Rock-It Coffee shop launches in Statesboro

Tandra Smith

Rock-It Coffee, a brand new coffee shop located next to Barefoot, is looking to change the way Georgia Southern and Statesboro thinks about coffee.

Rock-It Coffee serves a variety of free trade and organic coffees, teas and other pastries and snacks. The shop is decorated in an assortment of decor from the 60s and 70s, such as Elvis pictures and posters, as well as guitar picks embedded into the counter where you can pick up your drink.

“My attitude is that the world doesn’t need another Starbucks and we wanted to have something that wasn’t so, almost dreary,” Kent Hill, co-owner of Rock-It Coffee, said.

The Rock-It Toffee Coffee is the most popular thing on the menu, according to Hill.

“It’s amazing since no one’s heard of Toffee Coffee that it’s the number one item. I would say it’s highly drinkable whether it is hot or cold,” Hill said.

The idea for Rock-It Coffee came from Lee Barnes’ wife. Barnes is a Statesboro native and GS alum, who had moved away from Statesboro for 30 years, before coming back to the area.

“Rock-It Coffee was my wife’s brain child. She wanted a coffee shop in Statesboro and I was not so on board with it, until I met Kent, who has the kind of experience we need to put something together,” Barnes said.

Hill and Barnes began formulating a plan for the coffee shop between April and May. Barnes found the current location after looking for a Smoothie King sized place.

The location needed a lot of work done. According to Barnes, the renovations were the most challenging part of opening the shop.

“Two days before we got our final inspection, it did not look like it was going to be a restaurant at all,” Barnes said. “It looked more like a warehouse.”

Over the coming months, Barnes, Hill, and Kathy Malone, general manager of Rock-It Coffee, wish for the shop to grow steadily.

The most exciting thing, according to the group, is the trike that the shop will be operating. Named the Rock-It Coffee Orbiter, it’s an eight speed bike that will have two kegs, dispensing Nitro Coffee and Nitro Tea.

“We will find some good locations to make it convenient for students that are walking to class,” Barnes said.

GS students’ needs are an important part of Rock-It Coffee’s daily operations. They’re even the best part of the business, Hill believes.

“They’re terrific. They’re just amazing. We’ve encountered so many really wonderful young people,” Hill said.

Taylor Deal, freshman recreation major, is a current employee of Rock-It Coffee. Her family owns a series of restaurants and she has a great deal of respect for the food service industry.

“Everything I make as a barista is completely unique and it’s a specific cup for you. So it allows me to really let out my creativity and make something special for somebody,” Deal said.

Rock-It Coffee is still in its infancy. In the upcoming weeks, Hill is looking to get Tapingo up and running, so students are able to order drinks and pick them up on the way to class.

Hill said, “[We’ll have it running] very, very, very soon. It’s very high priority,”

For more information about Rock-It Coffee, check out their website,, or their Twitter and Instagram page, @RockItCoffee.