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Katie Godfrey Kilgore ’16 Strives for a Culture of Community Through Fount Coffee + Kitchen

Growing up down the road from NC State and being raised by alumni, some might say Katie Godfrey Kilgore ’16 was destined to become a member of the Wolfpack. Kilgore’s time in Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) in high school and the desire to learn organization fundamentals led her to choose Poole College of Management.

“I was very impressed with what Poole had to offer and felt like a business degree would lend itself to me becoming more well-rounded as an individual,” said Kilgore. “While I naturally leaned towards the communication and humanities fields, I felt Poole and my potential degree would grow and refine me in ways that would help me provide greater value to whatever professional path I ended up choosing long term.”

PCJ Memories

Kilgore’s time at Poole College revolved around early morning coffees in the Port City Java (PCJ) lounge in Nelson Hall while studying and working on projects with classmates. Her relationships with academic advisors and faculty as well as the hands-on learning in the classroom shaped who she is now individually and professionally.

Katie posing outside of Carter-Finley Stadium post-graduation in 2016

During her academic career, Kilgore assisted with the Chancellor’s Leadership Development Program as well as volunteered with NC State’s Read to LEAD program. She then became a Young Life leader and pivoted to spend the majority of her time and energy investing in the students she was building relationships with at Enloe High School.

Founding Fountain

Two years after she received a Bachelor of Arts in business administration with a concentration in marketing, Kilgore, her husband and best friends turned business partners recognized the need and opportunity for a business like Fount Coffee + Kitchen. They dreamed, brainstormed, wrote a business plan, acquired a loan, signed a lease and opened the doors of Fount leaving behind their corporate jobs and diving fully into the world of hospitality.

Katie (third from left) and the next generation of Fount Coffee + Kitchen

“We believed, and still do, that sharing food and drink together is a universal language of relationship building and unity and we are committed to high standards because we feel strongly that the quality of the product you serve as well as the way you serve it reflects and communicates the value you place on an individual,” said Kilgore.

Kilgore believes successful small business ownership lies in your commitment to learn and grow and a willingness to do hard things, receive feedback, recognize your mistakes, apologize, ask for help and deny your innate tendency towards pride and self-reliance.

Giving Back to the Poole Pack

Kilgore’s father, David Godfrey established the Katelyn Godfrey Kilgore Scholarship for students pursuing undergraduate degrees in Poole College to honor his daughter.

I am immeasurably grateful for the blessing of having had a family that helped me pay for my college tuition and experience and that then looks to pay it forward.

“I am immeasurably grateful for the blessing of having had a family that helped me pay for my college tuition and experience and that then looks to pay it forward,” said Kilgore. “I’m humbled and honored that they desire to be a means of tangible grace and care for students who are in need of financial aid and have done this work nevertheless in dedication of my time at NC State.”

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