Totally LOVE this place! The staff are always really friendly & will do anything they can to make you happy and remember all regulars. Owners are a policeman & his wife so they always try to make clientele feel connected to local businesses & owners. Big on supporting local college events & put up fliers etc. for charitable events. Coffee is SOOOOO much better than Starbucks! Did some reading on them & they have nationally recognized high marks for roasting methods & coffee blends. Big participant in "Fair-Trade" sourcing which helps to make sure big coffee importers aren't cheating farmers. Also helps ensure farms are adequately funded so that 'best practices' in agriculture can be implemented on smaller farms & laborers can earn decent wages. Environment is a bit brighter than most coffee spots & they don't play the same elevator music CD incessantly. They also have a 'Reader's Shelf' where patrons can drop off used books after they've finished with them & anyone coming into the shop can sit, relax, and try out a new author or genre for a little while. They also don't carry as much super-tempting, ultra-rich Junk Food as Starbucks. Mostly a wide variety of muffins, but also some stuffed croissants, paninis, and a collection of healthy choices like organic oatmeal & locally acquired snack/power bars. Just upgraded WiFi carrier a while ago so has a better range if you want to sit on the big patio out front (nice tables with full-size umbrellas), and the connection is more reliable. Only Downer: Parking lot kind of sucks to get in and out of if you come in from Martinsville St. Just after a curve & is a bit of a hill so you have to slow down a lot at a less-than-desirable spot.
The Harris Teeter at the Friendly Shops go way beyond all other grocery stores I have shopped at. The cashiers are friendly, the managers step in to ring people out if there is a line and the customer service desk always has someone right there to help. The staff is always professional and kind. The store is a little more expensive then some other grocery stores around, but every day they double coupons up to .99 (making them worth $1.98) and every so often they have triple coupons as well. They have great sales as well.
We were in downtown on a week day and needed some refreshments. In walking distance of the downtown area, we were thrilled to find this place. No major dishes, but just coffee, tea, muffins, bagels etc are what they serve. I was very pleased with my selection, the Bran Muffin and some hot tea to go with it. The service is very good too, and there is plenty of room to sit around and look over your newspaper, etc...Nice place; met our needs!