Roasting quality coffee: Local coffee shop grows connections one cup at a time

Finding a comfortable place to study, hang out and indulge in a great cup of coffee can be difficult. Luckily for the Lynchburg area, The Muse Coffee Company hits all three of the marks and sits less than 15 minutes from Liberty University. The shop produces a variety of flavorful coffees, teas and freshly baked food items.

After losing his job, founder Brian Wynn found a love — and a need — for a good cup of coffee. With a lot of prayer and desire to serve others, he started the journey of creating The Muse. In 2008, The Muse coffee shop opened its first location in Lynchburg, Virginia, and within the next few years, Wynn opened a second location in Garner, North Carolina. The shop’s coffee can also be bought online and shipped throughout the United States.

Makayla Frankenberger, the store manager, has been managing the Lynchburg location since December 2023.

“The owner of The Muse is actually the master roaster,” Frankenberger said. “He is involved in the roasting of the beans, picking out the flavors of the beans, creating single origin beans and blends. It is a craft for him to make sure everything tastes perfect.”

Photo by Kelley Atkinson

The Muse specializes in quality. After the beans have been roasted, they are shipped to the Lynchburg location to provide fresh coffee for the customers. There is a flavor for everyone, with blends ranging from “Christmas in a Cup,” which has hints of hazelnut and toffee, to “Rainforest Crunch,” which harnesses sweet coconut and caramel.

“We like to rotate through our specials each season,” Frankenberger said. “We have Christmas specials; we’ve had barista specials where they make their own drinks and we vote on which one is featured; we have had Valentine’s drinks, and we are getting ready to go into our spring menu.”

For the spring months, the “Spring Fling” is featured. This floral coffee contains a mix of lavender, coconut and caramel syrups. Another popular seasonal menu item, chicken salad on a croissant, will be returning for the summer months. 

On the shop’s regular all-year menu, the “Roots” section holds many unique flavors of coffee and tea for those who want to venture a little further from the typical flavors. Each of these flavors can be made into a hot or iced coffee or a frappé. For those who don’t like to try new flavors, the menu also offers traditional coffees, lattes and espressos. 

Building a strong community connection is important for any business, but The Muse has excelled in this area. From naming a customer of the month to hosting special events, the shop has created a bond with the people in Lynchburg.

“My favorite part of the shop is the people,” Frankenberger said. “Getting to know the customers and team and to create a relationship with them is the best.”

Photo by Kelley Atkinson

Later in March, The Muse will be hosting “The Office Trivia Night” based on the hit TV show “The Office.” Special events are held after hours and provide specialty drinks and food items for participants to enjoy.

“The primary objective is to provide a space for community to happen,” Frankenberger said. “Great coffee and comforting food are tools that we use to make that happen, to draw people in and create that space.”

Along with the many different flavors of coffee and delicious food options, the shop sells freshly baked pastries and muffins that are made from scratch daily. The blueberry muffin is one of the most popular items at The Muse, and it sometimes sells out due to demand. 

College students from around the Lynchburg area can often be found studying in the various seating arrangements in The Muse. With ample seating and a cozy bookstore vibe, the shop is the perfect location to sit and get work done near the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. An eye-catching spiral staircase leading to the balcony-level seating gives customers a more private and unique experience.

Many college students opt for the menu’s “Bottomless Cup” of drip coffee to stay alert during study sessions.

The Muse is located at 1509 Enterprise Drive in Lynchburg.

Long is a feature reporter for the Liberty Champion

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