Co-owners Ryan Hill, right, and Shawn Bloodsworth answer questions during an interview Thursday at Wrapped Up Coffee House on Water Street in downtown Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — Ryan Hill could see the trends at his two Augusta eateries with similar names but different audiences, and decided now is the time to combine the two.

At Wrapped Up, which closed last month, business had been stagnant at best ever since the sandwich shop’s core clientele of state workers was sent home earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them have continued to work from home, not at state office buildings just down the street from the deli off State Street.

Hill, meanwhile, could see the revitalization taking place around Wrapped Up Coffee House, which sells coffee and baked goods downtown, near the city’s waterfront.

Business from loyal regulars peaked in the mornings and again in the afternoons, but dropped off from about 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The result of combining those two businesses, Wrapped Up Coffee House & Kitchen, should be ready sometime before Christmas, as soon as a new kitchen is installed at the long-vacant space next to the coffee shop.

When that work is complete, Hill said, customers will be served wraps and coffee inside the existing coffee house at 216 Water St.


Hulking wraps, sandwiches, salads and other lunch items prepared at the new kitchen will be passed through a window cut into the shared wall between the two spots, for customers who dine in or order food to go.

The menu is expected to be similar to the former wrap shop’s menu, which Hill said featured made-by-hand wraps using fresh, local, top-quality ingredients. The eatery will also add new items, such as breakfast pizza. And when the go-to downtown breakfast spot, the Downtown Diner, is closed Mondays and Tuesday, the Wrapped Up Coffee House & Kitchen will offer expanded breakfast items.

In the meantime, the shop remains open for coffee sales while renovations take place next door.

The owners of Wrapped Up Coffee House on Water Street in downtown Augusta are renovating the empty storefront, right, into a kitchen. They expect to begin serving sandwiches at the retooled Wrapped Up Coffee House & Kitchen in December. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“From 2015 to 2018, we saw the biggest changes happening downtown,” said Hill, citing new businesses and apartments coming to the city’s previously neglected downtown area, many of them by the Parkhurst family. “It was amazing to watch the transformation. The opportunity to get in on that, just before the peak of growth, was a no-brainer.”

Hill and his wife, Amanda, bought the former Huiskamer Coffee House, which closed in 2020 when its then-owners said the state’s COVID-19 restrictions put them out of business, and reopened it as Wrapped Up Coffee House in April of 2021.

Hill said  Huiskamer had a strong clientele and steady business, so the only changes made included altering the decor of the shop from what he described as a museum feel, with artwork lining the walls, to the cozier feel of a living room, with a large cabinet filled with board games and Bob Dylan concert posters on the wall.


Standing in the still-under-construction kitchen, co-owner Ryan Hill answers questions during an interview Thursday at Wrapped Up Coffee House on Water Street in downtown Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Hill had bought the former Bay Wrap, off State Street and near the state capital complex, in May 2018, after working there since 2014. He changed the name to Wrapped Up and, following its closure, the deli’s sign now sits prominently in the very-much-under-construction kitchen space downtown.

When a short-lived consignment shop vacated the space next the downtown coffee shop, the owners of the building, the Guerette family, offered the space to Hill. Since he had hoped to add a kitchen at the coffee shop, he signed on to rent the additional space now under renovation.

“I saw the downtown revitalizing, so when the consignment shop closed its doors and the Guerettes offered the space, I jumped on it,” he said.

Joining the Hills as a co-owner in the new business, Wrapped Up Coffee House & Kitchen, is Shawn Bloodsworth, a veteran of the Wrapped Up sandwich shop who has a passion for cooking, according to Hill.

Co-owner Shawn Bloodsworth, right, makes a coffee order for a customer Thursday at Wrapped Up Coffee House on Water Street in downtown Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Bloodsworth, who for now is running the coffee shop, will run the kitchen after it is complete.

“Growing up, I was always cooking. There’s a picture of me when I was 2 or 3 years old cooking at home,” he said. “So it’s just been a lifelong thing for me. I love cooking different cuisines.”


Hill said they have found a welcoming and supportive community downtown, with owners of other businesses encouraging one another and suggesting their own customers also check out other businesses downtown. Hill said between Bloodsworth and himself, they know the name of just about every regular customer who walks through the door, often exchanging playful banter with them.

A regular customer who happened into the shop Thursday, who asked to be identified by his first name, Mark, said it was good to see someone take a chance and open a business downtown. He even offered ideas for what the owners could put in the display windows in the storefront of the kitchen, suggesting they sell Augusta-themed items.

Hill and Bloodsworth said business at the coffee shop has been consistent, with a customer base including the owners of other businesses, residents, and workers including staff from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, whose offices are nearby on Water Street.

The sign over the back entrance to Wrapped Up Coffee House hangs from a brightly decorated wall on Commercial Street in downtown Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Hill also said adding the wrap business at the site should help fill the period between 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., when coffee sales are typically slow.

Including the owners, Wrapped Up Coffee House & Kitchen is expected to have six employees, with most coming from their previous jobs at the sandwich shop. Hill said they are longtime and trustworthy employees, which Hill said allows him to be an owner but not a manager. He said they already do their jobs without having to be watched closely.

Hill, who lives in Augusta with his family, including sons Dean, 3, and Silas, 2, said the city is their home and he plans to stay long enough for his boys to go through high school. He added he hopes the business into which they are putting money and time will ultimately provide for a nice retirement.

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