Shark Mountain bites into Cville coffee scene

Posted on September 18, 2013 by

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When it comes to business, it seems almost everyone has a secret plan or recipe that they want to keep close to the vest and hidden from their competitors. The owners of Shark Mountain Coffee Company say this philosophy is especially true shark mtn logo, © Cville Nichewhen it comes to coffee shops in Charlottesville, and they want to change that mindset through openness and cooperation.

“I think it would be cool if there was more collaboration,” said Kerem Atalay, who along with fellow coffee aficionado Jonny Nuckols, opened Shark Mountain in April.

The coffee shop, which is housed in the lobby of the iLab at U.Va.’s Darden School of Business, is already working on its second collaboration with Champion Brewing Co.

Shark Mountain will also open its doors for a special coffee, chocolate and tea tasting from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 20. White Lotus Tea Club in Staunton will be serving a variety of teas and Chocolate on the Rocks will provide the sweet stuff.

In addition to collaborating with other businesses, Nuckols and Atalay say they want their business to provide customers with “the experience of coffee.”

“We’re constantly experimenting with different kinds of coffee brewed different ways,” Nuckols said.

big boy coffee maker, © Cville NicheOne of the unique ways Shark Mountain brews its coffee is by using what looks like a retro-fitted chemistry set with glass beakers, a copper coil and a valve to combine the immersion and pour-over brewing methods.

“We call it ‘The big boy,’” Atalay said.

Shark Mountain also has a custom version of the handheld AeroPress that it will use for coffee flights, which will allow customers to try four different 3-ounce samples of coffee.

Nuckols said Shark Mountain is interested in “pushing the envelope” with different ways of brewing its coffee, including wet grinding the beans.

Although Shark Mountain operates in a fairly small space, Atalay pointed out that almost all of its products are made in-house, including the syrups, chocolate, baked goods and chai.

Shark Mountain, located at 621 Nash Drive, is open from 7 a.m to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekend.

It is open to the general public with free Wi-Fi access for all of its customers.

For anyone who may be reluctant to visit Shark Mountain because of its accessibility, Atalay contends parking is not an issue.

“It’s a lot easier to find parking here than downtown or on The Corner,” he said.

It’s not just about bringing in business and making money for Atalay and Nuckols. They hope that by showcasing different brewing methods, collaborating with other businesses and promoting an open concept, they will encourage other coffee shops and coffee lovers to try new things.

“It’s a way for people who work in coffee and those who are customers to become part of this community,” Atalay said.

shark mtn. shop, © Cville Niche

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Posted in: food, New to Cville