May 4, 2023 - Food and Drink

Congregation Coffee closes roastery after 8 years

The front window of Congregation Coffee is viewed on a sunny day. The shop's sign, which says Congregation Coffee Roasters: Breakfast and Lunch" and pictures three alligators, hangs in the window.

Congregation Coffee has been an Algiers Point destination since it opened. Photo: Chelsea Brasted/ Axios

After eight years, Congregation Coffee has closed its roastery, and its Algiers Point cafe may soon follow.

Why it matters: The coffee shop is a neighborhood favorite for locals and visitors alike, and thanks to a healthy local distribution, its beans fueled morning wake-ups and afternoon pick-me-ups to restaurants and hotels across the city.

  • Local grocers, including Whole Foods, also carried Congregation's beans.

Driving the news: Congregation Coffee owner Eliot Guthrie tells Axios that new ownership for the brand may be in its future.

  • The roastery has already closed up shop, and the cafe is likely to close temporarily or limit hours as negotiations for that acquisition continue.

Between the lines: Guthrie made the decision to close about six weeks ago, he says, spurred on by a simple desire to try something new.

  • “I have for some time been wanting to move on. … That’s something a lot of people found the courage or ability to do during COVID, and the messaging to us business owners is you have to keep hustling,” he says. “As I started thinking about it, I am allowed to quit.”
  • Guthrie isn’t sure what’s next for him, but he’s looking forward to spending time with his family while he mulls over options.

What’s next: Talks continue with the potential new owners, who Guthrie described as a group of local entrepreneurs who love the Congregation Coffee brand.

  • “I’m proud of the brand we built. My staff was amazing. We were doing really good work. We work with amazing restaurants,” he says. “Hopefully, I can find someone who wants to preserve some of that, and I get to enjoy some of that from the other side of the counter too.”
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