WHEATON – When the owners of River City Roasters opened their shop in downtown Wheaton, they set out to serve a quality cup of coffee and to help bridge connections around the world.
That mission will not change even though the store recently changed its name to Five & Hoek Coffee Co., said Tyler Fivecoat, who is one of the owners of the store. The store opened at 114 N. Main St. in December 2013.
The new name incorporates part of Fivecoat's name, along with co-owner Aaron Hoekstra. Owner Erich Goepel founded the business.
The other reason for the name change is the owners found out there was another coffee business named River City.
"It's a Canadian company, but they distribute in the U.S.," Fivecoat said. "We had the name first, but they trademarked theirs. They never gave us a cease and desist order. We just never wanted it to get to that point."
The new name is reflected on the store's bags and website, fiveandhoek.com. However, the store's sign still bears the name River City Roasters.
"We're not sure when we will make the full transition," Fivecoat said.
The new name is a break from the company's past. The store started in Yorkville, where it was along the Fox River.
"So that's where we got River City," Fivecoat said. "But when we first opened in Wheaton, people were like, 'Where's the river in Wheaton?' So it really didn't mean anything to us anymore."
Along with the business changing its name, Five & Hoek Coffee Co. is looking to move into a bigger space in downtown Wheaton and expand its menu.
"We'd like to do a slightly larger food menu," Fivecoat said. "Right now, we just have a breakfast sandwich and some toast options and baked goods. So we're looking for a space where potentially we could roast [coffee] and bake and have a retail cafe like we have now."
Right now, the store rents a warehouse space about 1,200 square feet for its roasting operations. If it moved its roasting operations on site, the store would be able to offer tastings and classes, Fivecoat said.
Even though the coffee shop is across the street from a Starbucks, it sees a steady stream of customers. Five & Hoek Coffee Co. is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
"A lot of business meetings happen here," Fivecoat said. "We also see a lot of students, and we see a lot of traffic from the French Market on Saturdays."
The owners have a lot of pride in the quality of their coffee. They select the highest-quality coffee from different regions around the world.
"We work with a farmer in Honduras," Fivecoat said. "I went there for the first time in January through an organization called Catracha Coffee. They work with roasters who work directly with farmers. We've been working with them for three years. We also purchase coffee from another farmer in Burundi called Long Miles Coffee Project. And then we source coffee from importers that we can buy from anywhere in the world. We work with importers that have ethical practices, that are paying the farmers well."
Fivecoat is in charge of quality control for the coffee shop and does all the roasting for the store.
"Roasting is a passion of mine," he said. "Working with coffee farmers is a passion of mine. What we try to do with our roasting is just best represent what the farmer intended and highlight their product the best way we can. We roast to bring out different flavors in the coffee."
Some of his favorite coffee is from Africa. The shop's most popular latte is its salted beer caramel latte.
"We actually make our own caramel, and we cook the caramel with salt and beer," Fivecoat said. "That's probably our most popular drink."
If you go
WHAT: Five & Hoek Coffee Co.
WHERE: 114 N. Main St., Wheaton
HOURS: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays