I’ve had a cup of coffee pretty much every morning since I can remember. Probably high school at least. At this point, it’s really not an option for me in the mornings. I also drink it black or with minimal additions, so I appreciate a GREAT cup of coffee. It gets me going and starts my day off right. So when I discovered that North River Coffee Roasters opened up a location in Poughkeepsie, I had to come and check it out. There is really a lot to say about North River Coffee Roasters (“NRR” going forward for convenience purposes while writing this). First off, the location of their coffee shop is pretty cool. It is located in the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory, right in the Middle Main St. area. This building is a GORGEOUS historical building that is being renovated by Hudson River Housing into a mixed use building – so apartments, businesses, and work/live space. It is part of the Middle Main initiative, which could probably be an entire series of posts in itself, so more to come on that. NRR is located right on the first floor of the main entrance. It was super easy to navigate. Sometimes I find Main Street of Poughkeepsie to be kind of a pain to get around quickly – lots of one ways, lights, the arterial to cross over, etc. But this was very in and out. The parking lot is right off of N Cherry St. – and you can loop in and out in no time. Very convenient, especially for someone perpetually late in the mornings! The coffee was awesome, I just got the Sumatra with almond milk and it was perfect! My boyfriend got the same and got a lemon poppy seed muffin and he was a huge fan. They have some muffins and bagels available, with vegan and gluten free options which is a huge plus. I think next time I am going to try a shot of espresso in there to see how that goes. That is always my favorite.
The biggest piece for me as to why I love to support NRR is their overall initiative. It seems that they strive for a sense of community through multiple aspects of their business. The website mentions their purposes is as much a positive impact as it is a profit, which is very rare and refreshing to hear from a business mission. Their positive impact is made in a few ways, one being their product sources. They only choose fair-trade coffee beans that pay fair wages to their farmers and source sustainably. They also try to focus on obtaining beans from areas that have a cultural presence in Poughkeepsie. Some of their coffee locations can be found here. Additionally, the materials they use are sustainable and compostable. Just as importantly, they also work with local organizations to provide work opportunities here in the area with livable wages.
Along with the coffee shop, NRR is the only “CSCR” (Community Supported Coffee Roaster) in the area. So think CSA for vegetables, but with coffee! I participated in this last year and found it to be such a fun surprise every two weeks to have a new flavor of coffee waiting for you. They have multiple locations in the area for pick up, such as Poughkidsie, The Bridge Café at Vassar, plus others. I did the Poughkeepsie Farm Project CSA pick up location, where they coordinated with the PFP and during the CSA season you could also enjoy some delish coffee to take home. It was the best. You can choose an every week pick up or an every other week, depending on the amount of coffee you are looking for. Details on this here.
I would definitely check out NRR when you are in the area. It is absolutely worth it. Grab a book, come sit in the new location, and enjoy the bubbly and communal atmosphere. Know that your beans are from and ethical source, your roaster is a local community member that may not have this working opportunity elsewhere, and know that the coffee cup your drinking out of is environmentally friendly. More importantly, know that the NRR is a piece of a empowering initiative that is determined to make Poughkeepsie the area that it should be, and it’s just getting started!