Planned Nokesville coffee shop centered on community

By Posted on Apr 16 2021 | By

Vita Nova Creatives & Coffee will be family-run embodying its name

A “New Life” may be what most of the world is seeking as the pandemic, hopefully, lifts its lock on humanity and fades to a bad memory.

But there is a tight-knit family in southern Fauquier County that is not waiting to create a new life for themselves and their village that will help speed, in a small way, the transition back to normal.

Tom Millar, 55, and Paula Millar, 53, are the force behind the new business along with some of their children. Paula Millar homeschooled her four children. As adults, their closeness with their parents will be a gift to customers who will enjoy a home-like atmosphere in a shop with unique gifts, art, and all manner of espressos.

The store will be run by Paula Millar and her two daughters, Danielle Millar and Rebecca Ferguson, and her daughter-in-law, Jessica Millar, who is married to their oldest son Alex. Their son Jerrod is in his early twenties.

Many people had expressed interest in a local coffee shop that helped drive their dream forward. There are no comparable businesses in the area.

The shop is expected to launch with a soft opening in June after the interior build-out is completed and the procurement of coffee-making equipment, gifts, and art is done.

The 1,500 square foot shop will be located at 13059 Fitzwater Drive at the Route 28 intersection in Nokesville.

The Millar family has lived in Nokesville for 18 years. Daughters Rebecca and Danielle have worked in coffee shops bringing experience to the family’s first business venture.

“I’ve always enjoyed art and painting,” said Paula Millar. “Tom is one of the pastors at our church, Evergreen Community in Manassas, and a full-time real estate agent. I also ran a children’s church for about 20 years.”

“We considered running a coffee shop back in 2005 as I was getting close to retirement as an Air Force major,” said Tom Millar.” Today, those earlier musings are becoming a reality.

The entire family is all coffee lovers, so envisioning the next chapter of their lives as a business centered on java and art made sense.

Paula Millar had spent years tracking quaint coffee shops and checking out the atmosphere while enjoying a cuppa brew. “I loved how each one had a different vibe, a different feel.”

Rebecca Millar echoes her mother’s feelings. “I worked in a coffee shop full-time for almost a year. It was an experience I will not forget. The relationships I built with the customers are ongoing today. The friendships, getting to know people’s names, and their daily orders was fun. I had many wonderful conversations with customers at the coffee bar.

“Relationships are important to our family. We know people are made in God’s image, and He loves them and us. To have a place where people are drawn to the coffee while enjoying a warm and welcoming atmosphere will be great.”

She underscores that, unlike major coffee chains, people visit the smaller shops to sit and talk with others while getting their coffee fix.

Paula Millar has a broad number of connections within the art community and will draw on them for many of the art items for sale.

Additionally, a line of paints will be available for restoring furniture and recycling home décor items.  Transfers, molds, stamps, and related materials for embellishing crafts, cabinets, and other furniture projects will be for sale.

The Millar’s will also be offering local artisans the opportunity to have their products in the store. Items will include pottery, painted signs, water bottles, towels, and more. “It’s an eclectic mix that works well together,” said Paula Millar.

The coffee shop area will seat up to 25 people, including a children’s play corner. There are plans to offer art painting, furniture painting, macrame, jewelry making, and more in the fall. The classes will be held after hours in the evening.

Coffee selections will also include a selection of pastries, including gluten-free and vegan choices.

The coffees will be produced using a professional espresso machine and include cappuccinos, frozen coffee beverages, and various teas.

The Millar’s volunteered the costs of starting a small venture offering a peek to others who might be considering doing something similar.

The startup costs will be about $110,000. A coffee shop consultant cost $5,000 but included the equipment; $9,000 was for the architect and about $40,000 for the interior design build-out.

The Millar’s have put $25,000 of personal funds into the shop. They also secured a $50,000 loan but are hoping not to use it all.

To further help with expenses, they created a crowdfunding page at Indiegogo.com.  People interested in supporting their efforts can make contributions at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/vita-nova-creatives-coffee#/.

Their goal is to generate $30,000, $8,000 of which has already been raised.

The shop will be opened six days a week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Sundays.

A soft opening is targeted for June and a grand opening in July. For more information on the shop, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=Vita%20Nova%20Creatives%20%26%20Coffee%20.

Tom Millar said, “We love the community aspect of our new business and are looking forward to providing something the local community has been clamoring for for a long time.”


Published in a March 2021 edition of the Fauquier Times.

Categories : HAGARTY TALES