Philter 2.0 looks different, but it still feels like home. That’s because owner and “coffee guy” Chris Thompson has redesigned the well-loved space not for some strange new normal but to welcome the community, as he has from the beginning, to an attractive space with friendly staff and really good coffee and food.
On March 16, Chris rearranged payment schedules, deep cleaned, waited to reopen. As the days wore on, he created an online shop that also provided an outlet for local makers, expanded his product line, began making deliveries, and even sold a house through the website. “I have stories to tell my grandkids someday,” he says with a smile.
Through the dark-shuttered months of the shutdown, Philter
was Kennett Square central—a place to pick up Philter orders, but also to drop packages, pick up masks, and chat with Chris, smiling behind his laptop, through the open door. That door was open as he prepared to open in 2013, too. What he lost in efficiency he more than made up in building relationships.
He’s had time to reflect on how the community has evolved since then and to strategize changes that make sense for the long-term. “As scary as it’s been, it’s also exhilarating—entrepreneurs thrive in pushing through challenges,” he says. With Ceremony Coffee, he developed the 64 (aka six fo’) and invested in tools to take advantage of advances in brewing for consistency and efficiency. In the days leading up to re-opening in June, Philter’s social media feed
was filled not with products but with images of Kennett Square’s peaceful and powerful Black Lives Matter protest. “It seems like we’re all remembering what’s most important,” Chris says.