RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A local business reversed its cancellation plans in response to an outpouring of community support.
Last week, the Richmond small business Alchemy Coffee announced an impending closure after plans to convert to an employee cooperative business fell through. Owner Eric Spivack made the announcement on social media.
“It’s a vulnerable moment to make an announcement like that,” Spivack said.
However, shortly after publicizing the unfortunate news, Spivack’s post took flight. A rush of community support caught the owner off guard.
“People have shared their stories as far as what their experience has been with us,” Spivack said. “You forget how many people have come through this space. How many people you’ve employed, where they are today in the world, how we’ve touched them and the other connections that we’ve made. So it was really touching to see that.”
One regular customer told 8News how she and her friend visit the shop every week to paint and enjoy a warm drink together. She also shared how she cried after hearing last week’s initial announcement regarding the business’s anticipated closure.
“They’re very kind towards us and understanding towards us,” she said.
One potential buyer — and current owner of Brambly Park, an Italian Restaurant in Scott’s Addition — Bobby Kruger, told 8News he values maintaining the beloved coffee shop’s brand. Kruger said he has always loved this type of work and dreamed of being involved in the restaurant industry since he was young. Kruger noted a consistency he admired in the shop’s business model and Spivack’s hopes for the future of the business.
“I want to just keep doing what they’ve been doing as much as possible,” Kruger said. “I’m not looking to change up anything they’ve done with the operation.”
Kruger also expressed an emphasis on the value of employees within a business. A key consideration in determining the future of Alchemy Coffee rested in a desire to protect the employment of current employees.
“For me, the most important thing was that they have loyal staff,” Kruger said.
For now, the business will continue to operate as usual, but there are still moving pieces that need to be put into place before any decisions are finalized.