March 12, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
A new coffee shop that focuses on small batch, artisanal coffee and pastry items opened on Broadway last week.
Sweet Habit, the name of the new coffee destination, is located at 45-11 Broadway in Astoria just a few steps away from the 46th Street M and R train station.
The locale offers classic beverages such as espresso, lattes and cappuccinos, as well as its best-selling beverage so far, the freddo espresso, a traditional Greek beverage made with espresso and sugar, and blended with ice.
The establishment also offers Chai lattes, cold brew, cold or hot chocolate, organic smoothies, and organic loose-leaf teas, including peppermint, mango peach, English breakfast, and more.
The coffee is supplied by Abbotsford Road, a Brooklyn-based roasting company that sources its coffee beans from South America and roasts it in house.
Food items include croissants, paninis, sandwiches, bagels, spinach or cheese pies, and koulouri, a Greek sesame bread ring.
The establishment is co-owned by two immigrants—Christopher Petropoulos and Iraklis Ramadhis– who moved to Astoria, separately, from Greece about 10 years ago.
The duo met while working at the same real estate brokerage firm in Manhattan, and then worked together as bartenders on weekends at Caprice NYC, a bar on Astoria Boulevard.
The pair stumbled into the café business by chance.
They happened to be at Anastasio’s Hair Salon, a few doors down from the cafe, when the salon owner said he was looking to sell the coffee shop. The coffee shop opened last year under the name New York Coffee Time but quickly closed.
The two jumped on the opportunity, wanting to make a career change.
“It’s all about liking what you do,” Petropoulos said, adding that he wanted to leave the nightlife scene.
He said that he has a passion for coffee and the café business.
“Greeks are weird with coffee,” Petropoulos said. “It’s like a ritual. You can be very busy but we’re gonna sit, we’re gonna sip our coffee slowly, we’re gonna talk. We respect good coffee a lot.”
The cafe can seat about 12 people indoors. The pair plan to offer outdoor seating in the warmer months.
The coffee shop is open seven days a week, weekdays from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sundays 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.