Function Coffee Labs to open in former Down Dog Healing Cafe space at 10th and Carpenter

If a marriage proposal involves writing “marry me” in latte art, you know it’s a seriously coffee-fueled relationship. That’s the story for Ross Nickerson and fiance Megan McCusker, a couple bringing a new coffee shop to Bella Vista.


This new business, to be called Function Coffee Labs, is taking over the former Down Dog Healing Cafe location at 10th and Carpenter. Function Coffee Labs is expected to open sometime in April, pending the results of a health inspection happening this week at the shop.

“We are trying to make “hipster coffee” more accessible to everyone and creating a space that is focused on community, mindfulness, and slowing down a little bit to appreciate things,” says Nickerson.

In order to transform this coffee shop, owners Nickerson and McCusker have been renovating for two months to create a brighter, more spacious feel for the space. They removed large cabinets from the ceiling to make the shop feel less closed in, painted the interior and exterior, added new lighting, a tile backsplash for behind the coffee counter, built new shelves out of plumbing piping and plenty more. If you were a regular at Down Dog or any of the shops before them, you might not even recognize the space.

Now to the serious business: the coffee. Nickerson takes his coffee brewing very seriously. He previously worked as a physics teacher in the UK, so he says, “the coffee will be brewed to exacting standards using scales, measured with a refractometer for quality control, and logged over time.” The coffee-making equipment at the shop includes a two group Synesso MVP espresso machine, a Mahlkonig EKK43 grinder, a Mahlkonig K30 Air grinder, a Fetco CBS2131 XTS batch brewer and Chemex for pourovers.

The coffee to be brewed at Function is from Case Coffee Roasters, a company based in Ashland, OR and Ceremony Coffee Roasters, based in Annapolis, MD. The food menu includes specials from High Point Cafe in Mount Airy. Menu items include things like berry oat bars, flourless triple chocolate brownies, cheddar brioche, stroopwafels and more. Click here if you’re interested in learning more about the coffee offerings.

They’re aiming to open later this month. The shop will also be hosting a grand opening celebration the weekend of May 14. You can keep up with Function Coffee Labs on Facebook.

One thought on “Function Coffee Labs to open in former Down Dog Healing Cafe space at 10th and Carpenter

  • April 18, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    This coffee will surely be delicious. I hope I have a chance to try a cup before another coffee shop takes over this location.

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