Caravan Coffee brings new shop to downtown Mount Holly

by Alan Hodge

Store manager Irene Pharr serves regular customer Paul Nye at Caravan Coffee and Dessert Bar’s Mount Holly location. (Alan Hodge/MIM photo)

MOUNT HOLLY – When Belmont’s Caravan Coffee and Dessert Bar owner Vince Hill opened his newest location in Mount Holly, competing with other nearby coffee joints might have seemed like a formidable task. But Hill didn’t let the competition stop him.

“Mount Holly will be the next big thing in Gaston County,” said Hill, who began opening the location at 117 N. Main St. at the end of last year. “People will be needing more places to dine and be entertained in Mount Holly and that’s why I decided to open my second store there.”

Hill said he believes his coffee bar targets a different crowd of customers than his competitors.

“I think we cater more to a slightly older crowd,” Hill said. “Our demographic is college students and people in the 35-years and up age range.”

To help bring in customers looking for a place to hold a business meeting, Hill added a large conference table to the coffee bar’s North African-style décor. Shop manager Irene Pharr said the shop also attracts commuters who pass through the downtown area on the way to their jobs in Charlotte.

“They stop in and get something to drink and snack on before they head to work,” Pharr said.

Regular customer Paul Nye, of Mount Holly, said the shop is a welcome addition to the city.

“I come in every day to get a latte for my wife,” Nye said. “I think this is the best coffee shop in town.”

Food and drink menu options mirror those found at Caravan Coffee and Dessert Bar’s Belmont location. In addition to a variety of coffee-based items, customers also can try teas such as Bombay Chai and African Nectar. Cake and other confections are brought over daily from Brenda’s Cake Gallery, a Belmont bakery owned by Hill’s wife, Brenda.

During lunchtime, the shop’s customers may sample sandwiches and other dishes made next door at Backwoods Fancy Vittles. The shop also enlivens the downtown area’s nightlife.

“On Friday evening from 7 to 9 o’clock we have open mic night,” Pharr said. “People do everything from play the ukulele to sing. You can just walk in and sign up.”

So far, business in Mount Holly has been good for Caravan Coffee, Hill said, and he is glad he made the decision to open a second location.

“I’m a betting man,” he said. “And I’m betting on a bright future for the shop and Mount Holly as well.”

Want to go?

The Caravan Coffee and Dessert Bar’s Mount Holly location is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. The Belmont location, at 7 S. Main St., is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Thursday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, go online to www.caravancoffeebar.com.

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