BARDANE — Fans of Brian Bircher and Jennifer Maghan’s Black Dog Coffee Co. now have a new way to get the fresh-roasted java they crave.
[cleeng_content id="207695882" description="Read it now!" price="0.15" t="article"]The couple, partners in business as well as after-hours, last week opened a retail location just off the Bardane exit of W.Va. 9, selling coffee by the cup as well as in bags for home brewing – plus locally made cinnamon rolls, specialty sandwiches, gifts and other goods.
“It’s been a dream of ours for so long,” said Maghan, who also serves as Jefferson County Clerk, the county’s chief officer for elections and voting. She’s been in office since her initial election in 2004.
At the new shop – space that for years was an unheated farm market – Bircher and Maghan also sell a line of hand-rolled, whole-leaf loose teas, French presses and other coffee-making gear, plus tote bags and other items crafted by local artists.
Maghan, who holds a music degree and makes frequent appearances as a singer and musician across the area, says Black Dog will soon be a venue for live entertainment as well.
The couple has all kinds of ideas for making the coffee shop a hub for those looking for great coffee, delicious food and fun outings, Maghan said.
After quietly opening on Sept. 17, Maghan and Bircher say they will continue to add more menu selections and other offerings in the weeks to come. They also plan to stage a grand opening later this fall.
Though the Black Dog shop is new, many in the Eastern Panhandle and elsewhere have been devoted to the brand since 2006 when Bircher launched the gourmet coffee roasting business from his Summit Point home.
Over the years, he added to the number of restaurants and bed and breakfasts serving his coffee.
In Jefferson County, Black Dog is served up or sold by the bag at O’Hurley’s General Store and the German Street Coffee and Candlery in Shepherdstown and at Jumpin’ Java and Dish Bistro in downtown Charles Town.
It’s also sold at Petrucci’s Country Store, Rock Hill Creamery and other locations in Berkeley County; at Market Salamandar in historic Middleburg, Va., and many other upscale spots in Virginia; and – perhaps most uniquely – brewed into Wild Dog Coffee Stout by the Frederick, Md.-based Flying Dog Brewery.
Birch also sells Black Dog by the bag at farmers markets, and many coffee lovers place orders online and take advantage of Bircher’s free delivery service throughout Jefferson County.
Bircher says his coffee is sought out because of the time he spends to track down the best coffees grown anywhere. He also roasts the green coffee beans himself and ships his coffee out fast in special packaging that ensures it stays fresh.
“Making coffee this way, the difference in flavor is just phenomenal,” Bircher said.
Long before making coffee became Bircher’s business, it was a big part of his life. He recalls sipping coffee as a young boy – and feeling eager for more. During his years as a project manager in the building trades, he would stop each morning to pick up coffee for himself and crew.
His current career path can be traced to the friend who gave him a roaster as a Christmas gift. Soon the Pennsylvania native was hooked on roasting beans at home.
In 2006, as his coffee continued to win praise from friends and as he saw the housing boom begin to die out, Bircher decided to transform his love of coffee into his fulltime job.
Now with the opening of their own shop, Bircher and Maghan are putting on center stage not only their coffee but also other outstanding local businesses, including Aunt Irene’s Treats –N- Sweets, owned by Charles Town resident Michelle Foust. Her oversized, cream cheese-laden cinnamon rolls have been selling out at Black Dog, and the Black Dog Facebook page already is fielding requests for Aunt Irene’s autumn staple, the pumpkin roll.
Alongside Aunt Irene’s cinnamon rolls in the Black Dog takeout cooler: colorful, inviting lunch and dinner offerings from downtown Charles Town’s So Angelina! eatery, including Angela Jones’ salads, sandwiches (egg salad, chicken salad, pimento cheese and more), lasagna and other Italian specialties, bread pudding and other items.
“There are so many outstanding businesses in our area,” Maghan said. “It’s wonderful to be able to share these things we love with our Black Dog customers.”
Maghan is working with other local vendors to bring Thai spring rolls, salsa, guacamole plus gluten-free fare and other goods to the Black Dog lineup. The feedback on the Black Dog offerings and other products has been overwhelming, Bircher and Maghan say.
“Just in the short time we’ve been open, we’ve had so many people take time to tell us how happy they are that we’re here,” Maghan said. “It’s so cool to see that other people are as excited about this as we are!”[/cleeng_content]