The Triangle is one of the country's hot beds for coffee roasting, and Cultivate Coffee owners Ben and Alexandra Somerville hope they've found a niche in Fuquay-Varina.
Ben Somerville, unhappy with the commercial coffee he was buying for his daily brew, started a home roasting hobby a few years ago. It's now grown to around 100 subscribers and a new cafe and roastery opening in downtown Fuquay-Varina next month.
"I got a home roasting unit four or five years ago, and it was so much better than anything I was buying," Ben Somerville said.
The couple has been working on building a cafe for the past year. Until last week, Ben worked at The Summit Church in Apex as Associate Campus Pastor of Operations, Missions and Local Outreach. He has left his position to get into coffee full-time.
Cultivate will open its cafe in an old ambulance hub on Fuquay Avenue, using the large garage bay doors as giant windows that can be rolled up. The cafe will share the space with Bestow Baked Goods, who will provide the pastries and breads.
The Triangle is a coffee drinker's paradise, with national standard bearers like Counter Culture, local stalwarts like Carrboro Coffee and Joe Van Gogh and more recent start ups like Black and White in Wake Forest and Full Bloom in Garner.
But Somerville said Fuquay-Varina continued to be left out. He and his wife started selling coffee subscriptions and at farmers markets.
With more families moving to the southwest part of Wake County, he said he wants Cultivate to be the kind of community meeting place the town could use as it transitions from small town to suburban.
"There are some very good roasters in the area," Somerville said. But none were in that fast-growing part of Wake County
"We looked at Fuquay and it's going to change a lot," he said. "With the suburban sprawl of Cary, the type of people who can afford and love great coffee are pouring into Fuquay every day. It's an open market. I know we have Counter Culture and legit big roasters, but we've got our little slice down here we're going to focus on."
The closest local roaster is Five Star in Holly Springs, which sells exclusively Honduran coffees.
Cultivate's cafe will offer a full coffee program, with an espresso bar and proprietary cold brew. Somerville said the space will be open for community events, from English as a second language classes to concerts.
"We're trying to build a space that's a force for good," Somerville said.
Cultivate looks to open its cafe at 128 S. Fuquay Ave., in mid-May. Its coffee subscription service is currently live. For details, go to cultivate.coffee.