Calm Waters Are Brewing in Bristol
by Cate Murway
There really can't be any adult in this whole great big world that has never tried coffee. It's consumed everywhere and it is a proven fact that we love our caffeine, so this should be music to the ears of any coffee connoisseur. The owner of the soon to be opened Calm Waters in historic Bristol on the Delaware is an absolute coffee geek who will totally love teaching customers about great coffee. Andrew Dittman’s obsessive love of coffee and zealous quality standards will surely rub off on you.
By the way, there are many advantages to being one of the 54 percent of Americans over 18 who consume the equivalent of 500 cups per person/per year since coffee consumption can be pretty amazing for your brain, improving short-term alertness, attention, and memory.
Andrew and his wife, Jodi, moved into the Borough about a year and half ago. They met while working together at a camp in north central Wisconsin. Andrew graduated from the Philadelphia Biblical College now called Cairn University, with a Camp Ministry degree and began his career with an internship in Camp Forest Springs in Westboro.
He is one of four siblings in a family exuding strength of character and determination. His parents, Dr. Michael and Pamela Dittman, who reside in Michigan, work with numerous Christian leaders, ministry teams and mission organizations and are the founders of Haven for the Heart.
His wife, Jodi, the second to youngest of eight siblings, earned her degree in therapeutic recreation and started employment at that same beautiful camping environment as Andrew, that rests on the shores of beautiful James Lake.
“This plays a lot into the name of our shop. We met leading ministry trips on the river.”
Now it is Calm Waters for the Dittmans and their 3-month-old daughter, Macy Jo.
Andrew and his wife, Jodi, with their common purpose, engaged imagination and a bounty of spirit, are setting out to prove that making a difference in the world needn't come with a big price tag. Their enthusiastic ambitious plan will confirm that the measure of café society is alive! Their coffee beans will be roasted on site, in small batches, so coffee/ java/ joe/ cuppa addicts will get an exclusive, optimal, ‘just right roast’ that is second to none.
Most grateful for all the opportunities they have been afforded in life, they have devised a plan, challenging themselves to make a positive difference with their faith and vision.
The mission behind Calm Waters’ glorious brew will make any lattè taste golden.
“For us, drinking coffee is a lot more about slowing down than speeding up; it’s about taking time to appreciate the good things in life, about loving your neighbors and growing as a community. There’s a mission behind it. It’s more than just about great coffee!”
Almost ten years ago, Andrew needed a job and Starbucks in Newtown was hiring. “That was my first job with coffee and pretty much right away I immediately noticed the ‘relationship building’ from behind the bar. It was a really cool opportunity to get to know people. The shop was its own community.”
So what is it that will make their coffee so great?
“We buy specialty coffee from Royal Coffee, importers from three different regions, Brazil, Ethiopia and Guatemala.” Andrew actually reconnected with an importer he had met at Starbucks.
“We are most excited about being a part of Bristol. There is already so much fantastic stuff happening in Bristol.”
Just how did you find Bristol?
They chanced upon an ideal space, previously “Brownie’s Coffee Break” on Mill Street……., “After we were married in Wisconsin, we met up with a mutual friend at a wedding in Oregon and she lives here in Bristol. She suggested a coffee shop here. We moved into Bristol two Historic Bristol Days ago.”
The Dittman’s edgy little haunt with its “natural wood and brick feel” will become a welcoming, comfortable place for people to meet, enjoy conversation or study and grab their daily dose of caffeine, roasted and brewed to be enjoyed from the first sip to the last. Their plans are both realistic and practical and the couple has come prepared with outstanding organizational skills. Their goal is to promote community, history and the future, and they are determined to give the shop much character and texture.
So, grab a cup and a seat in this soon to be hub for public information, creative conversation, wit and fun, and good, good roasted in-house coffee, served with fresh pastries daily.
See, coffee CAN make you feel happier! Just feeling the energy generated by crowds and human interaction while breathing in some new scenery can spark creativity.
Coffee is the best thing ever. Keep drinking it.
Word of mouth advertising is the highest compliment.
They plan on providing a powerful differentiator, brewed to perfection concoctions with just the right balance of soothe and kick, a niche some may doubt exists.
This will set Calm Waters apart from the others.
Small batches will be roasted in a roasting machine, churning up the "single-origin" fresh jolt of java for their patrons to enjoy in a mug…… “coffee tastes best from a ceramic mug. Coffee is always better in a real mug, tastes better.”
Calm Waters will be a warm retreat to be embraced by the community in a passionate way, created by coffee people, for coffee people. Welcome Friend!
This Saturday's child works hard for its living. Andrew’s Calm Waters Coffee Roasters will be conveniently located, destined to be an escape from a stressful office, offering a chance to maintain or grow a relationship, a place to get away to do some reflective work, an opportunity to engage with familiar coffee shop staff at a particularly lonely time, or a place to do business and reach an agreement.
There will also be Wi-Fi accessibility and a collection of good reads.
So, sit down, taste, and take away your octane [both coffee and bags of the beans themselves] and scones and muffins and snacks and “loose leaf tea from the tea house in Philly” for a leisurely stroll down to the Delaware.
You’ll leave feeling energized and ready to face your day.
Still need an additional plus? You’re sure to hear your friends saying, “See you tomorrow!”
Just smelling the coffee could make you less stressed.
Look for Calm Water Coffee Roasters in the Summer of 2015!
“I’m sailing home to you I won’t be long
By the light of moon I will press on…..”
Josh Garrels’ “Ulysses” Lyrics [Andrew & Jodi’s favorite song]
Calm Waters Coffee Roasters
242 Mill Street
Bristol, PA 19007
Coffee and community: the Dittman family brings fresh-roasted coffee to Bristol Borough
Jack Firneno, the Wire
Andrew and Jodi Dittman are opening their coffee shop, Calm Waters Coffee, on Mill Street this summer. The shop will feature the couple's own blends of fresh-roasted coffee. The large storefront will serve as a place where the Dittmans can help strengthen community bonds.
When Andrew Dittman began working as a barista, he didn’t realize how much he would know about his customers beyond how they took their coffee.
“I was really blown away by how much people were willing to talk to me with no previous relationship,” he said.
Living in Wisconsin after college, Dittman soon knew all sorts of things about the people he served: when they stopped smoking, what their jobs were like, how things were going at home.
“They share parts of their story with you, and I would share parts of my story, and before you know it, you feel like you really know this person,” he noted.
Dittman grew to treasure these bonds. And, he and his wife Jodi came to Bristol Borough nearly two years ago both with the express purpose of making more of those relationships.
In a few months, Bristol will have its own coffee shop, featuring the couple’s own blends of fresh-roasted coffee. Named Calm Waters Coffee and located on Mill Street, the large storefront will soon serve as a place where the Dittmans can help strengthen community bonds not only between themselves and their customers, but for customers with each other.
“We spend a lot of time in this country thinking about the values of community and neighborhoods and people connecting, breaking down walls,” said Dittman. “It became so clear that coffee shops are a place where that happens.”
It’s also something that happens naturally in Bristol, which is why the Dittmans relocated nearly halfway across the country to set up shop here.
Andrew and Jodi met a friend from Bristol who told them all about the borough. When they saw it for themselves, they realized it was the perfect place to open their business: Not only was there not another coffee shop offering fresh-roasted coffee in the area, but the town’s already-strong community bonds meant they’d be working in a town that already shared their values.
“It’s very unique what Bristol has maintained to this day, and in this part of the country: a real small-town feel,” said Dittman. He said it reminds them of the small rural town where his wife grew up.
“Around here, we’re packed in a little more density-wise, but you know your neighbors, the store owners, your bankers,” he explained. “Now, hopefully in Bristol, soon you’ll know who’s roasting your coffee.”
In fact, some people already do: well ahead of opening their storefront, the Dittmans have already been running Calm Waters Coffee as a mail-order company out of their home.
With a small roaster that can prepare coffee grounds for up to 60 full pots of coffee at a time, they’ve been coming up with their own blends using beans from various parts of the world and custom-roasting them to bring out each one’s specific flavor.
Their next step is to buy an industrial-sized roaster to accommodate the crowds in a storefront. And, with construction already underway on their leased Mill Street space, the Dittmans began a month-long Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to buy one.
But even now, people in Bristol don’t need to send away for their own batch of Calm Waters Coffee. “We’ve had tons of support already,” said Dittman. “There’s a buzz around town that people want it. It’s exciting.”
Last year, the couple began getting requests from places like the Grundy Library and Got Wine to provide coffee for their events. And, Dittman now works part-time at the Bristol Riverside Theater, where Calm Waters Coffee is served at every show.
“That was huge. Something like that gives you a good deal of legitimacy. It meant it wasn’t just us telling people it was good,” he said.
And, when the actual shop opens, the Dittmans look forward to creating a place that lives up to their brand’s name: an oasis of sorts, where people can relax among friends.
“It’s more than just the coffee. We want our shop to a break throughout your day,” explained Dittman. The name Calm Waters, in fact, wasn’t just a clever turn of phrase. It speaks to people’s needs today to slow down and be comfortable with that idea.
People today, including Dittman himself, get caught up in working so much that they can start feeling anxious or uncomfortable when they do finally take a break.
“We have to learn that it’s OK to wade through those waters,” he said. And, he wants his own Calm Waters to be a place where people can do that.
“It’s a place where you can take the time to appreciate the good things in life, love your neighbors and grow as a community.”