Culpeper Times • July 12-18, 2018
➤ VeloConcepts, from Page 6 fect location - which he found at 201 Waters Place. Located at the rear of the building that houses Beer Hound Brewery, the cafe and bike shop seems like a perfect fit in the neo-industrial setting. “Our location is very important to us,” Coppola said. “Because we host so many rides, we wanted to have a place that has ample parking, that we could easily host rides that are safe to get out of town.” VeloConcepts isn’t your typical bike shop - being more of a showroom than an actual store, Coppola explained. “We’re definitely geared toward the cycling enthusiast,” Coppola said. “We’re not the mom and pop shop. If someone wants to come in and buy a hybrid to ride with their kids, we can get it, but it’s just not our sweet spot.” Coppola and his staff focus more on finding out what the customer wants - do they need an endurance bike, a race bike or an aero bike. Then they fit them via a high tech, computer controlled fitting system, the GURU Dynamic Fit Unit, this unite allows dynamic repositioning of the fit while on the bike. They also leverage the gebioMIZED pressure mapping system which analyzes the pressure distribution of where the rider sits on the bike and how that affects their fit. It’s that hands on and intensive customer service that drips over to their coffee business. At 18 grams, they offer types of coffee espresso-based drinks, a traditional filter based coffee and a single origin pour origin that changes depending on the season. The process is heavily focused on precision and weight - they weigh each single origin pour over and have a computer program that shows them exactly when to continue adding water and exactly what weight the coffee should measure when finished. “It’s a very unique experience,” Coppola said. “One of the things is we’re working with Counter Culture to supply all of our coffee. Our single origins change seasonally, based on what’s available and what’s good.” They single origin being offered now is an
Ethiopian bean, the batch brew is a single origin from Columbia and the espresso is a blend from Counter Culture called "Big Trouble" which currently features a Guatemalan and Colombian coffees VeloConcepts has hosted rides for years including a popular Thursday and Saturday ride and between 20 and 40 riders were always looking for a place to hang out. “In the back of my mind I always had the idea of adding a cafe to it,” Coppola said. “Once we kind of saw this new space, and we saw how much space we had, it made perfect sense to add a cafe into it. The reality of the situation is that bike shops today are struggling. Bike sales have been down consistently over the last bunch of years. You’re starting to see bike shops expanding and offering other things besides bikes.” They hope to add their ABC license in the near future to offer wine and beer as well and they already offer light and healthy food choices. Avocado toast, banana ricotta toast and a curry chicken salad on toast are the current offerings with acai bowls coming. All offerings can be made gluten free as well. Coppola and VeloConcepts are heavily involved in Culpeper’s cycling community - as he created CulpeperCycling.com and works with Culpeper County Parks and Rec to create the route for the annual Culpeper Cycling Century. He said the community in Culpeper is unique and welcoming. “The interesting thing about Culpeper compared to other areas is that it’s very unified,” Coppola said. “Everybody rides together.” He hopes to spread that vibe through neighboring regions. “We’re trying to become a destination store, we’re not just here for the locals, we’re for the people coming from D.C., Richmond and Charlottesville too,” Coppola said. The cafe is currently open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. but the plan is to open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and possibly later. The bike shop is open from noon to when the cafe closes and Coppola said all employees are cross trained so they can all help out. It all ties into their philosophy of precision.
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Epicurean toasts are on the menu at at 18 Grams Coffee Lab, located at 201 Waters Place in Culpeper. The new coffee shop shares a location with VeloConcepts, providing precision coffee with custom cycling fitting. Owner Joe Coppola say cycling and coffee go hand-in-hand.
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