Popular roasters open their first coffee bar
One of Henderson County’s most beloved coffee roasters finally has its own home base. Since they began roasting in 2016, Sharewell Coffee has developed a cult following through their unconventional birth and growth as a business. From borrowing roasting space in venues like Wine Sage & Gourmet, the late Mi Amore Italian restaurant, and Appalachian Ridge Cidery, owners Zack and Candice Pritz have finally landed on a brick-and-mortar location for their much-loved java, right in the heart of Flat Rock. Bold Life caught up with Zach to talk about Sharewell’s new espresso bar.
So tell us a bit about the new space …
We had built this loyal customer base through our wholesale [business], but a lot of our customers had never been to our roastery. We really wanted to create a space that felt like a roastery because, while we do want the espresso bar and the pour-overs and that sort of vibe for the customers, we also want them to feel the connection to the roaster, and not just the roaster, but the farms as well. We just want to heighten the coffee experience at every level, and I think the best way we can do that is to try to keep the roastery as the focal point for the whole coffee experience.
How did you all start roasting, anyway?
I grew up in Florida, and that’s really where the coffee journey began. My brother opened up a coffee shop when I was about 17, and I worked there as a barista until 2013. … I moved to Ann Arbor [Michigan], where I worked as a barista for RoosRoast Coffee … John Roos is kind of a legend [there]. … After some time I was offered the position of head roaster. Even working as a barista was when the spark came, and I felt like [Candice and I] would open our own roastery one day. Working under John, I was able to learn all of the ins and outs of the business … I roasted there for a couple years, ran all of the production, and then in 2016 we decided to move to Hendersonville, where Candice is from.
Why move from roasting and wholesale to retail?
We knew from the beginning that we wanted to be a roaster first. We didn’t want to open up a coffee shop or retail store first; we wanted to be primarily a roaster. When we moved down here in 2013, we brought a roaster that would roast three-and-a-half pounds at a time, and we started roasting in her parents’ garage. We always knew we were eventually going to have a retail side, but it was just going to be a matter of working with the community and figuring out when the right time would be to do it.
And that time is now?
We’ve grown a lot, and this is a really opportune moment to move to the next phase: a new roastery with an espresso bar and a focus on pour over, Chemex, and manual brew. We’re calling it a slow bar and espresso bar.
Sharewell Coffee Bar & Roastery, 2698-C Greenville Hwy., open Wednesday through Saturday, 8am-12pm, 828-595-2085, sharewellcoffee.com