Great coffee is meant to be shared.
This has been the driving force and mission behind The Abbey Coffee Co.
Starting from the garage of a passionate coffee roaster in 2012, The Abbey is now an established coffee roaster in Marion. They pride themselves in being a supplier of quality coffee drinks to the Grant County area.
“What we’re doing is pretty third wave coffee culture, which you don’t normally find in a city this size,” said cafe manager Jizelle Miller. “We’re kind of just a little jewel in Marion’s crown.”
Third wave coffee is a movement to brew and enjoy higher quality coffee, with particular attention to the diversity in beans, roasting and drink preparation. Founder Chris DeMarse took the steps of this process with great integrity, finding it to be a sacred and peaceful art.
The name “The Abbey” even nods to this religious dedication by taking the name of a monastery. As the coffee company grew to be purchased by Tree of Life Bookstore, this name only became more fitting.
Today, The Abbey continues to honor the art of coffee-making and its roots by roasting their beans in-house.
“I care about making stuff that is worth drinking — that has some integrity to it,” said barista Aaron Becker.
While The Abbey pours out great coffee for its customers, the love of sharing coffee comes from the people pouring into the shop.
Miller has worked at The Abbey for almost two years, rising to the position of cafe manager in February. As a longtime coffee lover, she grew fond of The Abbey during her time at Indiana Wesleyan University. When she graduated in December 2017, it was only natural to begin working part-time as a barista.
During this hectic time progression out of college, Miller was supported by the same team that provided caffeinated support during college.
“The first six months out of college were like transition after transition after transition — everything really felt like it was in turmoil for me,” Miller said. “The baristas that were working at the time just listened well and supported me through my process.”
Now, Miller has the same opportunity to be there for others. Both she and Becker described the day-to-day flow of the coffee shop as a reflection of life events. Everyday, people come in to meet with others for business, work by themselves or have first dates.
This consistent flow of community allows them to see people as they pass through seasons of life and growth.
“I remember last year I was working . . . and (a former barista) had been here for four years, and there was this group of three students that came in multiple times a week and they graduated,” Miller said. “There was a really sacred moment for him to be like, ‘Have a great life.’ It’s kind of difficult to see someone for four years and then not see them again.”
Becker, who has been working for The Abbey for two years, said he always appreciates how community happens over coffee. While he deeply appreciates the craft of well-made coffee, Becker also appreciates that coffee does not have to be a serious thing.
Ultimately, The Abbey has taken a passion for quality coffee to impact a community. Miller encourages college students to do the same, whether through coffee or another avenue.
“My message to college students — whenever I get the chance — is just invest in what’s around,” Miller said. “Four years might not seem like a long time, but it really is. Set down roots while you can. The Abbey is a just a place where we’ve taken one thing that we know how to do really well and used it to invest in our community.”
The Abbey is located on 1500 South Western Ave., Marion and is open Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. They can be found on Facebook and Instagram as The Abbey Coffee Co.