by Lydia Switzer
Orion Coffee and Tea is nestled into the friendly community of downtown Cedarville, Ohio along North Main Street and near to other student favorites such as Colonial Pizza and Beans-n-Cream. Inside, starry artwork decorates the walls, and the atmosphere communicates a sense of calm. Those who visit Orion can select from a variety of specialty coffees, brews, teas, baked goods, and more.
The beginnings of Orion surfaced in December of 2018, when Eric and Sharayah Irwin bought Telemetry Coffee Roasters from its owner. After operating as Telemetry until late in the summer of 2019, the store was rebranded as Orion Coffee and Tea. Since then, the Irwins have continued to update and improve.
Cedarville students who visit throughout the school year give Orion its heart.
“Our Cedarville location is very dependent on the Cedarville University students, faculty and staff,” Eric Irwin said. “Over 80% of our customers come from the University.”
Kirsten Lucas, the General Manager of Orion, agreed with this sentiment. “It’s a very unique atmosphere, being right next to a college campus…I’ve been to many coffee shops, and the bulk of our customers here just have this light in them; they’re very kind and warm at all times, and they just make my job a real pleasure.”Those customers, primarily Cedarville students, consider Orion to be an ideal place to spend time with friends or do homework.
Anna Baxter, a sophomore Economics major, goes to Orion frequently to do homework.
“I am able to get a lot done, the coffee is great, they never mess up my order, the staff is friendly,” she said. “I go there a lot, so several baristas I know by name. It can be good for study or for meeting up with people.”
Tucker Campbell, a sophomore Civil Engineering major, said, “It’s an atmosphere that promotes productivity,”
Orion is also a good place to work. “Most of the staff here are believers, which is so unique,” Lucas said. “I think that might be the best part, because you have people who are Christ-centered in their work ethic. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before.”
Even when not working, the baristas at Orion can often be found spending their time in the cafe. “Usually, two or three of our baristas are here at all times just sitting, doing homework, or drinking their coffee,” Lucas said.
At the end of the day, Orion strives to be a member of the community, whether through employing students and residents of Cedarville or through other forms of service. The Irwins try to support the organizations and events that will have the greatest impact on the community.
Although COVID-19 was a setback, with limited dining capacity and less business, Orion is still going strong, and a centerpiece of college life for many students.
“Our Cedarville Cafe is a great place to meet up with friends and family. It truly is a great community spot,” Irwin said.
The Irwins also have plans to expand and renovate. In addition to the Cedarville cafe, a drive-thru location opened in Jamestown, Ohio in 2020, and a third location in Washington Court House, Ohio is in the works. The coffee sold at Orion is roasted by them in Springfield, Ohio and that roastery will also be opened to the public in the very near future. For the Cedarville location, the outdoor space and deck will soon be fixed and opened for seating.
Whether you are a student at Cedarville or not, Orion Coffee and Tea provides a relaxing space to drink your favorite beverage with people you care about, and that’s why people keep coming back for more.
Lydia Switzer is a junior Political Science major and a captain for Cedarville’s debate team. She enjoys drinking coffee, going for walks on spring days, and constitutional law.