Shoofly Java Brings Specialty Coffee Back to Oakland
Last Updated on Jan 28, 2022 at 10:16am | Garrett County Economic Development
Shoofly Java is a new coffee shop that recently opened in Oakland.
The owners are Pat and Michelle Hudnall, who also own The Vagabond Taproom
right next door along Alder Street.
"With the quarantine that hit way back in 2020, the town lost its only coffee shop we had," Pat Hudnall said. "So we were kind of hoping that would open back up. When it finally didn't, we decided that we needed to do something. We were in a position to do something to try to fill that void in town, and we thought it would be kind of fun to give it a shot."
The couple approached the building owner about expanding into the space, and things began to fall into place.
Shoofly Java had its debut in mid-November.
"We've partnered with Clatter Cafe
in Frostburg," Hudnall said. "He helped us pick a machine, gave me some pointers on getting things up and going, training the baristas and still is kind of on the line for assistance."
Hudnall noted that they also partnered with Basecamp Coffee
in Cumberland for espresso and drip coffee blends. Baked goods are done by Stephanie's Sweet Shop
, which also makes all the breads for The Vagabond. Items will be rotated and will include some gluten-free and vegan features.
CBD hemp products from Backbone Hemp
are also available in the shop.
"We're trying to bring in some local businesses and products and really show them off," Hudnall said. "It's the same atmosphere we have in The Vagabond over here."
Another possibility in the works is partnering with a Garrett County coffee roasting company.
The Shoofly Java name also connects to The Vagabond.
"Originally when we were going to open The Vagabond, we were coming up wtih ideas for names and themes and what we wanted it to be," Hudnall said. "It was going to be a railroad theme. From the get-go, we wanted to play on the railroad history in the town, and The Vagabond kind of does that, but it went in sort of a different way than when we originally started. So when we started thinking about this place, we wanted to come back to that railroad theme, and we landed on shoofly, an old railroad term."
Hudnall noted that shoofly is a term for a temporary track to get around an obstacle, and the hobo or vagabond community picked that term up to mean to stay on the train and skip a community or go around it.
"We don't want people to skip Shoofly, but we thought it was cute and kind of fun," Hudnall said. "We liked the whimsical nature of the Shoofly name. On the logo, you'll see a train featured. We liked the Shoofly name and that it tied into the vagabonds and that sort of traveling community of the time."
He noted that the decor is like The Vagabond's in that it took on a life of its own. It included several hobo references, historical train maps, and old photos. Somehow, ravens also became a part of the theme.
"It started wtih one and grew from there," Hudnall said. "There are all kinds of little personal touches."
A church alter and end piece from a church in Cumberland were also repurposed for the coffee shop.
The Hudnalls both grew up in Tucker County, West Virginia, with ties to the Oakland community. They have known each other since they went to elementary school together. They live in Oakland and have two children, Ellie and Cameron.
"We love many things about Garrett County...the weather, the people, the slower way of life, the natural beauty," Hudnall said. "If we had to pick one that is our most favorite thing, it would probably have to be the access to many fun outdoor activities. We truly live in a playground of fun things to do outdoors. In all of our travels, we have yet to visit a place that we think we would rather live, and we have seen some pretty cool places."
Current hours for Shoofly Java are 7:00 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.'