is taking a bit of the ViBe District culture with them to the new location.

“We’re embracing the culture that we’ve experienced at the Farmers Market and the Alley,” he said.

They will be renting out two spaces to local entrepreneurs to give them a chance to grow their businesses.

Ross Riddle, a local chef and owner of the food truck Hashi Chow, will open up a commercial kitchen in one space and Cat Peterson will open up a pottery studio for her business, Fly Dog Ceramics.

“We’re strong believers that coffee builds community,” Ewing said.

The business is excited to be in a new part of town and help grow small businesses there.

The Three Ships Coffee roasting facility will open in early summer and their cafe will open early fall.

Keep an eye out for updates by following their Facebook page.

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