It’s 7:30 in the morning, and the shop is filling up with students and teachers, business leaders, and young moms heading out to drop off their still sleepy kids at daycare. The buzz of conversations mingle with the hum of the espresso machine and the laughter and chatter of the baristas as they greet familiar customers by name, and the smell of fresh coffee mixed with the sweet scent of fresh Blueberry Muffins greet everyone as they walk through the door on a typical Monday morning.
Welcome to Bridgewater Coffee
Our story is an interesting one, and we’d like to introduce you to us all.
Jenna and Charles Matthews both grew up in different states, on opposite sides of the country. Charles was born and raised in Washington DC, attended Mount Zion Academy, and played varsity football and AAU basketball. Jenna was born in American Samoa, raised in Idaho, was homeschooled and has pursued studies in psychology and counseling.
They have 2 children: Micah plays travel baseball, and Cherish is part of the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir.
Joe and Jane Foster grew up in Idaho, both studied at University of Idaho and majored in architecture and elementary education. They raised their 6 children in the little town of Grangeville, and ended up starting a drive-thru coffee shop.
Four of the youngest kids learned how to run and manage the shop under the direction of their dad and the training of a coffee roasting company in Seattle. All their children have grown and left the home, and both Joe and Jane are preparing to sell their home of 20+ years in Idaho and will decide if they’ll make Arizona or Virginia their retirement home.
Both families moved from North Carolina into Harrisonburg in 2016, and driving thru Bridgewater they noticed that there wasn’t a coffee shop. After asking around and looking into options, they chose a centralized location just off of Main Street.
Several coats of paint and lots of elbow grease occurred with friends and family, and within 5 months Bridgewater Coffee opened its doors in May of 2017.
“I love being here” Jenna says as she hands out a Salted CarMocha to a waiting customer. “Everyone has been so warm and welcoming, and it’s been so much fun serving the local people and students.”
“They’re a part of our community” a faithful customer adds. “They just walked in and filled a spot in our hearts that we didn’t even know existed. This is how we start our mornings; we come in, listen to the chatter, be encouraged by these amazing baristas and leave with a smile and a great cup of coffee. We wouldn’t have it any other way.”