A History of the Flight Coffee Dover Cafe

In 2015, Flight Coffee Company founder, Claudia Barrett had a very successful wholesale and mail order roasting company, but something was missing - for Claudia, coffee has always been about community and she craved building a place where people could come together to enjoy each other's company while having a great cup of coffee.

Unfortunately, at the time, there were no suitable places available in and around Flight's home town of Bedford, NH, so the net was cast far and wide and we found a stunning location in Dover, NH.  Claudia fell in love with it immediately.  It was right on a busy corner and had amazing floor to ceiling windows along one wall.  The only downside was that it would have to be a total renovation from floor to ceiling.  Here is what we had to work with:

Under Claudia's design direction, we redid pretty much everything.  Our flooring was reclaimed wood from an old New England Barn as was the wood on the bar.  The community room in the back was six inches lower than the main cafe, so rather than putting in a ramp for accessibility, we raised the entire floor so that all of our customers could comfortably move around the cafe.  The finished product was everything we could have hoped for:

During our tenure as owners, we embraced the community in every way we could imagine.  We regularly partnered with the Dover Children's Museum to help them raise funds; on one occasion featuring children's artwork throughout the cafe.  We worked with a local artists collective hosting art shows to raise money for community causes.  We began a tradition of open mic nights, bringing in local musicians to entertain, and we invited students from Dover High School to come make the cafe a place of their own.

Unfortunately, as our young children started to grow older, the 2 hour round trip commute to Dover from Bedford increasingly impacted our family life.  We began to explore the possibility of selling the cafe to someone who was local to the area.  We talked with a number of interested parties, but one thing that Claudia was adamant about was selling the cafe to someone who would continue the culture she had created; a welcoming and open community for everyone.  For Claudia, Coffee should never be an "exclusive experience."  It is one of the foundations of a community that embraces everyone.

We were fortunate that one of those high school students we brought in had parents who shared Flight's vision.  During the course of several meetings, we got a good feeling that they would take everything Claudia had built and continue it.  It was with mixed feelings that October day in 2017 when we signed the final paperwork entrusting our baby to another's care, but in the years that have followed, we have been pleased with what they have done.  While the new owners have certainly added their own vibe, at it's heart, it retains the soul of the community cafe Claudia envisioned.

Although the Flight Cafe in Dover is no longer officially a part of the Flight Coffee Company family, they have licensed the use of the name, brew and sell our coffee to our original specifications, and act as a great Ambassador for the Flight Coffee Company name on the Seacoast.

We encourage you to check them out.  Tell 'em Claudia sent you!

478 Central Avenue, Dover, NH