Things are happening at the Black Cow Coffee Co., which bills itself as the “heart of the community” in Croton-on-Hudson. There are new muffins, expanded hours and coconut milk instead of almond milk for the latte art.
There’s also a new sheriff in town. Faith and Cole Rivers, who met at the shop’s original location 12 years ago, got married last year and officially took over last November.
Practicing Buddhists who live in town, they call their jazz romance a Love Supreme after the vaunted John Coltrane album. Several blends are named after jazz artists, including Mingus Java Blend and Spherical Variations for Thelonious Monk.
Faith brings a retail leadership background, so she oversees the business end, shapes things behind the scenes, and tries to spot significant trends.
Cole, the coffee expert and chief roaster, has worked at the Black Cow for almost 17 years. He is serious as a scientist when he roasts the beans, often consulting his computer to check on the vital signs. He got into the coffee business through his first love, poetry.
“My dream was to publish a book and I wrote in coffee shops, but I worked at a bookstore,” he said. “A colleague told me I should work in a coffee shop, and I did, but I got tired of the commercialized experience and sought out an independent shop.”
He and former owner Michal Grant hit it off. “He is really organic and down to earth and he wanted to create this gathering space that’s bigger than a coffee
Shop,” he said. “That’s a legacy we’re going to continue.”
The couple is big on creating a welcoming space for mingling and hosting post-covid events. They have revived open mic night, held on the last Wednesday of every month.
“We’re going to be doing more in-person activities and see how it works out,” said Faith. “Post-covid, many people are hurting psychologically, so the Black Cow will always be there to create community, stimulate friendships and expand our capacity to have dialogue.”