Beloved Wilmington Bookstore Owner Opens New Coffee Shop

Miriam Himes, Opinion Editor

Pomegranate Books, a local bookstore and Wilmington gem, recently opened a café to stimulate business and to expand.  Owner Kathleen Jewell opened this family-owned and local bookstore ten years ago. Her son-in-law, Manol Georgieff, began working with her in order to create the new coffee shop, Café Zola.

The two said that opening the café was primarily stimulated by the idea that coffee and books naturally go together.  They want to create a space for students and members of the Wilmington community alike to be able to enjoy the experience of reading and perusing the bookstore coupled with an exceptional cup of coffee. 

Not only are Georgieff and Jewell attempting to serve outstanding brew to their customers, but they are also working towards giving customers an inviting and laid-back atmosphere in which they can work, study or hang out in the café.

Georgieff also focused on the quality of the coffee. The coffee will come from one of the four micro-roasters in Wilmington. Thus, Café Zola will support the local coffee brewers while providing customers with an authentic taste.

“[I hope to] deliver artisanal coffee,” he said, “to give customers an excellent experience.”

Georgieff said he plans to have three different methods of serving the coffee: espresso, pour-over, and Turkish or Greek coffee. He wants to stray away from the typical ways that chain coffee stores usually serve their coffee and provide customers with a distinct and genuine coffee experience.

Other than coffee, the owners plan to sell loose leaf tea from all around the globe. They will be collecting different kinds of tea—from black to green to chai to yogi—and serving it alongside their local coffee blends. Their tea is organic and will give non-coffee drinkers a chance to enjoy the pleasant ambiance that Café Zola has to offer.  

In the future, Georgieff hopes to include freshly squeezed juices on the menu. He already has juicers and dispensers of locally grown fruit. The café will also have small food items for customers to enjoy during their stay. They will be importing a variety of sweets from Coastal Cupcakes, Wilmington’s pastry hot spot. Everything the café plans on offering will be local, organic or all-natural in order to create a green and socially conscious environment in the bookstore and café.

Café Zola hosted a soft opening on Jan. 13 as the first day of the new installment of the coffee shop.  In February, the café will host a grand opening complete with live music and free beer.  UNC Wilmington students can receive discounts with their student I.D. at all times at Café Zola.  The coffee shop will be open around the same times as the bookstore—Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m.–6 p.m.