Owners of roaming coffee cart will open a permanent cafe in Guilford

By Valerie Royzman, Staff Writer

A couple who set up a mobile coffee cart around Dover-Foxcroft and took it to Maine farmers markets will open a brick-and-mortar cafe in Guilford.

Whittle Bird Coffee + Kitchen will open next week at 4 North Main Street in Guilford. Its offerings will be similar to those available through its coffee cart, though the food menu will expand. Co-owners Chris and Missy Wallace hope to eventually host events at the space and transform the four rooms upstairs into a “micro hotel” that has the homey feel of a bed and breakfast, Chris Wallace said.

The building is home to the Craft Cafe, which opened in 2021 and went up for sale earlier this year. Its last day will be Saturday, according to its Facebook page.

Whittle Bird Coffee began operating last October, when Chris and Missy Wallace brought their coffee and baked goods to markets in Skowhegan and Boothbay, and to The Lost Kitchen’s market in Freedom. They operated a pop-up shop in Dover-Foxcroft from January through April while waiting on warm weather to use their retro-style trailer.

While the Wallaces, who moved to Maine from North Carolina last year, initially planned to take their trailer to farmers markets and weddings around the state, they unexpectedly ran into problems. For example, the water pump stopped working Tuesday while they were set up at Butterfields Ice Cream in town, Chris Wallace said. 

The Wallaces, who live in Parkman, also traveled less than they expected. They visited markets a handful of times this spring, but mostly they set up around Dover-Foxcroft because of the warm response from patrons.

Consistent issues with the coffee cart, coupled with the monotony of setting up and tearing down, led the couple to consider other options. 

“This opportunity became available, so we decided to take it,” Chris Wallace said about the building in Guilford. “Everything just kind of fell into place.”

The Wallaces also wrote on Facebook that they have “developed a deep affection for this part of Maine,” and the location will allow them to create a welcoming space for customers. They are eager to build upon the legacy of the Craft Cafe, which hosted private parties, showers, weddings, art workshops and other events.

The couple ran two coffee shops in Cornelius, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina, from 2011 to 2013.

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