Friend of a Farmer Debuts Signature Coffee Blend
The original cool kid of the farm-to-table movement, Friend of a Farmer, is taking strides to pioneer the latest in local, seasonal dining – the “farm to cup” concept. Brothers Taylor Morabito, director of operations, and Weston, assistant director of operations, worked with Brooklyn-based Devoción to create a blend tailored to the history of the 30-year-old restaurant and its roster of seasonally, fresh local fare.
What three adjectives would you use to describe coffee that also defines the atmosphere at Friend of a Farmer?
Taylor Morabito: Delicious, aromatic, unique.
Weston Morabito: Complex, earthy, sharp.
What was the initial process like from deciding this was something to explore to creating a blend and sourcing the beans?
WM: The initial process stems from our desire to become a stand-alone brand, meaning we don’t have to share coffee or ingredients that other establishments might have, so the next logical step was creating our own blend of coffee. Having our own personalized blend creates a “farm-to-mug” (I think I just made that term up) experience that you can only get at Friend of a Farmer.
TM: I think through our expansion we realized we needed to have our own signature coffee blend. We wanted to partner with a company that not only valued what we represent as a company but could also provide us with a premium, high quality product. Devocion sources their beans from local Colombian coffee farms and manages to get those beans to us in an incredibly timely fashion. It was a perfect partnership from the start.
Working with local purveyors has been a trademark for the brand thus far, were you able to continue to support that with this new project?
WM: With items like coffee, which require very particular conditions for growth, we have to bend the rules a bit. We also don’t want to sacrifice quality and flavor, so there is a trade off. However, I think our guests will agree we made the right call after their first sip of Farmer’s Blend; not to mention that while the beans are grown in Colombia they are roasted in Brooklyn, so we didn’t totally break our own rules.
How do you like your coffee?
TM: Dash of skim and a little bit of honey or brown sugar.
What’s been a challenge and what’s been something that’s excited you through this debut?
WM: The biggest challenge was finding a company whose vision aligned with ours, which we found in Devocion. I’m most excited to be able to retail our own personalized brand of coffee.
TM: I think finding the right company was the most challenging especially with such a surplus of coffee providers out there. I am excited about this partnership and the potential growth opportunities on the horizon.
What’s the next step for Friend of a Farmer?
WM: Growing the brand. After 30 years, we’ve created a name known throughout Manhattan, which is an incredible feat, but there’s a lot of room to grow. Having our own branded coffee was a huge step in that direction, but I’d like to continue that path with more retail: branded hats, hand-crafted dining room furniture guests can purchase, canned goods, e-commerce – the possibilities are endless.
TM: We also just opened up a BBQ spot called Stuey’s Smokehouse BBQ on Long Island that has really taken off. Certainly, more exciting things are to come.
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