The Guide Shack Cafe brings coffee and adventure to Harpers Ferry.


Coffee was the drink that fueled Chris Price on his adventures in the Harpers Ferry area. But because of a lack of coffee shops in the historic town, Price was forced to hike to the nearest gas station to get more of that “magic bean,” as he refers to the caffeinated drink. Seeing a need, Price opened his own cafe in Bolivar in spring 2016.

Price is a veteran who has struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. While overcoming these obstacles, Price found his love of adventuring outdoors through activities like rock climbing, kayaking, and hiking. Those experiences inspired him to help other veterans.

Everything sold in his café store is locally- or veteran-sourced, including jarred and baked goods. He also uses the business to encourage other veterans to seek out what he calls “adventure therapy.” “We know nature is healing, and having a purpose in life is healing, so that’s the drive—to encourage people to open their hearts, shut their mouths, and help their neighbor,” Price says.

The Guide Shack hosts fundraising events for the community and offers veteran-guided tours through the Harpers Ferry area. There’s even a bouldering rock in the coffee shop for visitors to enjoy while rendezvousing over West Virginia–roasted coffee. 102 Washington Street, Bolivar, 304.995.6022, guideshackcafe.com, @guideshackcafe on Facebook

written by KRISTEN UPPERCUE

photographed by NIKKI BOWMAN

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