It is no secret that locally run business are not only hard to come by, but also hard to keep afloat. There are many realities entrepreneurs must come to face head on, before even taking the first steps towards opening their new company's doors.
Co-owners, Mikey Jackson and Aurelia Winborn took on these challenges, nearly 15 years ago now, and have truly mastered the art that is business and community relationships.
2 Alices in Cornwall, New York is the flagship of a local, 2 store coffee chain, built and run by Jackson and Winborn. The two have dedicated the last 12-15 years to the cafe business, providing excellent service to a broad customer base. And it doesn't look like they have any intention of stopping.
Some Of The Specials Board At 2 Alice's Cornwall. By: Mariah P. K. Ardrey
"I've working here for six years now...its been a transitional phase, you know, but there has been so much that I have learned from working in a business like this," long time employee Victoria, said.
"Just, the experiences and the people...I've learned so much from my boss about owning a small business, and it is a lot of hard work, but I really love it," She said.
The usual Sunday flow is busy here. Men and women of all ages are continuously filtering through either the front, or side entrances of the small cafe. Employees are kept moving, bouncing from one counter to another.
Take an order, make a drink, call out an order. The cycle never seems to stop.
Customers Line Up To Order At 2 Alice's Cornwall Counter By: Mariah P. K. Ardrey
But, the baristas here are seasoned pros at managing the Sunday, coffee chaos. The stress may seem extreme at times, but the small crew manages to continue smiling.
"We make sure to work as a team here," Victoria said, "either that, or we would sink."
Behind The Counter of 2 Alice's Cornwall Employees Work Quickly By: Mariah P. K. Ardrey
Relationship is at the forefront, from the storefront, and beyond.
In a past article, The Coffee Collective covered a story on the second location, which resides in Newburgh, New York--also known as the "murder capital" of Upstate New York. In this past interview, repeat customer Michele Gulino spoke about how 2 Alice's in Newburgh, was a "diamond in the rough," but also about how special the connections made in the cafe were.
Cornwall may lack the special sense of danger in the air, that Newburgh often carries. But, the cultivation of community here, is no less awe inspiring, and special.
It is estimated that nearly 50% of everyone over the age of 18 in the United States, drinks coffee on a daily business. And, as the age demographics grow to meet the age of the citizens, the percentages grow as well. According to Statista.com, more than 70% of adults, over the age of 60, consume coffee on a regular basis. Ages 40-60, consume at around 62%, and individuals, ages 25-39, head up the race at a whopping 64%.
From the homemade ice-cream, to gluten free bagels, the locally made paintings for sale on the walls, and of course, the coffee itself. 2 Alice's has something to offer everyone.
2 Alice's Cornwall, Main Seating Area During a Lull By: Mariah P. K. Ardrey
It is hard these days to find a local coffee shop that calls, and caters, to everyone.
In another article, it is estimated that more than 54% of Americans over the age of 18 consume coffee on a daily basis, according to this article, College Students and Coffee. Yet, most individuals who consume the caffeinated beverage, are opting out of sitting down at a cafe table, and ordering their coffee online ahead of time. The app ordering phenomena is certainly a great time saver, but the experience loses something in the translation of relationship authenticity, according to this article by James Glasnapp, titled Mobile ordering lets customers cut in line — and that’s a problem.
But 2 Alice's in Cornwall has cultivated the perfect sense of safety, and savory, that encourages face to face gathering.
Here at 2 Alice's, customers speak to their baristas. They form relationships over the counter, as employees work together to fill orders, and remember names. Customers also tend to engage with one another more frequently while waiting in line here. Exchanging coffee orders, and recommendations seems to be a regular occurrence on a 2 Alice's line.
An ordering app may remember what an individual last ordered, making it easier to re-order the same beverages and food, but there is nothing more special than walking in to a cafe, and having a favored barista greet a regular customer by name, or even getting to try something new, because a neighboring customer suggested a drink by name.
2 Alice's Customers Being Readily Helped By Friendly Employee By: Mariah P. K. Ardrey
2 Alice's Coffee Lounge has prioritized people and relationships since the beginning.
It may be a back to back, double feature. But, both 2 Alice's in Cornwall and Newburgh, are a cafe pair worth revisiting, time and time again. Can't make it out to try the cafe in Newburgh? Give the Cornwall coffee shop of visit, or vice versa.
2 Alice's never disappoints.