"It's about basic survival," he said.
And if he can sell a few cups of coffee along the way, all the better. By noon Tuesday, despite the blizzard, a dozen customers had wandered in to talk about the snow and sip coffee.
Down the road, near Scarbro, Scott Armstrong spent his morning on a tractor, clearing his driveway of the pine trees that fell around midnight.
He wasn't worried about his property or his house, which lay only several feet from where the trees fell. But he said he needed to get to work.
Armstrong, 51, is a mechanic for the state Parkways Authority. He repairs state equipment - including snowplows.
"They're probably dying there without me today," he said. "And I don't have any way to contact them. I don't have power."
Beyond his house, Armstrong said, at least 20 downed trees were blocking the road between Oak Hill and Mossy. But he would have to let someone else worry about that.
Derrick Nichols was worrying about it. Down the road, he had finished clearing his own yard and had taken his chainsaw to the road "to help out."
He was no stranger to snow, he said, but had been surprised by the ferocity of the snowstorm so early in the season. And he said the snowfall was disconcertingly dense and wet.
"I've been shaking the trees and the snow won't even come off - it's like it's glued on there," he said.
"This is more snow than I've seen in years, and it's not behaving."
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.