A new eco-friendly café brews it coffee using the sun. Literally.
Solar Cafe, which held its grand opening in Sneads Ferry this week, is built on an old farmhouse trailer and adorned with two solar panels that generate 400 watts of energy, owner Mike Loyd Jr. said.
The energy, he said, is enough to brew all the shop’s coffee and smoothies and power the fridge. About 22 percent of the energy used will be powered by those two solar panels installed on the roof.
Aside from the solar panels, the shop uses recycled materials like cups, sleeves and spoons. Everything from there is recycled again, he said.
“Our goal is to be eco-friendly,” he said.
Although it seems obvious the name of the shop would come from the solar panels, Loyd said the name actually came because he wanted to develop an outdoor restaurant. An outdoor restaurant, he said, would have a smaller impact on the environment.
To continue with the theme, all the café’s drink names have something to do with space, like “Milky Way” and “The Martian.” The café offers about 42 basic drinks with even more flavor varieties.
Loyd said that the setup at 1050 Hwy. 210 near the middle school in construction and nail salon make the location perfect. People are constantly going into the salon with Starbucks cups and drinks, he added, and parents will be able to stop for coffee on the way to drop their kids off at school.
Being a drive-thru location also helps draw in business, he said. Last week before the café’s soft opening, Loyd said they had more than one car drive through each day to see if it was open.
Because Loyd is serving as a combat engineer in the Marine Corps, he knows that getting coffee in the morning before work can be challenging for Marines. Having a drive-thru coffee shop allows Marines to stay in their vehicles while in uniform, since they’re not allowed to be in their work uniform off base aside from traveling to and from base.
In addition to providing a place for Marines to grab coffee in the morning, Loyd said he’s also offering a free basic coffee to the first 10 Marines in uniform each day from 6 to 6:30 a.m.
Loyd still has part-time and seasonal positions open. To apply for a position or for more information, visit Facebook.com/SolarCafeSneadsFerry.
The café’s hours will be Monday through Thursday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday 6 a.m. through 10 p.m.