About Agora Downtown

Agora Downtown Coffee Shop, owned by sisters MJ Stone and Andi Stone Chitty, is a coffee shop, used bookstore, gift shop, and a tremendous labor of love.  Located in one of the oldest buildings in Fredericksburg (built in 1787), and most recently a residence, Agora is described by customers as feeling like a friend’s house that also serves you coffee and delicious homemade treats.

 


Here’s what you’ll find:

Espresso, coffee, tea, & other drinks
Specialty liquor drinks
Baked goods and sandwiches
Free wifi
Printing Services (color and b&w)

Dog-friendly outdoor seating
Live performances
Local handmade wares by over 90 local entrepreneurs
Used books
Plenty of charging stations/outlets


As teenagers, MJ’s dream was to open a coffee shop and Andi knew she wanted a bakery.  Being so young and close in age, we of course did not get along well enough to consider having them combined into one, but we used to joke about having them next door to each other!  We grew closer in college and, at the suggestion of our mother to open a coffee shop/bakery downtown, jumped on the idea.

At the time, MJ was finishing her M.S. in Business at Elmira College in Elmira, New York, and Andi was in her last year at Virginia Tech getting her degree in Food Science and Technology.  We spent our last year in school having Skype meetings to write our business plan and visiting coffee shops in New York and Virginia to meet with their baristas and owners.  Big, grateful shout-out to Collegetown Bagels in Ithaca, NY and Soulful Cup in Corning, NY who sat down with us for hours in 2014 teaching us about running a coffee shop!

Immediately after graduation in 2014, we dove in as a family to find a place, renovate it to rezone it into a commercial space and then into a restaurant, and staff it.  As a stubborn “do-it-yourself-er” family of 7, we ended up spending almost eleven months working close to full-time on a tight budget to get the space ready.

Our first day open was May 2nd, 2015.  We didn’t have any employees until 5 months in, so while Andi and MJ put in about 120 hours a week each, our two younger sisters and our little brother often helped out behind the bar, our father worked maintenance for us, and our mother took care of the outside landscaping and came in a couple times a week to make sandwiches in the coffee shop’s kitchen for us to sell.  With everyone pitching in, it truly became a family-run restaurant.

Since then, we’ve grown a lot in both staff and offerings in the coffee shop.  We even roast our own beans, now! With all the hard work put into Agora, it has turned into something incredible that we and many others have fallen in love with.  We have wonderful baristas and customers that quickly turn into some of our best friends, delicious high quality baked goods and espresso drinks, and the unique ability to help out the community by representing artists, contributing to community events, and hosting fundraisers for local causes.  It has actually become a dream come true.

If you’re reading this because you’re interested in visiting Agora, we hope you stop by and enjoy our labor of love!

 

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Meet Our Team

Andi Headshots

Andi

Co-Owner, Baker, Barista, Coffee Roaster

Favorite Agora drink right now: Hot Americano, black

Fun Fact: Andi spends her days playing "monster" and reading and writing storybooks for her two young children, in addition to owning Agora.

Been with Agora since: The Beginning

MJ

Co-Owner, Operations Manager, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Mama Rose Latte

Fun Fact: MJ is a talented pyrographer

Been with Agora since: The Beginning

Capture
View More: https://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

Kacie

Manager, Senior Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Lavender Honey Latte

Fun Fact: Kacie is a classically trained ballet dancer, but her favorite styles to perform are contemporary and tap

Been with Agora since: May, 2017


 

Keri

Maintenance Manager, Baker, Senior Barista, Coffee Roaster

Favorite Agora drink right now: Soy Raspberry Matcha Latte

Fun Fact: Keri is currently a student at the University of Mary Washington, studying Computer Science

Been with Agora since: September, 2016

View More: http://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

 

View More: http://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

Mary

Floor Manager, Baker, Senior Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Vanilla Matcha with soy milk

Fun Fact: Mary is covered in tattoos, a few of which she has done herself

Been with Agora since: September, 2018


 

Kristy

Baker, Head Roaster

Favorite Agora drink right now: Pumpkin Cinnamon Spice Latte with soy milk

Fun Fact: Kristy is a both a Master Gardener and a Master Food Volunteer

Been with Agora since: The Beginning

View More: http://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

 

Agora Headshots

Linda

Baker

Favorite Agora drink right now: London Smog

Fun Fact: Linda's favorite thing to bake is pies

Been with Agora since: April, 2019


 

Megan

Barista, Baker

Favorite Agora drink right now: Iced Hazelnut Mocha

Fun Fact: Megan has her Bachelor's degree in Music

Been with Agora since: July, 2019

Agora Headshots

 

View More: https://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

Payton

Baker, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now:

Fun Fact:

Been with Agora since: October, 2019


 

River

Senior Barista, Baker

Favorite Agora drink right now: Iced Americano

Fun Fact: River used to be an oceanfront lifeguard. He is an avid runner and swimmer and hopes to one day compete in a triathlon

Been with Agora since: November, 2019

View More: https://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

 

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Brayden

Office Assistant

Favorite Agora drink right now: Brown Sugar Cinnamon Maple Latte

Fun Fact: Brayden is currently learning to be a blacksmith

Been with Agora since: November, 2019


 

Brandon

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Iced Honey Lavender Latte with oat milk

Fun Fact: Brandon is an artist who loves to work with watercolor and hand lettering. He's also obsessed with thrifting and plants

Been with Agora since: January, 2020

View More: https://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

 

View More: https://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

Zarah

Senior Barista, Baker

Favorite Agora drink right now: Salted Honey Bear Latte

Fun Fact: Zarah has sung at the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman

Been with Agora since: January, 2020


 

Madison

Baker

Favorite Agora drink right now: Chili Pepper Mocha

Fun Fact: 

Been with Agora since: February, 2020

View More: https://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

 

Agora Headshots

Jovi

Senior Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Iced London Fog

Fun Fact: Jovi's first tattoo was a little coffee cup that she got while in Greece

Been with Agora since: June, 2021


 

Janelle

Baker, Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Brown Sugar Maple shaken espresso with cream

Fun Fact: After college, Janelle moved to Arizona for a change of pace and ended up attending culinary school

Been with Agora since: July, 2021

View More: https://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

 

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Cora

Office Assistant

Favorite Agora drink right now: Pumpkin Cinnamon Spice Latte

Fun Fact: Cora loves any and everything to do with mermaids

Been with Agora since: July, 2021


 

Terik

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Honey Lavender Latte

Fun Fact: Terik is a Business Administration major at the University of Mary Washington

Been with Agora since: August, 2021

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Bridget

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Honey Bear Latte

Fun Fact: Bridget used to dance ballet

Been with Agora since: September, 2021


 

Jane

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now: Gingerbread Latte

Fun Fact: Jane never learned how to whistle

Been with Agora since: November, 2021

View More: https://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

 

View More: https://kwhphotographs.pass.us/agora-fam-headshots

Sumner

Bookkeeper, Coffee Roaster

Favorite Agora drink right now: Brown Sugar Cinnamon Iced Americano with a long pull

Fun Fact: Some of Sumner's hobbies include knitting and making chainmail

Been with Agora since: November, 2021


 

Emma

Barista

Favorite Agora drink right now:

Fun Fact: 

Been with Agora since: December, 2021

Agora Headshots

 

Headshots by KWH Photographs (Kacie), a portrait and lifestyle photographer currently based in Fredericksburg, serving the DMV Metro area region to Richmond and beyond. Also a wonderful Agora barista and Manager!

    Superb, I used to be a barista at a Bay Ridge Brooklyn local treasure & until AGORA I haven't tasted anything as good!!! Go get yourself some!!!

    Joe Sroke Avatar Joe Sroke
    May 2, 2015

    We visited Monday morning with Sean Ricks. Agora is doing a wonderful job. It was so refreshing to get such a perfect latte and the customer service was fantastic. If I still lived in Fredericksburg I would be there all the time. We love Ricks Roasters Coffee and the girls at Agora!

    Heather Lorraine Karopchinsky Avatar Heather Lorraine Karopchinsky
    February 24, 2016

    Agora has become my favorite local coffee shop to meet friends and business associates. MJ and the crew are awesome! Best customer service I've experienced anywhere. And the fact that they serve locally roasted Ricks Roasters Coffee Company coffee is the icing on the cake!

    Frank McKinney Avatar Frank McKinney
    October 5, 2017

    Fantastic energy soon as you step in....Andi and MJ it was wonderful meeting you both... my husband and I enjoyed lunch..and the brownie was out of sight....shout out to Ricks Roasters their coffee is the best around. Looking forward to my next visit...Ang...

    Angela R. Wilson Avatar Angela R. Wilson
    May 4, 2015

    Interiors are lovely!! The artwork shows a lot of talent, and I love the aesthetic! If you like spice, I recommend pairing the pumpkin cinnamon muffin with a chai latte. But everything is good!

    Stephen Clendenin Avatar Stephen Clendenin
    June 13, 2015

    So far, this is my new favorite place... The staff is friendly,as well as knowledgeable! the atmosphere is welcoming, and they actually have comfortable seats! this is probably one of the best businesses in Downtown!

    JonathanandKristi Burke Avatar JonathanandKristi Burke
    June 18, 2015