Chapel Hill's 3Cups will close on Feb. 2.
The coffee, wine and tea store was the work of entrepreneur Lex Alexander, former owner of the Triangle's Wellspring grocery stores that were bought by Whole Foods. Alexander was known for carefully selecting the products sold in his store, including loose leaf tea, freshly roasted coffee, wines from small family-owned wineries, chocolates and more.
Alexander opened 3Cups in 2005 in downtown Chapel Hill before a dispute with the landlord moved the store to its current location off Elliot Road.
Alexander and his wife, Ann, sent out notes Monday announcing the store's closing. "After much deliberation, we have decided that our 3 Cups business model is no longer financially sustainable," the email said.
On Tuesday, Ann Alexander added, "We had a passionate group of supporters -- there just weren't enough of them."
Lex Alexander, who once hoped to create multiple 3Cups stores, said he was sad to see the store's end: "I'm heartbroken about it."
Now that they have announced the store is closing, customers came in to say goodbye and shop.
"Yesterday, we had the biggest sales day we've ever had," Lex Alexander said.
To read a profile of Lex Alexander that ran in the News & Observer in 2010, go HERE.