Here’s a cool idea: let’s all move to New York! You can find an awesome apartment for around $1000, the city is absolutely electric with new restaurants, coffee bars, and retail shops, and there’s still plenty of room to make a name for yourself as an artist, musician, or entrepreneur in a thriving cultural scene.
We are referring to Buffalo, New York, of course, a city whose cultural revival is no longer an open secret, it’s a full-blown happening. Today we’re checking on the new Overwinter Coffee located just outside Buffalo in the suburb of Williamsville.
As told to Sprudge by Josh Halliman.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
We are a coffee company that focuses on roasting single origin and single estate beans, based in the Buffalo, NY region. We focus on high quality coffees and ingredients with a more hands-on approach to the coffee industry.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
Our newest space is in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY. The building dates to roughly the Civil War-era. It’s a three story brick row building. We’ve discovered that the original use back in the mid-1800s was as a small department or general store, and it has lived many different lives since then, most recently as an antique shop. We focused on restoring the original quartersawn maple floors, and maintaining as much of the original brick and trim work as we could. The old department store front display windows still had their window coverings on the inside of the space and we have since converted those to low table floor seating.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Our head roaster, Ben Trojan, focuses on single origin and single estate coffees which are sourced from a multitude of relationships which he has built over the years. We tend to stick to longer developed but lighter roasted coffees, attempting to retain the character of the crop but also still produce a well rounded cup. We don’t do blends as a personal preference, and we give our single origin coffees fun names that are relatable to customers who are newer to learning about specialty coffee, while still retaining the classic information that coffee aficionados expect from a single origin or single estate bean.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
As a staple of all of our shops, we have a bright blue custom painted La Marzocco GB5 semi-automatic that we love!
How is your project considering sustainability?
Overwinter generally views sustainability from the lens of working with highly reputable farmers or importers which oftentimes results in paying for coffees which are far above C price. In most cases, we either directly have relationships or personally know the importers who spend time with the farmers directly, removing some of the cloudiness that can happen in chains of custody. We find that paying more for good coffee just means that our customers are willing to pay a little more for good coffee, but we also try to be competitive and fairly priced on our entry level coffees as to not turn away someone trying to learn more about coffee.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
A local craftsman, Chris Peehler, made us our hand-built cabinets and tables for the shop. He formerly worked for Kittinger furniture and has built a table that currently resides in the White House, but lives locally and builds furniture in his retirement. He’s the sort that doesn’t have a cell phone and does everything by hand. You can tell in the construction of his work because it looks and feels like something from a different era!