Libertalia Coffee and Bagels acquires Wheatgrass; growing food truck menu

April 5, 2024 | 12:10 am

Updated April 5, 2024 | 8:01 am

Photo by Josh Kelly

Libertalia Coffee and Bagels is continuing to grow. Libertalia is acquiring the Wheatgrass Juice Bar, with the owners saying they will combine the best parts of the two businesses to expand their food truck menu.

Owner Chris Hamilton said that with the change, they will continue to sell Wheatgrass’ most popular smoothies and acai bowls without changing the recipes to which customers have become accustomed.

The two businesses have been under the same roof in Wesleyan Park Plaza since January 2023 when Wheatgrass allowed Libertalia to operate alongside their juice bar. Hamilton said they’ve only seen growth since having a brick-and-mortar location, and much of the success is thanks to the support from Wheatgrass.

“It was just a pure act of divine providence that brought us together,” Hamilton said. “It was them being generous with us, us being generous with them, and both of us making decisions that helped our families. There were no losers in the situation.”

Hamilton said the current layout does not reflect what they want to accomplish, so they will eventually rearrange the location to better suit their new model. In the meantime, they plan on using the new momentum to continue growing and providing more food options that many have come to enjoy.

“So it may be a couple of months before we realize and decide on a good floor plan, but right now we want to make sure everybody that comes in the door gets a really great experience,” Hamilton said.

Some store menu additions include salads, Wheatgrass’ staple acai bowls, and smoothies, but more additions are coming to the Scoutship with hotter foods.

The Scoutship food truck — now called East Coast Eats — will pivot to offer hot and griddle-centric foods. This means the return of their Grippo Bagel Burger from Burger Week, as well as Philly cheesesteaks, Omarosa rolls, and other East Coast favorites.

“That way it’ll have a really strong presence in the world of food trucks, and we’ll be to go to different places, like factories and businesses, that would really be interested in a good hot meal,” Hamilton said.

He noted the truck would rotate a menu depending on their location and what menus fit the occasion best. He isn’t against bringing a heavier menu to the store with the addition of burgers and the like, but he said significant investment would need to be made before that happens.

Nonetheless, as the business has grown since its formation in 2021, he said they are more focused on what customers want and how to serve them better.

As the suite is filled with music and food across the shelves, he said too often customers thank him for his effort in shaping the community.

“I’m not like Puzzle Pieces or Wendell Foster and nonprofits that are impacting the community,” he said. “But (the customers) remind me that we’re bringing a lot of culture and high-quality flavor that really elevates the city. Those are the compliments that really hit me and make me happy.”

April 5, 2024 | 12:10 am

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