RIVER FALLS – River Falls is set to welcome a new coffee shop to town in October. Waystone Coffee Company will be located downtown on Walnut Street and will incorporate a fantasy theme into the …
RIVER FALLS – River Falls is set to welcome a new coffee shop to town in October. Waystone Coffee Company will be located downtown on Walnut Street and will incorporate a fantasy theme into the drinks, food and decor.
Olivia and Steve Barwick have always wanted to own their own coffee shop and the opportunity finally arose. “We started talking about Waystone about a year ago,” Steve Barwick said. “It has been a dream of both of ours since childhood to have a coffee shop, so it happened to work out serendipitously.”
The River Falls couple is originally from Wausau, Wis. and moved to town a few years ago on a whim and fell in love with the community.
“We moved to town about four years ago and everyone around here is super incredible and supportive of local businesses,” said Steve Barwick.
Olivia Barwick stepped away from being an art teacher in the Menomonie area when the pandemic started; then the idea of starting this business started to form.
“I asked myself ‘is this something I could see
Photo by Melissa Thorud WAYSTONE
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myself doing my whole life’ and I realized it wasn’t,” Olivia Barwick said. “Finding something I wanted to do that I enjoy doing and interacting with different people every day helped me to reach this dream of opening a coffee shop.”
The name of the shop, Waystone, comes from a favorite book series for the couple.
“The name came from a favorite author of ours based out of Stevens Point. The KingKiller Chronicles, mentions a place called the Waystone and it represents a place you can stop and rest and that really resonated with us,” said Steve Barwick.
The coffee shop is meant to be a place for relaxation and an escape which is part of this fantasy theme.
“We want this to be a place where anyone no matter your background, religion, political views, can come in and have a conversation, have a cup of coffee and be a safe place to just go and be,” said Steve Barwick.
The community aspect of the local business is really at the forefront for Olivia Barwick.
“We would like to be a contributor to the community; we want to eventually sponsor community events and with my art background we really want to have our business still centered around my love for that. Potential art classes, game nights and things like that is what we want to include,” Olivia Barwick said.
The menu will feature some fantasy themed drinks.
“We are going to have a fun, ‘magical’ option for the kids and we will have some specialty drinks named after Dungeons and Dragons classes,” said Olivia Barwick.
Another priority for the products is sustainability and quality of ingredients as well as sourcing locally.
“For the coffee, it is always going to be a blend of the two. We want to make sure that we are sourcing ethically, farmers are being paid fairly, the roasting process is being done as closely as possible that we also know is quality,” said Steve Barwick.
The Waystone is still in the works as far as construction and planning, but the community can expect the shop to open before Halloween this October. If you would like to reach out with suggestions or comments, the Barwicks are accepting direct messages on their social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram.