Since its long awaited grand re-opening in May 2010, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) has quickly established itself as a premier destination for art enthusiasts, not to mention a strong point of pride for many Richmonders. In addition to impressive standing collections and heavy hitting features like the recent “Tiffany, Color and Lights”, VMFA has been earning great acclaim for its multi-tier culinary program with Executive Chef Danny Ayers at the helm. In addition to ably managing four full kitchens, Ayers commands an impressive knowledge and respect for the art and history of the VMFA and adjacent buildings; a fact we happily learned during an impromptu tour of his work spaces. Ayers recently struck a partnership with local Richmond coffee roaster David Blanchard of Blanchard’s Coffee to provide a full coffee program to the museum including Blanchard’s ever popular “Dark as Dark”.
Blanchard’s coffee maintains a constant commitment to local businesses and organizations making the VMFA a natural fit. “We are very excited to be providing coffee to the VMFA. Clearly they are committed to excellence and creating a ‘third space’ for Richmond to enjoy not only art, but community to its fullest” commented Blanchard after our walk through the museum grounds. He went on to cite Danny Ayers’ obvious passion for both the culinary and visual arts as proof that great coffee and great art share the simple trait of fostering conversation which, in turn, builds community.
The VMFA will officially begin offering Blanchard’s Coffee in all of its locations in mid-September. Not only will you be able to enjoy a cup of this local favorite but the gift shop will also have whole-bean fresh roasted Blanchard’s Coffee for sale to take home. Just remember, you cannot carry your cup of coffee into the exhibit areas; a fact we learned as an attendant promptly chased us down and confiscated our cups only moments after we exited the Amuse kitchen!