Vessel Craft Coffee Brings a Roastery to Chelsea

by | Nov 30, 2021

Vessel Craft Coffee Expands to Chelsea/West Ghent


The Chelsea District serves its community with the best breweries, pizza, baked goods, and wine. And while each spot is nothing short of spectacular, there’s one area that’s sorely lacking. Coffee shops are few and far between. Whether it’s parents out on a walk with the kids in need of a pick-me-up, or a group of EVMS students looking to catch up in a cozy and relaxing atmosphere, they currently have to play Frogger across Hampton Boulevard to get their caffeine fix. The Chelsea District lacks a space to fill this need of re-energizing people through community and coffee.

Vessel Craft Coffee Coming in Hot


There’s excellent news for the residents of Chelsea and West Ghent! Vessel Craft Coffee has plans to set down roots in the neighborhood in the early spring of 2022. Sarah Cowherd, the owner of Vessel Craft Coffee, has seen the need in the area and is taking charge to make it happen.

A Coffee Shop with Purpose


Cowherd is a Norfolk native and first launched Vessel Craft Coffee back in 2016. The inspiration for her craft coffee company began to develop during the medical missions trips she took earlier on in her nursing career. Upon frequent visits to coffee-growing countries, Cowherd discovered that many of the coffee farmers were underpaid. From this eye-opening discovery, she developed the idea to start a company that would combine her passion for coffee with buying ethically-sourced beans from farms in these countries. She fully believes that paying the coffee farmers what they deserve raises morale and results in better work and is making it an integral part of Vessel Craft’s mission to support farms that offer fair wages.


Three years ago, JT Tworek joined Cowherd as her business partner and Vessel’s master roaster, bringing customers the perfect balance of flavors in each cup of coffee sold.



In addition to the careful selection of coffee farms that Vessel Craft Coffee selects their beans from, Vessel Craft Coffee also believes in giving back to the local community. They also give back 10% of profits to community projects.

What to Expect with Vessel Craft Coffee’s New Location


While Vessel Craft Coffee has created a vital footprint downtown at Selden Market and is well-known in the Norfolk community, the new location will bring something fresh to the city and present new opportunities to the growing business.


Vessel Craft Coffee of West Ghent will be a roastery, similar to a microbrewery, but for coffee. The roasting equipment will be front and center in the space for customers to enjoy, and there will be ongoing events such as roasting classes for the local community. With these high-tech roastery vibes, there’s no doubt the new coffee shop will be a welcome addition to the already hip atmosphere of West Ghent and Chelsea.


Nothing says Norfolk like a purpose-driven business seeking to support the local community. Keep an eye out on Vessel Craft’s Facebook and Instagram pages for updates on their new location’s debut. And in the meantime, be sure to visit them at Selden Market and try their holiday spice latte, packed with delicious and cozy flavor.


Tiffany Frazier

Ghent, NFK

Tiffany grew up in Chesapeake but has called Norfolk home for the past seven years. She fell in love with the city while working with Festevents during college summer breaks. She graduated from James Madison University (Go Dukes!) with a degree in corporate communication. Tiffany now works as a digital marketing specialist and enjoys strolling and rollerblading her way around Norfolk. She lives in Ghent with her husband Trevor, and their two cats, Tux and Joe. 

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