The owners of Seacoast Coffee Co. in Wiscasset started a new venture this month — Birches, a coffee shop and market selling coffee, food, and local goods.
The shop opened Dec. 4 next door to Seacoast, in the same building. Owners Jim and Cathy Peterman relocated Seacoast, a coffee roaster and wholesaler, to Wiscasset in May after 15 years in Portland.
They decided to open Birches after the pandemic struck. Most of Seacoast’s wholesale customers are in the hospitality industry, and as tourism slowed, the Petermans realized they needed another revenue stream.
“Our mission is to keep everything as local as possible,” Cathy Peterman said. The Petermans roast all the coffee served at Birches, and Jim Peterman makes the soups. Their oldest son is a wine merchant, so he helps provide the wines they sell, and their youngest son is a coffee roaster.
The name came from Cathy Peterman’s love of birch trees, which she planted outside the building. She realized its similarity to Birch Home Furnishings and Gifts in downtown Wiscasset, but when she spoke with the owners, they said the name was a way for the Petermans to connect to the Wiscasset business community.
The menu at Birches includes coffees, teas, and smoothies, as well as a variety of toasts, including caprese toast, avocado toast, cinnamon toast, and challah toast. They also sell baked goods from local bakeries.
Birches doesn’t just sell food and drinks, though. A large table in the middle of the room features soaps from Copper Tail Farm in Waldoboro, candles from St. George Candle Co. in Thomaston, and other local goods. Also available for sale are cheeses from local creameries, including Fuzzy Udder in Whitefield.
Many of the products sold at the shop are from businesses owned by women, Cathy Peterman said.
Currently, Birches does not have seating, but Cathy Peterman said that if business goes well, they may build a deck in the future.
The Petermans are excited to experiment with some unique coffee blends — many wholesale customers want the same kind of coffee every time, but since they do the roasting themselves, they can make small batches to serve at Birches.
Birches, at 564 Bath Road, is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.