‘Vagrant Coffee’ Takes Over ‘3 Bean Coffee’ in Federal Hill, Will Also Open a New Pigtown Location

| December 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

Vagrant Coffee started as a traveling pop-up and catering coffee business in 2017 and has since grown to have four brick-and-mortar shops in its portfolio. It opened Cafe @ 1100 in Pigtown in January; took over Milk & Honey Market in August, which has a location in Station North and will be opening a location next year in Pigtown; and took over 3 Bean Coffee in Federal Hill on October 1st.

Josh Dew and Jared Cate are the co-founders of Vagrant. Dew told SouthBMore.com the mobile business grew to the point where it made sense to start acquiring other cafes. Dew and Cate met when they both worked at Ceremony Coffee Roasters and decided to team up after learning that a lot of people were requesting baristas for special events. They started a mobile cafe out of a Mini Cooper and started attending events and farmers markets. The mobile cafe remains an important part of their business as they have added brick-and-mortar locations.

Vagrant Coffee roasts its own beans at another coffee shop in Canton. Dew says Vagrant sources its beans from all over the world and looks to create a medium blend.

Vagrant was involved in the relaunch of Milk & Honey Market at the Nelson Kohl Apartment building 10 E. Lanvale St. in Station North since its opening in December 2018. It started as a consulting agreement with Milk & Honey Market using Vagrant’s products, and the company later took over the business in August.

Milk & Honey Market was owned by Dana Valery who is the wife of Ernst Valery, a principal with SAA/EVI which developed Nelson Kohl and developed Bath House Square at 906 Washington Blvd. in Pigtown where the second Milk & Honey Market will open. Dew said he hopes to partner with SAA/EVI to open more cafes in its buildings.

Dew said the Pigtown location of Milk & Honey Market could open in January. The 1,700 sq. ft. cafe will follow the same model as the Station North location. It will serve drip coffee drinks and lattes, along with nitro cold brew, kombucha from Baltimore’s Wild Kombucha, and tea from Baltimore’s Wight Tea Company. Food will be “classic American lunch fare” including turkey sandwiches and chicken salad served on bread from local bakeries, salads, breakfast sandwiches, bagels, pastries, and hash from Baltimore’s Stone’s Throw Hash.

Milk & Honey Market will open on a block that has seen significant investment including the under-construction Groundwork Kitchen restaurant and culinary arts training facility, Bath House Square, and businesses including Suspended Brewing Company, Mobtown Ballroom, and REEF Kitchens.

“Pigtown is a very interesting place and very up-and-coming,” said Dew, who added that they are following through on the Valery family vision of opening a business to benefit the community.

Milk & Honey Market is open Monday to Friday from 630am to 630pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 5pm in Station North. The Pigtown location will have similar hours.

3 Bean has been undergoing renovations at its space at 209 Key Hwy. and will be rebranded with the name Vagrant Coffee when its new sign is installed in the near future. Vagrant upgraded the food menu with the same items served at Milk & Honey Market. Vagrant kept 3 Bean’s staff in place during the ownership change.

Dew said the 3 Bean location is “very strategic” as well as “beautiful” with its views of the Inner Harbor. He noted its location across from Rash Field and the Inner Harbor allows them to sell coffee to tourists, and its location near I-95 and Downtown allows them to be an easy stop for commuters entering and leaving the city.

Work is wrapping up on the reconstruction of the Key Hwy. and Light St. intersection. Dew said they are excited the work in front of the shop has been completed, but that it also allowed Vagrant to coordinate renovations to the shop while exterior work was taking place. The front parking area of 3 Bean now has a protective median that separates it from Key Hwy., an effort by Baltimore City Department of Transportation to make the entire intersection more pedestrian-friendly.

A redevelopment of Rash Field will begin early next year, and Dew said they are excited to be the coffee shop that serves Rash Field and they are looking to make a strong connection with the park.

Cafe @ 1100 is located in the lobby of 1100 Wicomico and mostly serves the tenants of the 416,000 sq. ft office building, according to Dew. It is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 2pm.

Vagrant Coffee currently has 24 employees.

Dew said another location in South Baltimore is a possibility and they are interested in opening a location in Port Covington near City Garage and South Point.

3 Bean Coffee

New median and reconstructed Key Hwy. in front of 3 Bean Coffee 

Future location of Milk & Honey Market at Bath House Square in Pigtown 

Cafe @ 1100

The Vagrant Coffee Mini Cooper. Photo courtesy of Vagrant Coffee’s Facebook page

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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.