King of Clubs cof­fee eyes York ex­pan­sion

County of­fered a $20K grant for a three-year lease

Daily Press (Sunday) - - Local News - By Tara Boz­ick Staff writer Tara Boz­ick, 757-247-4741, tboz­ick@dai­ly­press.com. Sign up for a free week­day busi­ness news email at TidewaterBiz.com or fol­low @TidewaterBiz.

A startup cof­fee com­pany is look­ing to ex­pand in a ware­house fa­cil­ity in up­per York County, the owner said.

“I think there’s an op­por­tu­nity for cold brew and nitro cof­fee in the area,” owner Lance Zaal said, adding the busi­ness has gar­nered a solid lo­cal fol­low­ing.

Ear­lier in Oc­to­ber, King of Clubs Cof­fee was awarded a $20,000 eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment grant from the York Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Author­ity to help re­im­burse equip­ment costs on the con­di­tion the busi­ness signs a three-year lease in the county, York Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Di­rec­tor Jim Noel said.

The pro­jected tax rev­enue is es­ti­mated to ex­ceed the grant amount within two years, Noel said. As the busi­ness ex­pands, the EDA’s goal is to see it grow in York County, he added.

“This is a very pop­u­lar type of busi­ness now. It’s a tourist at­trac­tion,” Noel said. “Peo­ple are look­ing for lo­cal, cus­tom­ized cof­fee blends.”

York’s EDA also awarded a $20,000 grant to Mob­jack Bay Cof­fee Roast­ers this past sum­mer to help with up­grades in the his­toric Cole Digges House at 411 Main St., ac­cord­ing to EDA min­utes.

King of Clubs roasts and sup­plies cof­fee beans, pack­ages beans in sin­gle-serve pods, makes cold brew cof­fee in bot­tles and kegs and makes nitro cof­fee avail­able in kegs, Zaal said. Nitro cof­fee is a cold brew in­fused with ni­tro­gen gas that makes for a drink that’s sweeter and smoother, Zaal said. Cold-brewed cof­fee is also less acidic.

The com­pany is still look­ing for a ware­house fa­cil­ity with the goal of hav­ing a store­front and small cafe area in the front lobby, Zaal said. Vis­i­tors can tour the cof­fee-roast­ing pro­duc­tion space much like peo­ple tour craft brew­eries, and Zaal said he also plans to of­fer classes.

“It will be a fun place for peo­ple to come and not just get some cof­fee, but also learn a lot about it,” the 34-year-old said.

The busi­ness keeps a space at the Ig­ni­tion busi­ness in­cu­ba­tor at 1006 Rich­mond Road in Wil­liams­burg. King of Clubs sells to con­sumers from its own web­site and has cof­fee beans and sin­gle-serve pods for sale at the new Earth Fare gro­cery store in Mid­town Row at 208 Mon­ti­cello Ave. Other stores and restau­rants in the Wil­liams­burg area also carry its prod­ucts. The fam­ily-owned Revo­lu­tion Golf and Grille at 1430 High St. in Wil­liams­burg started sell­ing the com­pany’s nitro brew on tap a few weeks ago, general man­ager Jacquelyn Liebler said. The busi­ness, which opened in June 2017, wanted to switch up its va­ri­ety and likes sup­port­ing other lo­cal busi- nesses, in­clud­ing lo­cal craft beer brew­ers.

“It’s one of those unique twists to cof­fee,” Liebler said.

Aro­mas in New­port News City Cen­ter at Oys­ter Point started sell­ing the nitro brew on its nitro line about six weeks ago, and it’s been well-re­ceived, said founder Don Pratt. The cof­fee can also be fla­vored like other cof­fees.

“It’s very trendy right now,” said Pratt, whose busi­ness also roasts its own cof­fees. “It’s an­other in­ter­est­ing, cre­ative ap­proach to cof­fee. I like it for that rea­son. In any kind of in­dus­try, there’s got to be some kind of in­no­va­tion to keep the ex­cite­ment go­ing.”

King of Clubs cur­rently roasts Colom­bian and Gu­atemalan fair trade-cer­ti­fied cof­fee beans and re­cently added de­caf and espresso beans, Zaal said. The busi­ness plans to sell sin­gle-serve pods com­pat­i­ble with Ne­spresso Orig­i­nal Line ma­chines, in ad­di­tion to kom­bucha, a fer­mented tea.

King of Clubs is lin­ing up fi­nanc­ing for its fa­cil­ity and is rais­ing cap­i­tal, Zaal said. Once the busi­ness gets into a home base, it will be eas­ier to ex­pand, he said.

You can find more about King of Clubs at kocbrew­ing.com.

COURTESY OF KING OF CLUBS

King of Clubs roasts and sup­plies cof­fee beans, pack­ages beans in sin­gle-serve pods, makes cold brew cof­fee in bot­tles and kegs and makes nitro cof­fee avail­able in kegs, the owner said.

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