Dynamite Coffee reopens with a new look

Paul Clark

It’s been years since Dynamite Coffee missed a day of being open. But last week, for the first time since it opened seven days a week, the business on the edge of downtown Black Mountain closed - for renovations. And no doubt some of the regulars who sit in its sunny northwest corner are glad to be back. The business was slated to reopen June 19.

“It was time for a face-lift,” co-owner Andy Gibbon said last week. The seating area would remain the same, he said, but there would be new cabinets and countertops and a couple of pieces of new equipment. The work was being done by Ashley’s Kitchen & Bath Design Studio.

Co-owner Andy Gibbon goes through some of the albums at Dynamite Coffee while crews undertake renovations last week.

“They’re killing it,” Gibbon said. “I’ve never worked with such a professional group of people. We thought we’d do it ourselves, then decided to call in the pros.”

Business is going great, Gibbon said. He loves that Earth Fare has picked up Dynamite’s coffee for its stores in Asheville, Charlotte and elsewhere, and that it’s available at restaurants throughout Western North Carolina and beyond.

He loves that independent grocery stores and food shops around the South stock the coffee, and that visitors to Black Mountain order it through the mail when they get home. But what he loves most of all, he said, has been getting to know the people of Black Mountain and the Swannanoa Valley better as he and his staff serve them at the roaster and coffee bar on U.S. 70.

“We love the fact that we’re a locally focused business,” he said. “Steadily, we’re getting busier and busier. Tourists find their way out to us. People grab a coffee to and from work. My favorite part is the way we’ve gotten to be a part of the community.”

The retail end of the business wasn’t supposed to happen, at least not in the way it did.

“It’s sort of a funny story,” Gibbon said. “We started roasting for grocery stores, but of course you don’t get those clients overnight. We had people see the roasting smoke and knocking on the door to see what we were roasting. And their question was, can I buy a cup. And we had to pay the rent. People wanted to give us money, and our answer – no – quickly became yes.”

The business has gotten big enough so that Dynamite does most of its roasting in Eastside Business Park west of downtown Black Mountain. The move was made partly to give the building a break. Gibbon has been told that it was a Sears Catalog Home (he even had a woman point to a corner in the building and tell him she was born right there).

“You can see on the floor where the old walls were,” he said. Since then it has been a wood-burning stove store and a book shop.

And now it’s getting (or has, depending on when you’re ready this) a refinished floor and a shiny new look inside. “Business is good,” Gibbon said. “We’ve found our niche.”