In 2005, a refurbished horse barn became a new business in Little Compton. The building was originally on a property in Adamsville. It was purchased and moved to Treaty Rock Farm and finally to South of Commons Road.
Behind this venture, Judith Worthen, who moved to town as a young woman met Josie Richmond Arkins, a lifelong resident. Early in their association they began taking hikes on the wonderful trails nearby chatting about their lives before meeting, local history, ambitions, future plans and current activities.
Josie, when she wasn’t creating art had begun teaching art to interested adults and youth. She was successful doing both.
Judith’s outgoing personality and kitchen skills soon made her home a popular gathering place for nearby neighbors. On a whim she bought an expresso machine to make special coffee for guests. A sign, Judy’s Coffee Shop, was placed on her door by a friend who had made it.
Over time they realized their skills might actually be the basis for a combined business. Their creativity developed plans for an art gallery and coffee shop. After the goal was set, attention turned to funding, coffee brewing equipment and furniture to create a welcoming business. Josie’s art was displayed and the dream became a reality.
In 2020, almost 15 years after opening, Art Café is still a popular meeting place for patrons, many of whom have made lasting friendships.
The shop offers 12 different ways of making coffee and 6 organic teas plus baked treats and fresh fruit. While inside the shop one may view the artwork of Josie and other artists, beautiful jewelry, handcrafted cards and many other crafts. During the winter a wood stove warms visitors and encourages customers to sit and chat. Then as the weather warms the shaded lawn, flower gardens, benches, tables and chairs lure people outside.
During the year, the Art Café sponsors fundraising concerts for the local food bank. These acts may include bands or solo performances, and they have also hosted gong baths and stargazing lectures.
Josie offers special art classes and activities for the children and youth. Their work is displayed for all to enjoy and all summer you can hear their laughter echo across the Commons.
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