Skip to content

Tierra Coffee Roasters to serve beer

May 30, 2012

by Jaired Crofut

This summer Tierra Coffee Roasters will start serving organic beer and wine. The coffeehouse, at 1038 Madison Ave. in the Pine Hills, will provide customers with a choice between
 Vermont’s Own Wolaver’s Wildflower Wheat, Oatmeal Stout, Brown Ale, and India
 Pale Ale, as well as Peak Organics’ Pale Ale, IPA, and Simcoe Spring Ales.

“It’s more like a European café idea,” said Gunther Fishgold, who owns Tierra 
Coffee Roasters. “I’m not looking for people to get wasted.”

The “Coming Soon” sign that sits next to the register.

According to employees, the sign displaying the selection of beers reading, “coming soon” next to the cash register has been generating
 lots of hype among customers for months.

“People seem pretty excited,” said Ron Grieco, 24, a barista who works full time at the coffeehouse.

Although the café will start serving alcoholic beverages this summer, the exact date has yet to be announced.

”I’m not in a rush,” said Fishgold, who has 
indicated he is intent on doing things the right way and at the right time.
 Earlier this year he attended a Pine Hills Neighborhood Association meeting in
 order to give members of the community a chance to talk about any concerns they
 have regarding Tierra’s liquor license. “I don’t want any mistakes,
 because I understand the community concern.”

Employees at Tierra were recently trained by an associate of the New York State Liquor Authority on tipping and asking patrons
 to provide identification.  Employees were also coached on
 how to deal with customers who have had too much to drink. Fishgold, though,
 does not foresee binge drinking as an issue since no alcoholic beverages will be sold after 10 p.m.

“I’ve heard people talk about how it might bring in a bad crowd, or underage drinkers or something like that, the thing is those beers are going to be expensive,” said Joseph Hanes, of Madison Avenue.

“It’s not Budweiser,” said Austin Gamsjager, another employee.

Many patrons said Tierra just doesn’t seem to foster the type of environment that would create a rowdy atmosphere. “The people who come here already are not the kind of people to go crazy over it,” said Hayes.

Hayes is a local writer who uses the café to work. During the regular school year, the café is often littered with students catching up on homework and other miscellaneous assignments.

Tierra Coffee Roasters

“It’s just a good vibe,” said Hayes. “It’s always really chill, really good coffee—there’s lots of interesting people.”

Tierra occupies the space that was formerly known as the Drama Cup, and the Muddy Cup before that. Many acoustic acts and artists such as the classical guitar society of New York have held shows at the coffeehouse in the past. Although there have not been any shows for a while due to the renovations, they are expected to be return later this summer.

“There’s just something nice about kicking back with a beer and listening to some music,” said Hanes.

According to an article written on April 7th on the Pine Hills Blog,
 all of Tierra’s products are certified organic and fair trade by Trans Fair, a
 company that certifies a fair minimum price is paid to farmers whom the company
 buys their products from.

“Just because someone works in a country where you can exploit them, doesn’t mean you
 should,” said Fishgold.

However, despite the ethical far reach of the café, the emphasis is more locally centered.

“What we implement is right here at home,” said Fishgold. “We’re not one of these companies running around talking about saving the world, we just think that we provide an organization that provides fair trade, and were happy to be apart of that and pay the fees and we’ve done all that work.”

Personal health is valued at Tierra Coffee Roasters.  Tierra offers each employee the chance to set up a 401 K account and full health coverage, including dental and eye insurance. And according to employees, the owner once offered to pay $1,000  to any employee who quit smoking.

“He paid up too,” said Grieco. By providing a good environment to work in, the friendly vibes have also carried over into the attitudes of employees.

“There’s a stigma associated with coffee houses in general, the “ rude” barista,” said Hayes. “These guys don’t do that, they go out of their way to help people out.”

Reportedly, Hayes was in the café when a customer had spilled her tea and asked for another. Not only was she given a free replacement, she was
 also given a glass of water. Hayes has cited this event, as well as the
 friendliness of employees, as one of the reasons why he loves going to Tierra.

Tierra,  Spanish for “earth,” is organic in all senses of the word. The café is
 even more democratic in how it is run, since there is no official manager.
 Instead, all of the employees divide up the responsibilities among themselves.

Earlier this spring Tierra also underwent some renovations- adding a disabled bathroom, and building new counters. “We’re continually trying to improve the place,” said Fishgold.

In the next few weeks Tierra will be adding brand new wine racks to their wall. Also in the works is the process of moving the cash register to the other side of the counter.

Besides coffee and beer, Tierra also serves breakfast sandwiches all day and night, teas, and freshly baked goods, all of which are certified organic, fairly 
traded, and grown locally at Tierra farms in Valatie, New York. In the next two weeks fresh
 produce from the farm will start arriving at the café and making its way into
 the sandwiches and other foods Tierra serves.

“I want to make the place work, that’s the challenge,” said Fishgold. -30

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: