A welcome convergence of coffee and community has come about in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, where Convive Coffee Roastery has just opened its second location. The new facility also houses the company’s upgraded roasting operation, and includes space for staff training and educational programs.
In the new roughly 1,500-square-foot location at 4032 Butler Street, Convive roastmaster Joe Burns is executing profiles on the company’s new Loring Nighthawk S7 roaster. The machine is expected to become a handy talking point for director of coffee education Nathan Hufford, who may guide customers through the development of the company’s Folksy house blend or its rotating single-origin coffees.
Marco is the equipment brand supporting brewed and steeped options, including Jet brewers for large drip batch, SP9 brewers for single cups, and an under-counter boiler system for tea. At the espresso station, Victoria Arduino Mythos 2 grinders prep beans for the La Marzocco AV ABR espresso machine. A Mahlkönig EK43 grinds for single-origin espresso as well as for batch and single-cup brews.
While a 2-group Slayer machine continues to anchor the espresso program at the original McCandless location of Convive, which opened in 2016, owners Ryland and Katie Weber told Daily Coffee News that they plan to align the equipment throughout the bars to promote consistency in training and quality.
“My wife and I switched from a strictly wholesale business about six years ago and decided to aim for the roaster/cafe model instead, because we wanted to bring people the absolute best coffee we could,” Ryland Weber told Daily Coffee News. “Often I had wholesale customers who didn’t want to purchase a better coffee from us because of a small difference in price. While I certainly understand that as a business owner, we wanted to build our concept off giving our customers the best.”
To that end, Weber said they will occasionally brew a cup of top-shelf Gesha or other premium coffee for the price of the house blend, if that’s what it takes for a customer to try something new.
Said Weber, “We are thankful and appreciative of every one of our customers, and want to treat them well in every way.”
This philosophy extends to the physical space, as well, where guests are surrounded by plant life, pure materials and natural light. Concrete pendant lights echo the shop’s concrete floor, between which a marble counter adds a smoothness offsetting butcher block surfaces, wood shelves, refinished wooden church pew seating and other modern industrial finishes.
“We like real things, so real plants and real wood furnishings,” said Weber. “We have always set out to serve the very best coffee product possible, and I think along with that we want everything the customer comes in contact with to be equal in aesthetic or quality otherwise. We’ve felt that fine coffee deserves an equal level of craftsmanship in everything.”
About 35 minutes north by car, construction on a third location of Convive is scheduled to begin by mid-February in Mars, Pennsylvania, with the goal of opening this summer. That location feature a larger kitchen for an in-house baking operation, as well as a drive-through window. In the meantime, the company’s website is also under reconstruction to prepare for the launch of online whole beans sales.