From Campus Brews to Coffee Innovator: How a William & Mary Alum Brewed Up Success with Column 15

James Kroll, a William & Mary alumnus and founder of Column 15, a coffee shop in Williamsburg, has transformed his passion for coffee into a thriving business, as detailed in a feature from the winter 2024 issue of the W&M Alumni Magazine. From his college days brewing coffee in a French press to opening Column 15, Kroll emphasizes the science behind crafting the perfect cup of coffee, focusing on refinement, quality control, and seasonal adjustments to ensure consistent experiences for customers. Despite growing up disliking coffee, Kroll’s journey into the world of high-quality, fresh coffee has led him to create a space that not only serves exceptional brews but also educates customers on the importance of specialty grade, single-origin, fair-trade, and organically sourced beans.

Through Column 15’s single-origin, fair trade and organically sourced coffee, Kroll hopes to inspire others to love a good cup as much as he does. (Photo by Alfred Herczeg)

Column 15, known for its unique cold brew and coffee flights, has become a favorite among locals and students alike, offering a variety of tastes including seasonal flavors that mimic different cookies. The coffee shop’s collaboration with William & Mary, including the introduction of the W&M Collection of coffees, exemplifies Kroll’s dedication to his alma mater and his commitment to bringing innovative coffee experiences to the community. With plans for expansion and continued product development, Column 15 is set to grow its presence and share its love for coffee with a wider audience.

You can find Column 15 at James-York Plaza on Merrimac Trail in Williamsburg. For the detailed story on James Kroll and Column 15 as featured in the W&M Alumni Magazine, please visit their website at

Find out more about column 15 coffee on their website here

Discover more from Mr. Williamsburg

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading