Last call: Flying Crow Coffee Co. to close downtown café | New

SPRINGFIELD, Vermont – Local coffee roaster Flying Crow Coffee Co. will close its downtown café at the end of the month due to a combination of financial burdens, the owners said.

As the young company will continue to roast, deliver and ship its popular coffee, the owners of Flying Crow Coffee Co., Ben and Samantha Hills, said it was “with a heavy heart and a lot of disappointment” that they would close. their downtown cafe, located at 3 Main Street

“Maybe one day we can reopen our doors and start over, but for now the financial burden has grown too heavy and our resources are depleted,” the couple wrote on their company’s Facebook page. “We need to focus on roasting, for now anyway.”

Samantha Hills, in correspondence with the Eagle Times, attributed the difficulties to a combination of impacts, including declining coffee shop sales amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic and an unforeseen change in family circumstances.

Both originally from New England, the Hills moved to Springfield in 2017 and opened the Flying Crow Coffee Co. in the spring of 2019. The cafe’s opening seemed perfectly in sync with the surrounding economic activity downtown, who over the past two years has seen the Springfield Food Coop relocate to 6 Main Street; the opening of new apartments and storefronts through the Woolson Block project; and the completion of Comtu Cascade Park, a riverside gathering space overlooking the Black River.

The Hills initially hoped to buy the house they continued to rent, but that plan fell through in 2019, Samantha Hills told the Eagle Times. In the fall of 2020, the Hills instead purchased a piece of land for a five-year plan to build a house. The couple began construction in June.

Days later, the Hills owner sent the couple an eviction without cause, indicating that the owner intended to sell the rental home. The Hills have tried to find another house to rent and are still on a waiting list for apartments, but currently have no alternative.

According to Samantha Hills, when the couple informed the landlord about their lack of a current housing option, the landlord responded by increasing the rent by an additional $ 650 per month.

The Hills have three young children, so ensuring a place to live has taken precedence, Samantha Hills said.

The company has also been hit hard by the pandemic, according to Samantha Hills.

According to an August 2019 article from the Eagle Times, the Flying Crow Coffee Co. business appears to be thriving in its first year of operation. Just six months after the Flying Crow Coffee Co. opened, the number of employees had grown from one to four and saw sales increase by around 15 to 20 percent each month.

But the 2020 pandemic brought coffee to a halt, Samantha Hills said. The cafe was closed during the Vermont shutdown and after reopening, business has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. The Hills kept the business open primarily to allow employees to earn a salary and to provide a safe place for community socialization, although the Hills themselves did not collect a paycheck.

“If it was just COVID, just an eviction, just the Flying Crow or [just] staff [matters], I think we could have taken it longer, ”said Samantha Hills. ” But all [that] piled up was just too much.

Samantha Hills said the couple will continue to roast coffee at their downtown studio, located below the cafe, and hopefully move the roasting operation to their residential property once the house is complete.

In the meantime, consumers claiming a cup of freshly brewed Flying Crow coffee or espresso will need to visit one of the company’s customer establishments, such as the Southern Pie Cafe in Chester or the Moon Dog Cafe in Chester. Bellows Falls.

To learn more about Flying Crow Coffee Co., its coffees and how to buy them, visit flyingcrowcoffee.com.

The cafe will remain open until Halloween on Sunday October 31.

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