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Lexington man starts Honest Abe Coffee Co.
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Lexington man starts Honest Abe Coffee Co.

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LEXINGTON — Coffee lover Abe McMillion spent more than 20 years working late hours as a U.S. Marine and Thomasville police officer, which resulted in him drinking more than his fair share of what he terms “just awful” coffee.

All those years of sometimes having to drink brown sludge from one of the military’s meals ready-to-eat packets or grabbing whatever was available and labeled coffee at a convenience store at 3 a.m. while he worked third shift as a police officer, often had him dreaming of a better brew.

The central Davidson area resident put those dreams into action this year when he began Honest Abe Coffee Co., selling light, medium and dark roasted options. He sells the 12-ounce bags of coffee on his website at www.honestabecoffeeco.com and has a Facebook page. Each bag costs $13.50 plus shipping.

In addition, McMillion’s wife, owner of Copper Lane Boutique in Welcome, sells the bagged coffee at her store, so locals can forgo the shipping cost if purchased there.

“It’s been a thought of mine for years to make a better coffee,” McMillion said. “I have always loved coffee. I have always drunk coffee. When you work third shift for a police department or you are out in the field on maneuvers in the military, coffee is essential to get you through it. But you don’t have a lot of options.”

Working as a field representative for James Scott and Farrin Law Firm out of Durham for the past year afforded McMillion more time to pursue his plan to make and sell great-tasting coffee. He reached out to neighbor and friend Tyler Prevatte, owner of The Perfect Blend Coffee Shop in Lexington, to learn about coffee bean sources, roasting and more.

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“Tyler got me with his coffee bean source in Honduras, and he roasts the beans for me,” he said. “I pick up the roasted beans from him, grind it, bag it and ship it right out.”

Prevatte said the relationship is not about competition, but about helping a fellow coffee lover pursue his dream to start a business and get good coffee in the hands of people.

“To be honest, it’s about getting delicious coffee into the consumers’ hands no matter what avenue,” he said. “I talked with Abe for hours so we would get the right roasting profile for his brand.”

Prevatte, who also supplies coffee to other local businesses, like MoJo’s in Welcome, The Blend in Thomasville, Egger Wood Products and Rock Outdoors in Lexington, said he buys his green beans by the container directly from a Honduran farmer once a year. That farmer uses his proceeds to help operate a medical clinic in his home country.

He said he welcomes partnerships, like the one with McMillion, and does not look at helping someone else begin their business and realize their dream as helping the competition.

“At the end of the day, we are providing a service,” Prevatte said. “There are a lot of people in Davidson County and we want to have them drinking good coffee no matter what the avenue.”

McMillion echoed Prevatte’s sentiments that he wants everyone to have great coffee options and help people along the way.

“I really hope once I get established, I can take some of the proceeds and contribute to law enforcement foundations,” the 41-year-old McMillion said. “That’s important to me. Often officers get overlooked. One foundation, in particular, I would like to help is called Back the Blue.”

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