Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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39 www.baristamagazine.com White Electric offers exclusively Costa Rican coffees from New Har- vest, including a shade-grown and Fair Trade–certifi ed decaf. As I sat at a high-top barstool sipping Tom's favorite drink—the mocha, which is based on quality Mexican chocolate ground into a fi ne powder—I relaxed in the mellow, inviting atmosphere. A jutting window space faces the street. Two men sit with the ease of regulars and talk, illumi- nated by soft, mid-morning light. Farther back in the space, two empty old-timey movie theater seats swing eerily, as if their occupants have only just gotten up. On the wall beside me, acrylic paintings of giant faces eating fl ying burgers and galactic slices of pizza fi ll an entire wall. These are part of Tom's effort to showcase local artists on a rotating schedule, involving the community in the ambience of the café. T H E S H O P J.P. and Diane Murton moved to Providence in 2012 shortly after the birth of their fi rst child with the intention of opening a business. Both hail from a foodservice background and were prepared to address the multitude of "questions and answers that were coming about in the third wave of coffee," Diane says. She understood right away the importance of having not only a superb coffee program, but also a space and a food program that were produced with as much thought and care as the coffee. The Shop serves coffee from Brooklyn-based Parlor, whom they re- spect for the roaster's extensive experience developing relationships at origin. "We speak the same language when it comes to sustainabil- ity and farm-to-table and understanding that those aren't just terms, that those have a real impact," J.P. says of Parlor. "And they [Parlor] carry the same sensibility to coffee." The Shop is great for people-watching. Families relax after exciting soccer games, weary young parents sip cappuccinos with an eye on their newborns, teenagers swarm a table with to-go cups, couples breeze by with dogs, and toddlers ride by on push-bikes. The people fl owing in and out of the café are the heart of The Shop, say J.P. and Diane. Their dedication to sustainability extends beyond their retail vibe and coffee-purchasing efforts, though. When I asked about their com- mitment to reusable packaging in almost all their food preparation and sales, J.P. says, "It's not there in service of the business model, it's there in service of how we want to enter the world." J.P. stresses the importance of small-business owners making decisions "on behalf of the 170 people who come through" a café like his each day. He and Diane are conscious that their "small decisions actually have larger implications. They're amplifi ed." NEW HARVEST COFFEE ROASTERS My next stop was New Harvest, a company so embedded in the fabric of the city that its name is local lingo. Many of the shops I visited mentioned New Harvest as a source of coffee, knowledge, and/ or inspiration. Owner Rik Kleinfeldt grew up in Ohio and moved to Providence in 1990 to attend grad school at Brown University. Need- ing a job, he signed on at Coffee Exchange as a barista. After a year, Rik had left grad school and taken the manager position at Coffee Exchange where he worked in that capacity, and later as head roaster for nearly nine years. In 2000, Rik left Coffee Exchange to start New Harvest with a focus on third-wave principles of sourcing transparen- cy, barista training, and community development. New Harvest's roasting space—which includes a small retail section—is one of a few dozen local businesses occupying a way- cool converted textile mill on North Main Street in Pawtucket, which neighbors Providence. The mill is sort of a maze to figure out: The first time I went to visit, I wandered the halls for 30

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