ROCKINGHAM — A new coffee shop in an old location is brewing for a weekend opening.
Sherry Roberts has been grinding the past few weeks to get Nana’s Coffee Rocks ready for business.
Roberts, former manager of Speckled Paw Rock, located inside the IncSpace building on South Lawrence Street, bought the shop from the regional chain’s owners soon after Starbucks opened in the new Broad Street Commons development.
While she has worked in and managed coffee shops, including Cactus Creek Gourmet Coffee Roasters in Aberdeen, for more than a decade, this is Roberts’ first time owning a business.
Roberts got her start as a roaster and barista with Cactus Creek 16 years ago and managed the Speckled Paw for two years.
In the weeks since the closure of Speckled Paw — which opened its Rockingham location in 2021 — Roberts has installed an ice machine and new sink and rearranged a bit behind the counter.
In addition to the drinks with which customers are already familiar — including the Sweet Start and Checkered Flag — Nana’s Coffee Rocks will feature locally inspired blends named after Hamlet, Ellerbe and Rockingham.
Roberts said that idea came from a customer.
Each of the blends are a combination of three varieties of coffee, locally roasted by Cactus Creek.
As for the name, Roberts says, “That was easy.”
“My (youngest) grandkids call me Nana, and of course coffee, because it’s a coffee shop and Rocks because it’s Rockingham,” she said.
Roberts said she is looking forward to re-opening on Saturday, April 1, though she still has a little more work to do — including preparing the iced coffee and cold brew.
Store hours will be 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays.
(Disclosure: IncSpace is owned and managed by the Melvin family, owners and publishers of the Richmond Observer, which is located on the second floor of the building.)
IncSpace, a small-business incubator opened in 2019, currently houses the Richmond County Partnership for Children, Art Wonders Gallery and the radio studio and office for WAYN-AM. Charlie and Alyse Melvin also own and operate Carolina Scoops, an ice cream shop, next to the coffee shop.
Richmond County residents have no shortage of cafes to get caffeinated: Norton Farms also recently opened a coffee shop; Axe to Grind opened last spring in downtown Hamlet; Salty Bean operates inside Goodwill; and Dunkin Donuts has been in Richmond Plaza for several years.