Opening a coffee shop of one's own is a scary proposition. It takes chutzpa to drop everything—including active sources of revenue—and hang your own coffee shingle, but it is nonetheless something many, many people have felt the compulsion to do. But even after planning, saving, and learning everything you can about the ins and outs of cafe life, making that first step towards owning a coffee shops can still be the hardest. Sometimes you need a little push.
That's what happened to husband and wife Ryan and Lauren Vaxmonsky, the owners of soon-to-be opened Evermore Coffee Roasters in Burlington, New Jersey. Before they were Mr. and Mrs. Vaxmonsky, the pair courted the idea of starting their own spot. Then, right before their betrothal, Ryan was laid off. But it was just the push they needed to start two new chapters of their lives at the same time.
Fast forward seven months and the Vaxmonskys are just weeks away from their dreams coming true, from opening a coffee shop/micro-micro-roastery. It just goes to show that sometimes a little bad luck is the best luck you could have ever asked for.
As told to Sprudge by Lauren Vaxmonsky.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Evermore Coffee Roasters comes after several years of daydreaming, car ride conversations, and wishful planning over a home roaster. A husband and wife team, we’ve always dreamed of opening a coffee shop and roastery but were never quite brave enough to take the leap. When Ryan was laid off this past winter, we were three weeks away from our wedding day and it seemed like things couldn’t have been worse. While honeymooning in Costa Rica, we decided there was no better time than now to give it go. A layoff, though devastating, has its silver lining. Since then, our friend Schaefer Daciek came on as a partner and has been right there with us in the trenches of renovation. We’re thrilled to soon become a part of the community.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
From the moment we drove down the main street of Burlington, we knew we had to be there. It’s a charming and community-oriented city full of really awesome history—there are rumors that buried treasure from Blackbeard may still be hidden beneath a black walnut tree… just one example! Located in the Arts District of Burlington, the shop itself was in pretty decent condition, essentially a white box. The hardest thing to work with so far has been pretty uneven flooring, which has made for a heck of a bar build-out. It’s also attached to an apartment unit, so it still needs a little work to make it look like a storefront.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Our approach is sort of just that—approachable coffee. Though we absolutely love being scientific in our roasting and brewing methodology and love teaching others about the world of specialty coffee, we intend to create an environment that is approachable for everybody. Though we certainly want people to be just as excited as we are about the latest single origin addition to our pour over menu, we’re just as happy to be serving the customer who wants nothing more than a small house blend. All that matters is serving the best beverage we possibly can.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
Everything will be roasted on our 2kg roaster from Mill City Roasters. As a side note, the team at Mill City is incredible. We also scored a Slayer V1 Series from Craigslist of all places, which thankfully was in pretty good condition. Additional equipment that we have in place includes a FETCO CBS-2131XTS and two Mazzer Super Jolly grinders.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
Our fingers are crossed for early August.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Yes, yes, absolutely, yes. We have to give a shout out to the equipment repair team at Legacy Coffee Tech of Staten Island, who gave the Slayer a tune up and an incredible paint job. And to Ink Design Concepts, we owe an endless supply of coffee and gratitude. They did an incredible job designing and constructing the bar and have been helpful in so many additional ways. We’d also like to acknowledge Samantha, of Shanty Town Design, who designed our logo and some additional creative material. And finally, our friend, Brianne Brady, of Bri Brady Photography, who has lent a hand in some of the interior design of the space.