By Emma Castleberry
When Cabell Tice started looking for a location in the mountains of North Carolina where he could open his new business, he’d never heard of Waynesville. “We found the town on Google Maps,” he says. “It’s a pretty big risk to land in a community where you know no one and no one knows you, but we found this old, Art Deco, mid-century building that we thought would be a great spot for a cafe. We showed up and everyone really has come out and been very supportive of our business and our family.”
Cabell and his mother, Maria Tice, opened Orchard Coffee in 2019, but not before extensive renovation of their 1941 building located at 39 Depot Street, across from the Haywood County Courthouse. “We fully gutted the entire first floor of this building and took out 12 tons of demolition,” says Cabell. “It was really a huge project to realize our vision for the space.” Going beyond the basics of installing new framing, plumbing and electrical, the Tices were very intentional in their creation of a comfortable, airy environment that is inspired by the clean, neat lines of Nordic and Japanese design styles. “Aesthetically, the idea was to have contrasting woods that would be local to the region, including black walnut and ash,” Cabell says. “I wanted it to feel organic, easy and calming. We wanted to create a space that was a blank canvas for what you want it to be.”
They serve their drip coffee and teas in handmade ceramic ware made by Joe Sink Pottery out of Raleigh. This commitment to local sourcing extends to their menu, as well. “We wanted everything that we served besides our coffee to be prepared from scratch, in house, with good ingredients,” says Maria. Cabell calls this a “service-first, people-first, product-first” approach. “It’s important to know where your food comes from and what it’s made out of,” he says. “We make all of our food from simple ingredients that are put together well.” Even the flavored syrups are scratch-made at Orchard Coffee. Their most popular drink, the honey cinnamon latte, uses a syrup made from local honey from Haywood County bees, cinnamon sticks, sugar water and a little salt. “It’s simple and easy and it tastes like cinnamon toast crunch in a cup,” says Cabell.
Right after Orchard Coffee opened, they landed the fourth spot on Food & Wine’s list of The Best 100 Coffee Shops in America. The Tices have continued to uphold that quality reputation for more than three years and they look forward to a long future serving up good, quality coffee and food in Waynesville. “I have lived a lot of places, done a lot of things, worked for a lot of people doing coffee,” says Cabell. “I feel like we have a really easy and simple approach to doing a coffee shop. The quality is best communicated by the simplicity of what we do.”
Orchard Coffee is located at 39 Depot Street in Waynesville. Learn more at OrchardCoffeeRoasters.com.