A December opening of Daphne’s Coffee Shop in downtown Littleton is planned.

LITTLETON — In 2019, Littleton residents Ed and Deb Fitts began renovation of several local, historic buildings.

Now they are pleased to announce the December opening of Daphne’s Coffee Shop in downtown Littleton. Daphne’s — the opening planned for early December — is named for Ed’s mother — a lifelong resident of Littleton and accomplished artist who was well known for the portraits she painted of local children. Main Street Wines will open soon after and Blue Jay Bistro will open in 2021. The Fitts are excited to be part of the rejuvenation of Littleton, where a number of new businesses have opened in recent months.

“We’ve designed these concepts — Daphne’s Coffee Shop, Main Street Wines and Blue Jay Bistro — to bring first-class hospitality to our community, while also creating employment opportunities,” Deb explained.

The Fitts are also planning other concepts for downtown Littleton, commencing in early 2021. Along with joining other entrepreneurs in opening businesses in Littleton, the Fitts have a larger vision as well, one that is supported by their philanthropic work through the Ed Fitts Charitable Foundation.

The Foundation is working together with state and local leaders to improve the future of the town, which is located just miles from the popular vacation destination of beautiful Lake Gaston.

“Ultimately, our collective goal — both in our private endeavors in hospitality and our philanthropic work through the Ed Fitts Charitable Foundation — is aimed at helping to cultivate a vibrant community, and providing education and employment opportunities so that our local kids have a reason to remain in the area,” Deb said.

“We want to encourage entrepreneurial opportunities and help to instill pride in a community with great need by bringing modern amenities, services, world-class dining, entertainment and a sustainable economic future,” Ed said.

Deb and Ed Fitts established The Ed Fitts Charitable Foundation in 2004, and one of its primary goals has become the rejuvenation of Fitts’ native Littleton. The Foundation is responsible for several community projects now underway, including major developments on the Lakeland Campus by partnering with the Lakeland Cultural Arts Center to create a regional draw for the arts.

Work here includes state-of-the-art upgrades to the theater itself, plus the addition of an amphitheater on the former football field. Also, on the Lakeland Campus, extensive renovations are now underway to preserve the original Littleton High School and gymnasium. The campus will be the home of a progressive K-12 school, a high-tech vocational program, community center for daycare and elderly care, and a splash park for children. Completion for these projects is anticipated by 2022.

The Fitts’ realized early on that in order to create economic development opportunities for Littleton, the first step is to provide the necessary infrastructure to support these efforts such as the highly anticipated announcement of free high-speed internet access for downtown Littleton.