New coffee shop opens in Vinton Library

VINTON–A new coffee shop has opened in the Vinton Library—the East County Café. The café is taking over the mezzanine space formerly occupied by Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Company.

The café formally opened on December 12. It is managed and operated by the Roanoke County Parks and Recreation Department, an extension of their Camp Roanoke food services operation.

Jerry Duncan, who has worked for Roanoke County in food services at Camp Roanoke for three years, is the manager of East County Café.

East County Cafe has opened on the mezzanine level of the Vinton Public Library.  Manager Jerry Duncan (cn right) is shown with employee Ruth Ann Wilbourne and customers on opening day.
East County Cafe has opened on the mezzanine level of the Vinton Public Library. Manager Jerry Duncan (on right) is shown with employee Ruth Ann Wilbourne and customers on opening day.

He says this is the first venture of its kind for Roanoke County Parks and Recreation, almost a pilot program in fact.

The menu features Greek and Chef salads, turkey and ham wraps, a sandwich combo, whole pepperoni and cheese pizzas or individual slices, sides of pasta salad, soup, chips, fresh fruit, assorted bagels, snack crackers, packets of nuts, yogurt, and more.

Duncan says their aim is “to keep it simple and keep it quality.” They noticed that teens who frequent the teen center at the library were frequently ordering pizza out to be delivered, so they decided to include pizza on their menu as well.

The café will also offer a variety of desserts including brownies, bars, muffins, cookies, slices of cake, scones, some Nancy’s candies, and sticky buns. Several flavors of smoothies and shakes will be available along with coffee, Italian sodas, and Pepsi fountain and bottled drinks.

The coffee comes from “Mattie’s mountain mud,” locally owned and operated in New Castle by Mattie Skaff Barnes, Roastmaster. Their slogan is “fresh roasted by a gal on a farm,” producing “fresh artisan-roasted specialty coffees,” which are Fair Trade certified. They have been in business for over 20 years, buying coffee beans from “sound, small farms and co-operatives.”

Bags of coffee are also available for purchase.

Most of the food is prepared on-site, except for some of the cakes which come from local bakeries.

There is also a catering menu which the East County Café will be marketing. Large catering orders will be produced in the kitchens at Camp Roanoke. The library offers catering for meetings held there, and hopes to increase educational programming emphasizing nutrition, environmental programs, and the rooftop gardens. They can also provide coffee alone and other beverages for meetings.

Hours of operation for East County Café are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Friday from 9 to 5 p.m.

 

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