Zeke’s Coffee Opening Shop in Pigtown

| December 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

Popular Baltimore coffee brand Zeke’s Coffee is opening a shop at 784 Washington Blvd. in Pigtown. Zeke’s fills a space that has been vacant in recent years, but was once the longtime home of Café Jovial and then briefly Honey’s Café.

Zeke’s is owned by husband and wife Thomas and Amy Rhodes. While Zeke’s has an active wholesale business selling its beans to stores and restaurants, and can be found at five local farmers’ markets, this will be just the second Baltimore coffee shop for the company.

Thomas Rhodes told SouthBMore.com he became familiar with the space when he was selling beans to Café Jovial. He was offered an opportunity to buy the business a few years ago, but didn’t feel the price was right. But, when the space became available again in recent months, Pigtown Main Street Executive Director Kim Lane reached out to him and a deal was agreed upon with the landlord.

Thomas Rhodes said they took on this opportunity because “the lease and rent was right,” and because Zeke’s doesn’t have a presence in Pigtown. He also likes the amount of cars that drive by each day on Washington Blvd., and learned to love the neighborhood and its residents from his visits to Café Jovial in the past.

While Zeke’s is offered many opportunities to open coffee shops, Thomas Rhodes says he doesn’t want to compete with his wholesale clients that are in many neighborhoods around the city.

The Zeke’s Coffee shop in Pigtown will be smaller and offer a smaller menu of drinks and food than its flagship shop in Hamilton-Lauraville. Thomas Rhodes said it will sell some of the company’s “heavy hitter” bean blends and will have a light food menu featuring sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, paninis, pastries, bagels, and soups.

The Hamilton-Lauraville location will serve as a commissary for the prepared foods at the Pigtown location. The company also has a separate roastery and warehouse in Hamilton-Lauraville. Zeke’s additionally has two branded coffee shops in Washington, D.C. that are owned by Thomas Rhodes’ nephew.

Zeke’s was launched in 2006 and is named after a nickname Thomas Rhodes’ father gave their family.

Zeke’s Pigtown location will be open Monday to Saturday from 7am to 2pm and Sunday from 8am to 2pm. Thomas Rhodes said they hope to open in January. 

A light renovation is being done to the space that will add new colors, renovated floors, and new equipment to the space.

“I’m 110 percent positive Zeke’s will be a positive force in the neighborhood,” said Lane. “It’s very exciting.”

Lane added, “The business owners had been asking us to find a well-known name that would get commuters and other people who use Washington Blvd. to stop and visit the block. It’s great we got a big name like Zeke’s which is also local to Baltimore.”

About the Author:

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 [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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