If you’re looking for a place to start and end your day, Here Coffee + Beer down by the train station in Ossining is worth a visit. Founded by business and life partners Stacey Belmont (she’s all about the coffee and grew up in Ossining) and Dylan Hardman (the beer guy who was raised in Croton-on-Hudson) in November 2022, Here is not just for the commuter crowd.
River Journal caught up with Hardman and asked a few questions about the business. His responses have been edited for space.
River Journal: Why did you start your business?
Dylan Hardman: After compiling over 25 years collectively in coffee, beer, and hospitality we chose to come home to the Hudson Valley and realize our dream of opening up our own shop.
RJ: What made you choose your business’s location?
DH: The uniqueness of the building as well as the proximity to the river and train station spoke to our sense of what we wanted to present.
RJ: What changes did you make from the previous store at this location?
DH: The previous store was a dog day care. We outfitted the space with a coffee and beer bar set-up in front of house. Additionally, we installed a 12-kilo coffee roaster, which was no small undertaking. We also built a small kitchenette area where we can prepare small plates. We don’t cook anything, but we can do meat and cheese boards, an assortment of dips, sandwich specials, and daily baked goods from an array of artisan bakers.
RJ: What services and/or products do you offer?
DH: Our primary product is our house roasted coffee. It is the main reason we built the business. We love coffee. We also love beer. Our beer cooler may be small, but it is well curated with some of the world’s finest beer, including many offerings from the Hudson Valley.
RJ: Have you gotten involved with the community since you opened?
DH: The first program we launched we call our Reciprocoffees. We intend to use these coffees to fund raise for local organizations. Our first beneficiary has been Riverkeeper, which receives 50 cents from every bag of coffee we sell.
RJ: How would you describe your company’s progress so far?
DH: Slow and steady. We don’t have a huge marketing budget so we are counting heavily on word of mouth and social media and so far the feedback loop has been overwhelmingly positive.
RJ: Do you have specific plans/goals for growth or significant changes in the near future?
DH: We opened with fairly conservative hours. It’s become fairly clear that we need to expand those hours as we head into spring. We would like to establish ourselves as much as an evening beer and event destination as a coffeehouse.
Coffee + Beer
20 Main St., Ossining