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Filling the tea: Lost Dog Coffee sells bulk tea, coffee to community

By Staff | May 1, 2020

Lost Dog Coffee's single-origin coffee is sourced from Los Pirineos Coffee Farm in El Salvador. Courtesy photo

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Making ends meet has been a challenge for Shepherdstown’s businesses, during the COVID-19 pandemic. While their full or partial closures were necessary to control the spread of the virus, not being able to function normally has significantly impacted their financial health.

One of the first businesses to close in town was Lost Dog Coffee, on March 12, having elected to do so a week before the state began closing or limiting the operations of local businesses.

“I have been extremely concerned about the development of this pandemic. We started responding aggressively several weeks ago,” said Lost Dog Coffee owner Garth Emmery Janssen in his closure announcement. “I had drafted our ‘gameplan’ six weeks ago. I made a pact with myself on what I would enact and when. I have spent so many hours preparing. I have spent so many hours crying for the way this has to roll. This is the single most difficult decision I have had to make in my entire 60 years on this planet.”

According to Janssen, the coffee shop is celebrating its 24th anniversary this year and was hoping to celebrate that achievement, before the pandemic and subsequent closure made that impossible. Lost Dog Coffee closed 17 days before its operational anniversary.

Over the month following the shop’s closure, Janssen said he became concerned about the shop being able to continue paying rent for its space, which is currently undergoing renovations by its new landlord. And so, on April 11, Janssen announced the shop would begin selling its bulk coffee and tea to help pay for the shop’s rent, while it remains closed to the public.

“We have excellent coffees from around the world. Still the best tea collection around!” Janssen announced, mentioning the store’s single-origin coffee is sourced from Los Pirineos Coffee Farm in El Salvador, and its organic tea is from Rishi Tea & Botanicals.

“We have started local coffee bean and tea leaf delivery to at least try to pay the rent on Lost Dog’s storefront. This is starting to show some promise and does give us a sense of potential sustainability and community support,” Janssen said. “The only real support we get these days is the overwhelming and continued love we are blanketed with, from the folks we serve and care for deeply. For this we are eternally grateful.”

Lost Dog Coffee’s tea and coffee can be shipped to customers or delivered for free to the homes of customers within a 10-mile radius of Shepherdstown. Purchases can be paid for with PayPal or the Venmo mobile payment service. For more information, message the shop on Facebook, @Lostdogcoffee, or email www.Lostdogcoffee.com.