An abandoned, historic building in Elba should soon have new life. The old Coffee County school board administration building will become home to a Florida-based coffee producer.
The old Coffee County school board building has been vacant since the great flood of 1990 destroyed downtown Elba. Built in the 1890s, it was originally a church.
Emerald Coast Coffee incorporated with offices in Niceville and Santa Rosa beach plan on making the building a roasting facility for gourmet style coffee:
"Will be known as Coffee County roasters, an educational center for roasting, coffee shop management. It’ll be known as an educational facility across the southeast," said Ruth Alford of Emerald Coast Coffee Inc.
The Coffee County commission passed a motion to sell the building to the Alford family for $25,000. Although it's not expected to bring many jobs at first, it's a homegrown industry.
Coffee Co. commissioner Bernest Brooks said, "The proposed bid and listening to the owner. It sounds like a homegrown type industry and I’m thoroughly in support of homegrown industry"
Elba's long time mayor James Grimes says new business and anything to bring life to the downtown is good for the entire community"
"Since the levee has been restored we've had three new businesses move in and that's a great way to bring life to Elba," said Mayor Grimes.
Once the building is renovated, the Alford’s plan on shipping their coffee from Elba to wholesale and retail locations across the U.S.