By Jim Hagerty
It’s only been eight hours, but staff at Rockford Roasting Facility and Brew Bar are operating like they’ve been up and running for years.
Owners Lucretia Ristin and Ben Chauvin opened for the first time at 6 a.m., Friday. By 6:30, the place was full, including the three patrons waiting outside to be the first to order one of their fresh, in-house roasted coffees.
“It’s a dream come true,” Ristin said. “We are very excited. It brings the feeling of the ‘city’ coming to Rockford.”
The new venture came after Ristin bought the building at 206 N. Main St., from the Serrano family, who operated Serrano’s Mexican Kitchen at the address for several years. She had a vision for the space, but didn’t jump in right away.
“I actually wanted to open a cafe in here, but I just didn’t want to do it by myself,” she said. “Ben was originally looking to rent the property from me. And, I ended up going into business with him. We have a great team. They are so passionate about what they do. That’s why I am sure this is going to go well.”
Chauvin, operating as Rockford Roasting Company, has been roasting coffee out of his home for the past three years.
The store’s menu includes six varieties of imported coffees, specialty sandwiches and baked goods. As the menu expands, it will feature a variety of seasonal coffees, reserves and a selection of espresso-based drinks — lattes, espressos, cappuccinos and affogatos. The menu will be complemented by a selection of freshly roasted whole beans for customers to relish at home.
Rockford Roasting and Brew Bar’s grand opening celebration will last through Saturday, Oct. 4, from 6 to 10 p.m. Festivities will include a raffle for a year’s worth of free coffee and other special deals.