“We believe coffee is an experience worth sharing”, owner Brian Dwiggins told me as I sat down with him inside Borealis Coffee Roasters located at 250 Bullocks Point Ave in the historic Riverside Square area of East Providence.
Founder Brian Dwiggins was born in Alaska, attended college in Colorado, and eventually settled in Rhode Island where he worked as a freelance lighting technician in the film industry. Brian quickly noticed the coffee chain culture here on the East Coast, quite the contrast from the local, communal culture in his hometown of Anchorage. He values sweat equity, and rebuilt the entire interior of his café together with his father-in-law.
While starting as a hobby, Brian quickly perfected the science of roasting coffee beans at different temperatures and lengths of time. He often brought his coffee to the set where cast members were amazed at the quality. Borealis started roasting in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in July of 2014 and moved the operation to its current Riverside location in September of this year. Brian feels he is apart of something special in the Riverside Square. Borealis has become a turnaround point for bicyclers to stop, enjoy a cup of coffee, and continue on their trek.
Why choose Riverside? Brian fell in love with the property, its location alongside the bike path, and the historic aesthetics of the building. Brian also appreciated the support of local organizations such as the Riverside Renaissance Movement. You can find photos of Crescent Park and other historical sites in Riverside hung on the walls. Borealis Coffee Roasters is in the Square for the long run as its owner sees potential in the area which is continually being beautified. Business is going well for the café, and if you would rather brew a pot of coffee in your own home, Borealis has you covered. You can purchase the locally roasted coffee beans online or instore.
Coffee isn’t the only thing on the menu. Espresso, seasonal beverages, and simple baked goods are also available. Ingredients for the baked goods are purchased locally and baked in house. Various coffee flavorings are also homemade.
One customer noticed I was asking Brian some questions and proudly informed me he’s an East Providence resident who no longer drives to craft coffee shops in Providence. This gentleman now stops by Borealis every day.
Borealis coffee isn’t only for craft coffee lovers, a small cup of coffee costs $2; add in a muffin and you’re around $5. This is the same price point as the chains, only roasted here in our city, by someone who is revitalizing a historic district in Riverside. Tell any employee the taste you’re looking for, simple or complex, and they will have something for you.
The quality and authenticity of the products are exceptional. The café has invested in both its craft and our community which is why Borealis Coffee Roasters is truly a business worth sharing.
Thank you to Chris Costa Media for video production and drone footage by Sean McVeigh.