March 20, 2014 By Michael Florio
An Astoria couple who have been operating a coffee bean delivery business out of their 37th Street apartment are about to open a local coffee shop.
Dennis Lee and Liz Wick, who have been small-scale distributors of coffee beans to local residents and businesses for the past year, are planning to open Astoria Coffee Shop, which will be located at 30-04 30th Street, in June.
The couple got into the coffee business after giving away samples of coffee beans from an artisan roaster (Brioso Coffee) based in their native Ohio.
They quickly realized that local residents and businesses were willing to buy them—so they decided to distribute them.
The couple is currently selling beans to three offices, Snowdonia pub and to roughly 10 subscribers.
However, Lee said the pair wants to focus long term on running a coffee shop as opposed to a distribution business.
They aim to feature different coffees in the store from small roasters across the nation.
“Our idea right now is to offer coffee from a couple of roasters from every state,” Lee said. “We want our customers to do tastings here and we plan to put on events,” Lee said.
The couple currently receives orders for delivery through their website, and before that Lee would communicate with clients through text messaging. He would receive a text and then would make a delivery.
He is unsure whether they will keep the delivery business going once the shop opens, but hopes to accommodate current clientele.
Lee also plans on selling beer and wine—and will soon look to apply for a liquor license.
He is unsure what the interior will look like, but said that it will seat about 18 customers.
“We really love the neighborhood and feel comfortable opening our shop here,” Lee said.