First Pics: Function Coffee Labs now open at 10th and Carpenter

Bella Vista’s new coffee spot isn’t just a shop. Function Coffee Labs is just as the name would suggest: a lab.


Owner Ross Nickerson has a background in engineering and physics and is bringing those scientific skills to the art, or science, of brewing coffee. Function Coffee Labs opened just last week, bringing a new kind of coffee service to 10th and Carpenter.



The interior of the cafe incorporates the work of local artists into the design of this renovated space. Down Dog Healing Cafe closed in this location at the beginning of the year. Since February, Nickerson and his fiancé and co-owner, Megan McCusker, have been working to renovate this space. There’s new lighting, paint, shelving, a tile backsplash and more.

Nickerson serving a coffee shot.


The coffee here is brewed with “exacting standards using scales, measured with a refractometer for quality control, and logged over time.” Function serves coffee from Case Coffee Roasters, a company based in Ashland, OR and Ceremony Coffee Roasters, based in Annapolis, MD. Nickerson decided on these two roasters because you cannot get this coffee anywhere else in the area. Here’s what the equipment used for the coffee-making process here: Synesso MVP espresso machine, a Mahlkonig EKK43 grinder, a Mahlkonig K30 Air grinder, a Fetco CBS2131 XTS batch brewer and Chemex for pourovers. You can read more about the coffee offerings here.

Function serves “coffee shots,” which is drip-style coffee that has gone through an espresso machine. This process allows you to taste and smell more of the detailed notes within the coffee.



The pastries served in the cafe are from High Point Cafe in Mount Airy. You can also grab things like prepackaged stroopwafels and brownies to take on the go. Function has indoor seating for 10 to 12 people, in addition to some seating outdoors.




Function Coffee Labs is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can keep up with Function on Facebook.