RICHMOND, Va. -- The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Richmond-area businesses hard. Many have seen a drastic drop in sales, others have been forced to close.
But TJ and Taylor Dobrucky believe their faith and community are sure routes to success for their new coffee shop.
The couple officially opened Ever Better at 214 N. Lombardy Street in the Fan.
"We've been anticipating this for literally a year," Taylor Dobrucky said.
"We wanted to do something that blessed people and blessed the city, and something that we were both extremely proud of," TJ added.
While they planned to start serving customers months ago, those plans were put on pause when COVID-19 started to impact Virginia. Plans were delayed even longer when a work-related injury put TJ in a wheelchair for a month.
"She had to play both nurse and a construction worker at the same time," TJ said. "She'd get up at 6 a.m., come home at seven to grab a quick bite for dinner, and then be back here until ten every single night."
But TJ and Taylor said they never took their eyes off of their end goal -- even during the pandemic.
"Basically, we knew we had to make a bed and we were going to lie in the bed, whatever bed we made," Taylor said. "So we both decided that this is the bed that we want to lie in, and we went all in."
The couple said their drinks may taste sweet, but they're not loaded with sugar.
TJ, who is also a certified personal trainer, crafted a lot of the recipes at Ever Better with health in mind, including protein shakes, aloes shots, and an array of mega teas in addition to coffee.
"I just looked around us and thought, okay we live in the Fan, everybody in the Fan is health-conscious in some sort of way, especially with the coronavirus, everyone is more hypersensitive to that, and everyone wants to be healthy, I think," TJ said. "We wanted to offer something else. And when you go invite someone to a coffee shop and that person doesn't like coffee they're like 'okay I'll get something random else.' but this is something where everybody can come."
TJ and Taylor wrapped up their first day and said they're feeling hopeful for a bright future at Ever Better.
"With the first day and there being so many unknowns, we're gonna figure this stuff out. We'll learn, it's just been a huge blessing and the lord's been so good through it all."
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