Fetch Coffee At Dogs Little Acre

Cailin Johnston, a barista at Fetch Coffee at Dog’s Little Acre on Sandbridge Road in Sandbridge, brings a fresh coffee to a drive-through customer on Wednesday, Oct. 27. Johnston, who lives in Pine Ridge, is a student at Bayside High School. Fetch Coffee evolved from a nearby business, Dog’s Little Acre, a dog grooming and training center near the residential resort community. The coffee shop has found fans in vacationers and locals alike. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Ed. — Originally published in the Sunday, Oct. 31, print edition.


SANDBRIDGE — A long and winding road led Chris Dennis to establish the Sandbridge Road coffee shop Fetch Coffee at Dog’s Little Acre, which opened nearly a year ago adjacent to Dog’s Little Acre, a grooming and training center.

Fetch Coffee serves locals and those vacationing nearby in the residential resort community everything from snow cones to lattes and hot beverages that feature seasonal fruits or spices.

Dennis grew up at Sandbridge, but he moved to Colorado as an adult and carved out a career in real estate. He returned to Virginia Beach in 2016 and now works as an associate broker at Wainwright Real Estate, but he’d also decided that he wanted to pursue other interests.

A passion for dogs prompted him to open Dog’s Little Acre, which offers grooming and training as well as a small retail shop that sells dog toys and supplies. Then he began a small seasonal snow cone business so that his children, Leo, now 13, and Samson, now 10, would have a summer job when they came to visit from Colorado. And Dennis branched out into coffees, teas, and milkshakes.

“The snow cone business had done well,” Dennis said, “and I had fallen in love with coffee through years of drinking it.”

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So he opened the coffee shop in November 2020. Now, with the help of managers Danielle Gonzales and Barbara Dunbar, he serves beverages to customers who drive through or stop to lounge at an outdoor seating area.

Dennis also hopes to expand to include tent seating for colder weather. In the meantime, he, Gonzales, and Dunbar continue to find ways to expand the menu. They offer traditional coffee, espresso, and lattes, and they also offer some drinks that they’ve concocted themselves – sometimes with inspiration from local culture or geography.

For example a latte that includes vanilla bean, caramel and pumpkin is called Grace Sherwood: The Witch of Pungo, and the False Cape features a mixture of white and dark chocolate. Other lattes are named Sandbridge, Back Bay, Nor’ Easter and – appropriate, given the adjoining business – The Mutt.

“We wanted to give Sandbridge something different,” Gonzales said. “I like being able to make a good drink for locals who come in here all of the time. We also like trying new things.”

Manager Danielle Gonzales and owner Chris Dennis of Fetch Coffee at Dog’s Little Acre on Sandbridge Road in Virginia Beach are seen at the coffee shop, which opened nearly a year ago. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Dennis credits Gonzales and Dunbar with concocting the blended drinks, but he says that they all brainstorm and experiment together. Iced and hot teas are made from black teas with fruited accents, and the menu also includes baked goods and smoothies. Seasonal drinks include Gingerbread Latte, Black Forest Frappuccino, Cranberry White Mocha and Peppermint Mocha.

Fetch also sells roasted whole and ground coffee beans, and Dennis plans to sell gift baskets for the holidays.

The local theme is reflected in the coffee beans, which are roasted by local companies including Tidewater Coffee, Lynnhaven Coffee Company and Taxus Street Coffee.

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“We’re also open to trying new local coffee companies,” Dennis said.

Sandbridge resident Trip Smith said that he and his family enjoy the diversity of offerings at Fetch Coffee.

“We use their mobile service for dog grooming,” Smith said, “and we saw the signs for coffee one day as we drove past.”

He likes the Nitro Cold Brew, he said. His daughter, Daisy, prefers the iced teas while Hattie, her sister, likes caramel macchiato.

Dennis, Gonzales and Dunbar plan to continue developing new offerings and ways to expand the business.

“We didn’t realize at first that you can do what you want to do,” Dennis said. “Just because we are dog groomers doesn’t mean that we can’t have coffee, and we may be open to other things.”

Fetch Coffee at Dog’s Little Acre, 665 Sandbridge Road, is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Reach them at (757) 614-9500. Search @dogslittleacre on Facebook or visit dogacre.com online for information about Dog’s Little Acre.

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