ELIZABETHTOWN — There’s blue blood, bad blood, cold blood, boiling blood, and … java blood? If such a thing exists, it runs in the veins of Clarkton resident Elizabeth Carter.
“From the time I could walk, my Grandma Jean would have me fix her coffee,” Carter explained. “My first job was as a barista at the age of 15, and it’s always been my passion. Some people have paint — my canvas is coffee.”
After meeting Bladen County native Becky Coleman, Carter struck up a friendship with her and began bouncing ideas off her for opening a shop in Elizabethtown where she could practice her art.
“We just ran into each other at Walmart one day and she told me she would print some stuff for me, and it just took off from there,” Carter explained.
Dragonfly Coffee Shop — so named because of Carter’s affinity for the insect and for the Gillmore Girls’ famous inn — opened Monday, June 12, in the downtown section of Elizabethtown. In the time it has been open, owner Carter says she’s been getting rave reviews.
“I had a young lady come in and order two caramel mocha lattes, and before I could even complete her friend’s order, she had already finished her latte and told me it was better than Starbucks,” Carter remarked. “I’ve been getting that a lot.”
“I call her coffee ‘liquid happiness’,” commented Coleman, who also serves as marketing director for the shop. “There’s just something about it — it’s like wrapping up in a cozy blanket.”
Carter thinks she may know the secret.
“I think it’s because I make it with love,” she informed. “I love to see people’s faces. You can see it makes their day, and they’re getting something they haven’t had in a long time, and that’s what I want.”
In addition to regular coffee, the shop offers latte, macchiato, cappuccino, mocha, and espresso, with names like Cinnamon Toast Latte, Mounds Bar, Peppermint Mocha, The Jitterbug, Red Velvet and I Don’t Know. Iced drinks offerings include tea, coffee, milk, frappuccino, and smoothies (sans the yogurt, because Carter says it “adds unnecessary calories”). Shots of flavor can be added to any drink and range from vanilla and almond to gingerbread and fruit flavors.
“Anything anybody wants, I can make it,” Carter suggested. “Except pumpkin — I can’t get that until the fall.”
There’s even something for the hungry. Pastries, bagels, biscotti, muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls, and brownies are offered as accompaniment to beverages.
Carter is hoping the site will be used for more than just coffee, however.
“We’ve got a lounge area in the back, where people can read, or they can book it for parties,” she said. “If preachers or pastors want to do a Bible study, we have a sectional sofa and tables that can be moved around. Teachers can sit there and grade papers. We offer free wi-fi. I’m just hoping people will use it as a nice place to sit back and enjoy a good cup of coffee.”
Dragonfly Coffee House is located at 162 S. Poplar St. and is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.