After pandemic delayed opening, Chris’s Coffee and Custard in Roanoke sees the finish line

Local News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — After years of planning and renovations, the passion project of Chris and Beth Woodrum is finally ready to come to fruition.

“I’m going to be the face of the coffee and custard place,” Chris Woodrum said. “It’s amazing.”

The mother-son duo have been working on opening Chris’s Coffee and Custard for the last two years. However, after the pandemic set their plans back six months, the business is set to open this October.

“We couldn’t get together with people so that took a lot,” Beth Woodrum said. “The main thing was getting the equipment. When companies shut down, they couldn’t get pieces to make, like the custard machine, to build it. It really kept things from being delivered.”

The shop, located off 9th Street in southeast Roanoke, will provide employment opportunities primarily to young adults with special needs, like Chris, who has Down’s syndrome. Beth has already begun accepting job applications online.

“This is going to be their job and learning and be successful,” Beth said. “Just to see them do those jobs, I cannot wait.”

The coronavirus pandemic has forced Beth to re-think some of the concepts of the business. She says employees will wear clear face shields and will probably rely more on curbside and takeout service when the shop opens. But they hope customers will still be able to see the true mission of the business.

“We still want to encourage people to come in,” Beth said. “Because I think that’s where they can really understand what we’re doing and see our vision.”

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