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Couple seeks funding for Scotia coffee shop

Couple seeks funding for Scotia coffee shop

More than $10,000 already raised through Kickstarter campaign
Couple seeks funding for Scotia coffee shop
Rich Sarnacki stands outside the Scotia building he and his wife, Christine, hope to turn into a coffee shop.
Photographer: provided photo

SCOTIA -- A local couple has raised more than $10,500 through a Kickstarter campaign as they seek to establish the village's only coffee shop.

That's halfway to Rich and Christine Sarnacki's goal for social media fundraising, as they work to establish the community coffee shop at 109 Mohawk Ave., just a short distance from the Scotia Cinema, new apartments and a short drive from Schenectady County Community College.

"We are pleasantly surprised with how well it has gone -- to be more than 50 percent of the way there with two weeks to go," said Rich Sarnacki, a Scotia native and 2009 graduate of Scotia-Glenville High School.

They've put $20,000 of their own money into renting the building and purchasing coffee equipment but estimate they need $20,000 to $30,000 more to renovate the interior, update plumbing, install restrooms and make other improvements. If the fundraising is successful, they hope to open in November.

Sarnacki helped launch a coffee shop that operated in the village in 2009-10. Since then, he's worked in the food industry and for Cru, the former Campus Crucade for Christ.

While he acknowledges learning to drink coffee "light and sweet" in high school, Sarnacki said he's been learning about high-end coffees, with a higher level of care in the roasting and brewing process.

"Most of the coffee we will handle will have a really nice flavor without anything added," he said.

They will be getting their roasted beans from Kru Coffee in Saratoga Springs, which only sells fair trade, direct trade, or Rain Forest Alliance certified coffee. Sarnacki cited small, independent coffee shops like Stacks Espresso Bar in Albany, Kru in Saratoga and Supervior Merchandise in Troy as the inspiration for the new business.

Christine Sarnacki, a special education teacher, lived in Honduras for a couple of years and worked there in a coffee shop that bought its beans from a local coffee farm.

"The beans were coming fresh from the farm. The product was amazing. I learned to love coffee there," she said in the Kickstarter video.

Like every coffee shop, the Scotia store will also carry pastries and cookies, and the Sarnackis anticipate preparing light fare, like quiches, on-premises. In addition to coffee, teas, kombucha and bubble teas will be on the menu. But a lot of renovation lies ahead.

The building was most recently a jewelry store. That closed at the end of March, and the Sarnackis took over the remaining three years on the lease. For a number of years in the 1950s and 1960s, the building was home to a bakery, and it was later Scotia Optical. 

"We're really pleased with the building's history, and we're trying to bring it back," Sarnacki said.

The business will be called Storied Coffee -- and yes, there's a story behind the name.

"We think that every cup of coffee or tea essentially tells a story; that's what we're trying to convey," Rich Sarnacki said. "It tells a story about the kind of day you're having or the experience of having coffee with a friend or whoever you are talking to."

The Kickstarter campaign runs through Saturday, Aug. 25.

Reach Daily Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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