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Summit’s “Audacious” Opening

by | Mar 21, 2020 | News

A line of cars stretched from the old bank drive thru all the way to Main and Concord, and even along Concord Road as folks anxiously awaited the combination of Kindred Milk Bread Doughnuts and Summit Coffee. (Bill Giduz photo)

“Audacious,” Summit Coffee termed it, as the friendly neighborhood coffee shop—hang-out, study hall, meeting spot—announced the opening of its new store in the old Wells Fargo Drive Thru, keeping six employees, well, employed, while giving the locals something to look forward to, take home to sip, and even a treat to break that fast.

Abby Thompson flashes a smile in the midst of the flurry of business at the temporary drive-thru location. (Bill Giduz photo)

Early Saturday morning (7 a.m.), 20-plus cars clogged South Main Street when employees of Summit’s auxiliary, take-out location first opened its…windows? Town police help to ease the traffic, which kept coming for coffee, yes, but also milk-bread doughnuts from another beloved business in our town, the now-famous Kindred, whose name means more to us every day. Kindred is offering its signature yumminess via curbside delivery and pick-up right now, another source of joy during this confusing and destabilizing time. Don’t dawdle, though, as quantities are limited.

Announcing the pop-up, owner Brian Helfrich wrote, “The world is changing every day, every hour. But we owe it to our staff to push forward, to innovate, to create.”

After the opening, Helfrich said, “So an amazing thing happened today. We had a crazy idea to use this turnaround to sell coffee, and then Tim (Helfrich, Brian’s brother) showed up from Connecticut, and our amazing friends at Kindred, Joe and Katy, showed up with milk bread donuts. And then the community showed up. I mean showed up.

“At 7:00 a.m. today, we had 90 cars in line, and cars haven’t stopped, and we sold out of donuts by 7:14 a.m. and the Davidson Police showed up to redirect traffic because we shut down Main Street.

“Now we are calling people to work more hours and our staff continues to show up. So much gratitude for everyone. Still slinging coffee, and donuts are back Sunday 7 a.m.— 200, 2-donut limit per car.” 

Audacious, yes, News of Davidson gratefully agrees, but we would add a generous splash of community mindedness, saving jobs, and lifting hearts along the way.

Meg Kimmel

A professional communicator with a long career in higher education, Meg now consults and volunteers in areas where words and images work together to tell a story. She's a proud member of Davidson's Class of 1977 and lives nearby with her husband, Don, Davidson professor emeritus of biology, with whom she shares a family grown by kinship and choice.

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