While RIVET Coffee Bar and Roastery opened on Jersey Street in Westfield only recently, the owners of the establishment have experience with coffee roasting that goes back a considerably longer period of time.
“We had been roasting coffee for about a decade, with small home roasters,” says Chris Dillow, who launched RIVET as a three-person partnership with his wife Stefanie and their business partner Allie Commons. “In 2019 we started RIVET, mostly roasting at home and selling wholesale online for local coffee shops and hotels.”
The Dillows moved to Indianapolis in 2011 from Atlanta, Georgia, when Chris’s job in information technology took them northward.
“I worked in IT for 30 years and my last job was chief technology officer at ADESA,” he says. “We moved to Carmel, and that was when that area was really beginning to grow and a lot of the multi-use complexes were coming in. The same thing has been happening in Westfield.”
That’s a primary reason why the Dillows chose Westfield to open a brick-and-mortar shop, and last summer they began searching for the perfect location to roast and serve their products in a single spot.
“After spending 30 years in IT I decided I wanted to try something different,” Dillow says. “For Stefanie, it was the fact that our kids are all out of high school and on to college, and she was ready for the next big challenge as well.”
The team worked with Bob Beauchamp, who spearheaded the development of Park Street’s restaurant scene, when exploring for a coffee bar location.
“Bob owns every one of the restaurants on Park Street, and after we expressed interest in opening a business in that location, we partnered up, and he has a team of guys that comes in and does project development and construction,” Dillow says. “We’re one street over from Park Street, and it’s nice to be right near so many other great places like Chiba and the Italian House.”
It’s a bungalow-style building with a wraparound deck that the team took all the way down to the studs during renovations, in order to transform it into a facility that can accommodate both the roasting process and cafe space. All RIVET coffee is roasted in-house, and the team sources from several locations around the world including Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Columbia, Kenya and Papua New Guinea.
“We buy all current-crop coffee, and the emphasis is all on quality of coffee,” Dillow says. “We offer coffee on drip and also on pour-overs, so we’re able to make a fresh cup of coffee for you from any of our single origins that we’re roasting. We have a very nice Slayer espresso machine, and we’re bringing all the typical coffee drinks you might find – lattes, cappuccinos and those types of things.”
There’s more than just a wide range of coffee offerings. Dillow says Stefanie stepped into the role of tea master, and RIVET offers both traditional teas and nitro teas, including an oat milk rooibos chai nitro tea on tap.
“We have eight taps, so we’ll offer a couple different coffees on cold brew and nitro, as well as teas on nitro,” Dillow says. “We’re also making our own carbonated mineral water, so we’re going to have really good Italian sodas and Italians cream sodas. We already have our liquor license too, so after we get our feet under us, we’re probably going to start incorporating some more adult coffee drinks into the menu as well, and a beer or two.”
The food menu is headed up by Chef Toby Miles and includes scratch-made waffles, open-faced sandwiches and more.
“Toby ran Rail on Park Street, which closed during COVID last year, and we’ve worked with him to come up with our own unique menu,” Dillow says. “It’s not Rail’s menu – it will be our own selection with some really tasty things.”
The establishment’s name comes from some inspiration Dillow felt during restoration work he completed on his 1964 Airstream trailer.
“I was in the middle of restoring the Airstream, and I had probably done a couple thousand rivets at that point,” Dillow says. “I needed something catchy that hasn’t been used before and thought of those rivets.”
The facility opened officially in May, and Dillow says he and his team have been pleased with the way Westfield has rallied around the RIVET concept.
“The mayor has been here, and he’s excited about it,” Dillow says. “We think there was a need for a quality-over-quantity coffee shop in this area. Before we opened, we were having to turn people away who were coming to ask if we were open yet. All the support has been great, and we’re glad to provide an environment to sit, work and have great coffee.”
RIVET Coffee Bar and Roastery is located at 337 Jersey Street in Westfield. For more information, visit rivetcoffee.com.