The Ragged Edge Coffee House
By Karen Hendricks, Story pulled from the Sept/Oct 2019 issue
Jake Schindel was a business management major at Gettysburg College in 2001 when he jumped into real-world business experience. He purchased the Chambersburg Street coffeehouse that would become The Ragged Edge, in partnership with his parents and family friend Robert Lasco.
“I had always thoughts about owning a business,” says Schindel, now 40. “My grandparents owned a grocery store in Orrtanna and that planted the seed.”
The Ragged Edge’s concept is casual, Schindel says, with a menu comprised of sandwiches, salads, fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies, plus pastries. And, of course, coffee.
Specializing in organic, direct trade, or fair-trade coffee, The Ragged Edge’s primary product is roasted by Chad Close, who runs Ragged Edge Roasting Company and Eighty-Two Cafe at
82 Steinwehr Ave.
Ensuring that Gettysburg’s coffee lovers can get their fix throughout Gettysburg, Schindel established satellite locations at the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County and then at HACC’s Gettysburg campus in the early 2000s and at Eighty-Two Cafe in 2012. Bags of roasted coffee are available in 25 locations, including Kennie’s Markets.
Schindel has faced numerous challenges as an entrepreneur—including two fires at neighboring properties in 2004 and 2010 that damaged the coffeehouse.
“The first fire was devastating and put us down for nine months. A lot of the building had to be reconstructed,” Schindel says. “But we learned a lot. Instead of challenges, we looked at the fires as opportunities to improve the building, making it handicapped-accessible, for example.”
Another challenge focused on traffic—both foot traffic and parking issues. Schindel says very few other businesses were located in the 100-block of Chambersburg Street when The Ragged Edge opened, but foot traffic has increased over the years as other businesses moved in.
Schindel is currently running for his third term as a Gettysburg Borough councilman, with seven years under his belt. “Being on council, I think I’ve helped to create a better business environment,” says Schindel. “Parking was one of my first big issues—how do we make parking better, more accessible, with all of our downtown businesses depending on it.”
As for future plans, Schindel says he’s working on retrofitting The Ragged Edge’s garage into a commercial space to better utilize the backyard patio garden.
It’s a space where his mother’s talents shine—she maintains the gardens. Schindel says he enjoys seeing and working with both of his parents every day.
And what would a coffeehouse be without coffee klatches? Schindel says it’s gratifying to see “regulars,” plus new faces every day, with plenty of conversations over coffee.
“It’s good to have that environment; people appreciate independent businesses,” he says.
Fun Fact: The name “The Ragged Edge” has a family connection. “Because we used money from my grandfather’s estate to purchase the coffee shop, we used the name of his house in Bermuda, ‘The Ragged Edge,’ which actually was named for the Ragged Edge Road in Orrtanna,” Schindel explains.
The Ragged Edge Coffee House (main location)
Multiple locations are in Adams County including HACC-Gettysburg and Amblebrook)
110 Chambersburg St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325