Astoria, Coffee
Aug 29, 2017

What’s New at Kinship Coffee Cooperative

Kinship Coffee Cooperative expanded to a second location at 32-14 Steinway Street in early August 2017. We’ve got an update on the changes, and more.

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Kinship Coffee Cooperative, a local third wave coffee shop, opened up on Steinway Street in the spring of 2014, and for the past three years they’ve been delighting Astorians with great coffee in their beautiful space. And they’ve expanded! They opened a second location at 32-14 Steinway Street on August 8 of this year.

That space was occupied by the Korean chain Caffe Bene. In 2014 we also talked about their expansion into NYC and a cursory search on Google today shows Caffe Bene stores are closing in the NYC metro area. On the other hand, indie shops seem to be doing quite well! We reached out to Stanley Rivera, owner of Kinship, and caught up with what’s going on with the business of running a coffeehouse in Astoria.

Double the Locations, Double the Fun

The first thing we asked was how he liked running two separate locations (30-05 Steinway, 32-14 Steinway). “It’s been fun and challenging!” exclaimed Stanley. “Fun, because we’re seeing a mix of familiar and fresh faces. Many used to (or still do) frequent the original location, but will stop in at 32-14 because it’s on their commuter route. The close proximity to the train has gotten us great exposure for newcomers. Whatever the scenario, the reaction has been extremely positive.”

In this mix of positive vibes have been some challenges, though; and some were totally unexpected. “The new space has presented challenges in that it is very spacious (an uncommon problem in New York City),” explains Stanley. “But as we get more established we are navigating our way through it. We’re figuring out the flow of things and are layering on our offerings bit by bit. We opened our doors with a minimal presentation of what we do best—and that is coffee. We’re also baking at 32-14 location and making daily deliveries up the block.”

We also asked about the impetus behind the expansion. The answer? “Opportunity and timing,” said Stanley. “The close proximity to the train initially attracted us; but from a physical perspective we knew with a few minor modifications, it could really feel like a Kinship. Aside from previously being a cafe, it had some of the similar aged wood and white tile elements that we implemented into the first shop, so it just felt right. It’s provided additional workspace for our customers (plenty of outlets, password protected wi-fi, and a highly requested restroom) and the additional space has presented us with an opportunity to implement additional food and beverage elements.”

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Food, Drink, and Retail Update

New opportunities have presented themselves when it comes to food (the aforementioned baking), beverages, and the retail side of things. As far as food goes, they are starting with things that are easy to prepare, but are still excellent—”decadent and health conscious,” in Stanley’s words. Currently they are offering toasts, sandwiches, salads, and grain bows. “We’re particularly excited about our bacon, egg and gruyere cheese on a croissant, as well as our avocado toasts,” adds Stanley. They are still experimenting with their menu and you may see some things come and go based on seasonality and consumer reaction.

Another big bit of news: They are applying for their beer and wine license, and once that’s approved they can offer local craft beer on tap, as well as cans and bottles of wine and beer. Along with the laptop crowd during the day, they’d love to see evenings turn into occasions for folks to spend time together after work while enjoying a glass of beer or wine with some tasty things to eat. Some of those evenings may focus on shows by local artists and musicians. “Essentially we can be both your workspace by day and your post-work hang out all in one,” quipped Stanley.

As for the retail element (AKA prepared foods and non-food items), Stanley explains, “Look for more grab and go foods, cold pressed juices, coffee-retail beans, home-brewing methods, and some Kinship merchandise (e.g., tshirts, totes, mugs, and aprons).”

On top of all this, they are getting requests for coffee education opportunities, so you may see coffee cuppings and home brewing classes in the future.

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Cold Brew and Community

We also asked about how their current menu is doing, and if they will be offering anything new aside from what they are already “steeped” in—coffee, tea, and other non-alcoholic beverages. Turns out cold brew has been a huge success and is currently their best selling beverage at both shops. “We have a brand new cold coffee on draft from Four Barrel (a roaster based out of San Francisco),” remarked Stanley. “We are the only New York City location to offer this for now. It’s different from our Cold Brew in that it gets brewed hot and then flashed chilled, creating a very aromatic, flavorful and clean cup. We have three single origins of these on tap: Houdini, a single origin from Ethiopia;’ Limelight, a single origin from Kenya; and Nitro (coming in September) a single origin from Colombia. We also have Pilot kombucha on tap.”

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Other popular items include their signature drinks—the Honey Almond Latte, Maple Cold Brew, and Iced Matcha Lavender.

Overall, the Kinship community has been a shining light as the business as changed and grown. “We have such an awesome and supportive community who genuinely seem thrilled to see an independent shop expand,” said Stanley, beaming. “It’s great to be in a neighborhood like Astoria that really embodies the spirit of Kinship. We get a lot of ‘yaaaaasssss!!!’ when people discover us at this new spot. It feels great!”

Both shops operate with the same hours: 7am–9pm Monday to Friday; Saturday and Sunday 7am-8pm. They may revisit these hours for the second location at 32-14 Steinway once beer and wine come into play, so stay tuned!

Thanks for updating us Stanley! We’re glad things are going well at the two locations and we look forward all the exciting things in store for Kinship!

Kinship Coffee Cooperative, 30-05 Steinway and 32-14 Steinway Street, Astoria
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About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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