Looking over all the changes on a building that was home to a 7-Eleven for three decades, Rise Up Coffee Roasters owner Tim Cureton said he is confident of one thing – the company’s new Rehoboth Avenue location is the most beautiful shop it has ever built.
“We loved the way this location looked on paper, and we’re loving it even more now that we’re seeing it all come together,” said Cureton.
Rise Up began as a drive-thru trailer in a St. Michaels, Md. parking lot in 2005. Cureton said the Rehoboth location would be the company’s ninth, and its first in Delaware. The others, from St. Michaels to Ocean City, are all in Maryland.
Cureton said Rise Up began as a way for him to bring the world to him. After graduating from Salisbury University with a master’s in education and working abroad with the Peace Corps, he said he wanted to continue traveling the world. But reality set in, and he decided coffee was a way to bring the world to him.
Cureton said the company started with two employees, now has 125 and he’s adding 25 more with the opening of Rehoboth. He said the company has gone from using 10 pounds of coffee per week to somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 pounds, and he said many of his coffee beans still come from the same farms.
Cureton said, at this point, the company isn’t growing simply for growth’s sake. He said from the farms where the beans grow to the employees at the coffee shops, the people associated with Rise Up have their own dreams and aspirations, and he’s proud to play a part.
“These are people with their own families and lives,” he said. “To see the ripple effect as we’ve grown is amazing.”
Cureton said he and his employees have worked as hard as anyone to be successful, but he certainly didn’t expect the company to grow in the way it has. When Rise Up started in St. Michaels, he said, people liked what was going on, but their expectations were limited also.
“Their first reaction was that they thought it was a nice idea, but it was too bad they’re not going to make it,” he said. “This company has been built cup by cup.”
Given the location, 502 Rehoboth Ave., on the right side of the circle, Rise Up in Rehoboth will be one of the first things people see when coming to town. Cureton said he loves being right next to the Welcome to Rehoboth sign.
In addition to being the most beautiful, the Rehoboth location will be the first Rise Up to serve alcohol. That said, it will not be a honkytonk, said Cureton. This will be a place where customers can get craft food, craft coffee, craft beer and craft cocktails, he said. The breakfast menu will be a Mad Eggs production – the food side of Rise Up – and the dinner menu will feature a selection of tacos, ramen noodles and other snacks.
Cureton doesn’t have a set date for the opening, but he said he wants to be open before Memorial Day so the locals have time to connect with the new restaurant. Like other Rise Up Coffee locations, this one will be open year-round, and the locals are the lifeblood of its business.
“We’re starting to see the end of the tunnel. It’s starting to feel like a Rise Up,” said Cureton. “At this point, we’re days away, but how many days is nebulous.”
For more information, go to www.riseupcoffee.com.