Interview

The Shop is a New Kind of Brew

Fox Point's newest coffee shop celebrates the entire supply chain, from growers to baristas.

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Diana and John Paul Murton met in NYC while working together in the West Village. It was during this time that they became passionate about where food came from and the dirt in which it grew. Diane, originally from Warwick, and John Paul, from Pittsburgh, PA, decided to make the haul to Li’l Rhody, where they recently opened The Shop in Fox Point.

I have to ask, why open a coffee shop on a street already known for great coffee shops?
Diana: We recognized that we had been spoiled with some great shops in NYC that had the whole package: coffee, food, community. And we knew we had the skills to bring that to PVD. And PVD really doesn’t have that many coffee shops, especially third wave coffee shops. 

Say what now? What is a third wave coffee shop?
John Paul:
So, a first wave coffee shop is like a gas station or diner. It’s uniform and consistently the same, but not necessarily good. A second wave coffee shop would be something like Starbucks – that is the pinnacle. There’s a focus on the recognition of where coffee is grown and where it comes from – but not all it’s nuances. A third wave coffee shop knows the entire supply chain in the entire process from the growers, importers, supply chain, coffee roasters to baristas. The idea is that everyone is paying attention to the variables and there is a recognition of the impact back down the supply chain. Other third wave coffee shops in PVD include Bolt in the Dean Hotel, New Harvest coffee in the Arcade and Dave’s Coffee on South Water Street.

You seem very committed to having the best small batch purveyors in your shop. How did you go about choosing Stumptown Coffee Roasters for your coffee?
John Paul:
Consistency of quality throughout the course of the year and flavor profile. They are also great people to work for.

And the pastries and bread?
Diana:
We use Humble Pie Company (HPC), Foremost Baking Company (FBC) and Illuminated Oven (IO). With HPC and IO, it’s really the people. We are very similar in our approaches to the ingredients we use. John Paul: They are philosophically likeminded. IO is known for executing difficult items that are vegan and gluten-free. And FBC was a no-brainer. They are so committed to bread.

Is there anything exciting that we can look forward to this spring?
John Paul:
We’re going to be putting an iced tea and honey drink on the menu. It’s a blend of our loose leaf fermented Chinese black tea, loose leaf lavender mint tea and organic honey that is turned into a syrup.

What’s your philosophy when it comes to where you source from?
John Paul:
If we don’t do local, we’ll do something organic or sustainable. We truly do the best we can with each ingredient.

The Shop
460 Wickenden Street
684-1140