Did you know that Manchester/Richmond was once the largest importer of coffee in the world? Before the Civil War, coffee was imported from Brazil in great quantities at the Manchester docks and Rocketts Landing. Ships would offload Brazilian coffee in exchange for flour milled at the enormous Haxall and Gallego Mills in Richmond, and the Dunlop Mill in Manchester. But as Richmond’s mills were destroyed during the evacuation fire at the end of the Civil War, and the Manchester’s Dunlop Mills burned in 1949, there was no more flour to export. The area’s coffee import business from Brazil languished as a result.
One Manchester company that was part of the area’s once thriving 19th/20th Century coffee trade was Aragon Coffee Co. The company was known for its coffee roasting of Mocha and Java “Good Luck” coffee and its “Jarvina” Coffee and Chicory. Incorporated in 1914, Aragon sold their coffees in 5, 10, and 20 cent packages. In fact, you can still see the Aragon name that has been repainted on the side of its former location at 7th and Perry Street in industrial Manchester.
Aragon Coffee to Relaunch at Siegel’s Development
Aragon Coffee will relaunch as part of the Siegel’s development where it will join Climax Beverage, Pin Money Pickles, and Valentine’s Meat Market. The new Aragon Coffee Co. will be true to historical form by reintroducing its old “Good Luck” and “Jarvina” coffees which will be roasted on site.
Aragon will offer an on-site cafe with outdoor patio seating where it will serve hot, fried to order beignets and churros. The idea for the churros comes from the Iberian/Latin name Aragon. And beignets are a perfect complement to coffee and chicory (just ask the French or take a trip to New Orleans). The cafe will serve sandwich and breakfast items along with craft beer, wine, and kombuchas to complement its coffee program. The hope is that Aragon becomes a neighborhood gathering space for the Swansboro neighborhood located just west of Manchester. You can follow updates from Aragon Coffee Co’s Facebook Page or Instagram account.