Unplanned Stop Leads to American Dream Success for Muletown Coffee

Thompson’s Station Farmer’s Market Vendor Spotlight Series:

by: Spring Hill Fresh

Muletown Coffee owners Chris Weninegar and Matt Johnson are living the American Dream starting up their very own artisanal brew shop in downtown Columbia, TN. The story on just how that happened is an inspiring one for others who are looking for their ‘signature’ niche but are not sure how to find it.

The story goes Chris just happened to find himself in downtown Columbia one day as a result of a detour on his GPS as he was traveling through from his former home in Alabama. He fell in love with the charm of the square and the city’s history as he explored downtown Columbia. It was that chance occurance, the desire was born to open a coffee roasting company on the square of Columbia, TN.

Chris is no stranger to the coffee business. He has been around and in the coffee business since the age of 14. He’s worked with national coffee companies and also helped get off the ground another coffee startup in his own hometown. Chris is cut from the cloth of a growing trend in the coffee business where young entrepreneurs are approaching coffee roasting and handling in a more holistic, artistic manner creating a ‘micro-roasting & blending method with their coffees. Known as ‘Third Wave’, this movement’s goal is to produce high-quality coffee, and consider coffee as an artisanal foodstuff, like wine or beer, rather than a commodity. This involves improvements at all stages of production, from improving coffee plant growing, harvesting, and processing, to stronger relationships between coffee growers, traders, and roasters, to higher quality and fresh roasting, at times called “micro-roasting”, to skilled brewing.

Co-owner Matt Johnson, has a background from a completely different segment but it certainly embodies the creative and artistic elements found with many of the uprising micro-coffee brewers today. Matt has a long history in the music business and is a very accomplished musician/songwriter. He and his family moved here first from Alabama working in his music career craft and as his friend Chris would make regular trips to Nashville, they would get together and talk about the coffee shop becoming a reality.

Their friendship, complementary strengths, and their hearts desire to step out and try to make a go of bringing this vision, Muletown Coffee, to lifeξ has paid off handsomely! Today, Muletown Coffee has become a recognized and celebrated name in the Columbia area and beyond. They have grown to two locations and will soon have a local roasting operation and storehouse.

In addition, they are taking their coffees out of their shops and setting up in places that align with there artisan approach to foods, beverages and friendly local interactions with their customers. One such place you can find them every Wednesday is the Thompson’s Station Farmers Market at the Homestead Manor in Thompson’s Stations, TN. They join the many vendors each week catering to locals desire for fresh, farm to table and specialty made foods and goods. Stop in and chat with Chris, Matt or Austin at the market and purchase some of the best specialty brewed coffees around!


Muletown Heritage

23 Public Square,

Columbia, TN 38401

(931) 901-0220

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Muletown West

1390B Hampshire Pike

Columbia, TN 38401

(931) 901-0700