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Meet Alison and Charles Scates of Fluid Coffeebar in Northwest Indiana

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alison and Charles Scates.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Our story begins as a couple. We are a husband-and-wife team, and business owners. Fluid Coffee Bar is our first business together. Our story started long ago, before specialty coffee places were on every corner. It started with a dream to open up a coffee bar 20 years ago. We have realized this dream here, in downtown Valparaiso. At Fluid Coffee Bar we try to provide a unique coffee experience and a unique experience in general. We are a multi roaster cafe bringing big city coffee to a small college city in Northwest Indiana. We specialize in single origin espressos, unique coffee cocktails, and small batch cold brews on tap. We have always wanted to have a relaxed place where people feel free to openly discuss ideas.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In our opinion, life never has a smooth road. Some of the setbacks that we experienced while moving forward to open Fluid Coffee bar were made much easier with the support of our city, and the S.C.O.R.E. program (part of the Small Business Association).

Please tell us about Fluid Coffeebar.
Fluid Coffee Bar is a multi-roaster cafe. We specialize in coffee from all over the world. Being a multi roaster cafe means working directly with roasters. We choose who we work with not only on pure flavor and quality of coffee, but also their business practices. It’s important to us that farmers are getting a fair wage for their coffee.

Currently, we are working with four roasters, Intelligentsia in Chicago, Tinker in Indianapolis, Zen in South Bend, and Revelator out of Birmingham Alabama. Fluid specializes in traditional espresso shots, pour overs, and coffee cocktails. We also offer cafe fare. We work mainly with other people in Valparaiso, or the surrounding area to provide quality ingredients and baked goods to us and our customers. We are proud to be working globally and locally using fair trade practices. We also love promoting the arts. We have open mic nights, artists’ gatherings, an independent writers group, tarot card workshops, and more unique events. What’s best is you can bring your pets. At the last open mic night, a girl had 2 bunnies with her. We aren’t your average coffee bar.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Alison’s favorite memories mostly involve looking for Junk with her father who passed away over 10 years ago. Finding Treasures in auctions and even alleys translated into Alison’s passion for picking vintage items today.

Charles’ favorite memories from childhood was going on family trips through the hills of East Tennessee to visit his Grand Parents. This instilled a love of outdoor adventure and family in him.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Dallas Hall DKH Photography

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