I don’t know about you, but I am officially over winter. Ready for spring food, spring sun, and spring vibes. If that’s how I feel here in Oregon, I can’t imagine how they feel out in Buffalo, where the snow falls deep and cold each year between, oh, November and April.
Fortunately there is Overwinter Coffee, a coffee roasting company serving up warmth and caffeinated comfort to the good people of Buffalo. As part of our globe-touring Sprudge Maps Spotlight feature series we spoke digitally with Overwinter Coffee co-owner Josh Halliman.
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Introduce yourself to our readers—tell us about your cafe!
We’re a small local coffee chain that roasts our own coffees. We serve a menu of rotating single origin coffees that we give fun names to, while still paying homage to the origin and/or estate. We focus on fully developed but lightly roasted coffees that accomplish different goals—some more traditional, some more exotic. While our core product is the coffee itself and our pour bar and single origin espresso offerings, we also have a small menu of housemade add-ons, sourcing things like single origin chocolates for mochas and hand making any seasonal syrups that we use.
What equipment do you use in your shop?
Which roaster or roasters do you serve?
We serve Overwinter Coffee—that’s us! We roast everything on a Diedrich IR-12.
What is the neighborhood like where you’re located? What’s some other cool stuff nearby?
This location is in the heart of the Elmwood Village, one of the most walkable streets in the Buffalo, NY region. With tons of restaurants, parks, shops, and Victorian architecture, it’s a beautiful place to take a walk or have a sit with your cup of coffee.
Did you close during a mandated Coronavirus shutdown, and if so, for how long?
We did, for roughly six weeks. Ownership wanted to keep everyone employed, so we set aside money to pay employees out of pocket until government aid came available. We’re happy that we were able to retain nearly our entire staff!
How has Coronavirus impacted daily work at your cafe?
We still are not allowing indoor seating. We are requiring masks and enforcing social distancing rules but removed from that general weirdness, it’s been life as normal. We can’t wait for the day that we can have people sit inside again, but we are waiting until our staff has a reasonable opportunity to get vaccinated prior to that.
What’s something cool or unique about your cafe you want folks to know?
We accidentally became a coffee chain. We started off as a wholesale coffee roaster that took online orders. We accidentally stumbled into our downtown and Elmwood Village locations by meeting local building owners who wanted something new, fun, and sustainable in their properties. We still take online orders and ship most orders for free to the United States, and many restaurants and cafes that have survived COVID still serve overwinter coffee.
Is there a community organization or charity you’d like to shout-out as part of this feature?
We’ve worked with Friends of Night People and recently raised $1,000 for them via a raffle of a 5lb bag of our now gone long fermented single origin Ethiopian Wush Wush. They help the homeless in the Buffalo, NY region. Despite what the reputation is of Buffalo, our summers are great… but our winters here suck as you’ve heard. They are some of the brave souls helping people cope with the cold.