Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to be one of the first customers at the new Ironclad Coffee Café here in Richmond, Virginia. Ironclad Coffee Roasters is owned and run by friends of mine from church, Ryan and Kelly O’Rourke, so I was among the group of friends and family invited to a soft opening of the café before they have their Grand Opening to the public this Friday. Ryan and Kelly and their team have done an amazing job with the place and I am so excited for them and their new venture! I encourage all Richmond coffee-lovers to check it out!
Ryan’s passion for coffee roasting began while he and Kelly were working as missionaries in Ireland. When they returned to Richmond a few years ago, he decided to open a roastery and begin selling his gourmet coffee beans at farmer’s markets and online, as well as wholesale to specialty food markets and local cafés and restaurants. To generate interest, Ryan would hold special tastings at the roastery and teach people about the different aromas and flavors in various beans and roasts… much akin to a wine tasting where one learns about different grapes and blends. Ryan’s passion about coffee roasting is infectious and, as a result, his business has quickly flourished. Ironclad has since secured a number of distribution agreements so one can find their coffee everywhere from small markets to large grocery stores, and it has also become the coffee supplier of choice for a number of restaurants and cafes around town!
I think Ryan was probably asked at every tasting and open house fundraising event held at the roastery when there would be an Ironclad coffeehouse… and he would usually answer, “maybe someday.” Well, “someday” came up really quickly thanks to some hard work, good fortune and opportunities falling in to place, and now they have this great place to be able to share their love of really good coffee with even more people!
If you are in the Richmond area, the café is located at 1805 East Grace Street and is open this first week, Mon-Thurs from 7am-2pm. On Friday, July 13, they’ll have their Grand Opening and begin their regular hours (7am-6pm) with a ribbon cutting at 8:30am. In addition to their own gourmet roasted coffee, the café will also serve specialty loose leaf teas, kombucha on tap, and other fine beverages and foods to complement.
(P.S. These images were shot with my new Fujifilm X-H1 mirrorless camera that I bought for travel and other personal shooting. I am still a Canon girl, but this little Fuji is a joy to shoot with!)