Cole and Faith Rivers are the husband-and-wife duo who have taken the reins of the Black Cow’s flagship location in Croton-on-Hudson. Cole has been with The Black Cow for 16 years as the head roaster and Faith has worked in retail management for two decades. The Rivers’ love story began at The Black Cow, where they first met in 2011. Now, 12 years later, they are married and have fallen head over heels for the indie coffee shop located in a tight-knit community in Westchester.
Cole – whose primary passion was poetry – grew up writing in coffee shops, where his fascination for coffee culture took off. Throughout his years as a novice barista, he envisioned a future where he fused his two loves: writing and coffee.
“I walked into The Black Cow and ended up immediately loving the vibe, the shop, and the owner,” he shares. He bounced around during those early years, but felt an irresistible pull back to The Black Cow, where he ultimately ended up.
The Black Cow opened its doors to the community in 1995 under the ownership of Michael and Peggy Grant. The couple established a nourishing and secure haven for coffee lovers, fostering a welcoming atmosphere that has ingrained itself in the hearts of its customers and the community. Whether it’s the 6 a.m. regulars in need of a pick-me-up or local high schoolers decompressing after a long school day, The Black Cow has long served as a hub for connection.
Now, the transfer of ownership signals an exciting new period for the java hotspot in Westchester. Following decades of leadership by the Grants, who recently retired to Vermont, the Rivers are more than ready to take the helm.
Cole, once that angsty barista behind the counter, is now the face of the prominent coffee shop, and owes much of his success to Michael Grant.
“I can feel him massaging my shoulders saying, ‘You got this, you got this’,” he says. Watching Michael consistently step into the store day after day, focusing solely on the business and its customers, has played a crucial role in shaping Cole’s character and integrity.
“To be a part of someone’s day every day is not taken lightly,” Faith adds. The Cortland native grew up making pit stops to The Black Cow and cherishes the importance of offering top-tier customer service alongside quality products that keep patrons returning.
The transition into ownership for both Faith and Cole has been joyful, in their words. As they navigate their new role in the shop and deal with unforeseen hiccups, there’s one thing they’re sure of: the community has their back. From every familiar face buying a cup of coffee to their dedicated team, they know their future appears bright.
“I’m excited to contribute to the young folks that work with us and fostering them in a way that they can create their dreams,” Cole enthuses, adding that he’s now in the position to share his expertise with the younger generation looking to achieve their dreams, whether that be in the coffee world or beyond.
Not only is The Black Cow a go-to spot for an exceptional cup of joe, but the hotspot also holds events and hopes to ramp up its community outreach programs. The flagship’s open mic night takes place on the last Wednesday of the month, and locals can expect a holiday market on December 9 and 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. In addition, coffee beans, merchandise, and other goodies are available for purchase. In terms of larger adjustments, not much is currently in the books. As Faith puts it, “The only changes we want to make are to really emphasize what’s already there.”
Be on the lookout for upcoming events, holiday drinks, and an expanded selection of baked goods hitting the shelves.
The Black Cow
4 Old Post Rd, Croton-on-Hudson, 914.271.7544