WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport students may soon be able to buy a cup of coffee and get help with their schoolwork, all in one place, at Coffee + Pi, a coffee shop that will offer one-on-one tutoring.
The brainchild of Westport resident and 2005 Staples High School graduate Chloe Sloat, Coffee + Pi is set to open at 601 Riverside Ave. in the Saugatuck section of town, next to Tutti’s Restaurant.
Although everything will be under one roof, Sloat said the two areas will be separated. The café will be on the main floor, and the tutoring area will be downstairs.
“The idea is that kids can come off the bus, get a snack in the café and then go downstairs for their tutoring appointment,” said Sloat, 25. “The café could also serve as a place parents can come in and get some work done while waiting for their kids.”
Sloat, who has been tutoring math on the side for about six years, said she recently decided she wanted to take her work to the next level. And after realizing that most of her tutoring sessions — when outside the student’s home — took place at coffee shops or at the library, the idea for Coffee + Pi was born.
“I’ve always really enjoyed teaching one-on-one. But one day last year, it hit me just how much I really enjoy tutoring,” she said. “So then I asked myself, ‘Why am I not doing this more often?’”
Sloat said she hopes to have Coffee + Pi open and running by Christmas.
The café will offer coffee, tea, hot chocolate, pastries and other sweet treats, Sloat said. She said she would also like to partner with a local business to provide soups, salads and other foods commonly found at a café. The shop will also have WiFi, she said.
With its proximity to the Westport train station, Sloat said the café will be open early to accommodate commuters.
As for the tutoring, Sloat said she will start by offering math and English tutoring services to middle and high school students, by appointment. Of course, she would be one of the math tutors on site. Ideally, she said she hopes to provide tutoring in other academic areas.
Coffee + Pi is a play on words, meant to clue people in to both aspects of the business, Sloat said. The uses of the plus sign instead of an ampersand, and “Pi” instead of “pie,” allude to math. Also, if you look carefully at the logo, you’ll notice the coffee cup is set on a table that’s shaped like the mathematical symbol of pi.
Although the “pi” in the name refers to the number, Sloat said pie lovers will be able to find the real thing in the café. "We will definitely serve coffee and pie," she laughed.