The Kingston waterfront has a robust restaurant scene and plenty of tourist attractions and shops, but for a long time, it hasn’t had a coffee shop.
That all changed when Redstart Coffee flew in this past year and opened its doors in late May.
Located next to Savona’s Trattoria on the corner of lower Broadway and West Strand Street, Redstart combines thoughtfully sourced coffee and grab-and-go foods with a minimalistic design aesthetic that welcomes everything from casual conversation to laptop workers to live music performances.
It’s the brainchild of Josie Eriole, owner of the former New Paltz cupcake establishment Moxie Cup, who wanted to run a shop focusing on her love of coffee. When she found the space in Kingston, she fell in love with the idea of helping to fuel tourists, residents, and the many employees at nearby restaurants, museums, and shops.
“That’s what made me really love this space overall,” says Josie, who also plans to open a Redstart in New Paltz. “I love the building, I love the area, but the idea that I’m filling a need here has been very, very rewarding.”
Born of Swedish heritage, Josie wanted to connect people through the concept of “fika,” a traditional Swedish coffee break among friends, colleagues, or loved ones.
Josie hopes that when people visit Redstart, they sit back, enjoy a cup with a pastry, and talk with others. To accommodate that, Redstart’s design is inspired by a Scandinavian aesthetic. Minimalist and clean, the shop has two distinct spaces—the food-and-drink bar and the seating area—dressed in original concrete and hardwood floors and white walls. The seating
Redstart combines thoughtfully sourced coffee and grab-and-go foods with a minimalistic design aesthetic that welcomes everything from casual conversation to laptop workers to live music performances.
area includes an original brick wall whitewashed to match the aesthetic. An old barn door rests against the opposite wall. Tables and chairs in the seating area have clean lines and are perfect for visitors typing away or just taking a break. A raised stage area includes two tables, which fold up against the wall when the space is used for author’s nights and small concerts. The spaces promote cleanliness and efficiency.
“I love design, and I love creating a space for people that’s comfortable and clean and welcoming,” says Josie. “Everything that I saw for this space is exactly how I envisioned it, which makes me happy.”
It fits in well in Kingston, a city embracing its past with renovation and preservation projects. In her small way, through exposing original concrete and brick, Josie hopes Redstart stands in concert with the city’s revitalization.
“This area is just so rich in history,” she says. “The idea that I’m a part of the revitalization of the area is also completely satisfying, and the fact that people have immediately responded to my vision has been really great.”
Again, part of that response is the fact that Redstart is one-of-a-kind, serving grab-and-go to a community previously lacking that option. The shop serves made-to-order breakfast sandwiches with nitrate-free bacon and cage-free eggs in the morning, while an open refrigerator case is stocked with yogurt, water, iced teas, and vegetable platters. Folks can pick up items like a premade Waldorf chicken salad wrap or a chicken and kale salad with local goat cheese, dried cherries, and almonds. Redstart is also a vendor for Jane’s Ice Cream, a perfect way to end a beautiful day by the waterfront. The coffee shop is in the process of unveiling new creations, including specialty made-to-order salads.
Josie also plans to start a garden behind the shop to grow her own herbs and vegetables.
And then, of course, there’s the coffee.
Redstart features coffee from a roaster in Albany and brews hot and cold cups along with espresso drinks (lattes, cappuccinos, cortados), but Josie aims to begin roasting at Redstart by the end of the year. With that, she hopes to bring in coffee beans farmed by women, and beans grown by farms that preserve bird
habitats. That’s where the name Redstart originates—the American Redstart is a “coffee bird” that migrates from North America (typically the East Coast) to coffee farms in Central and northern South America. The idea of helping others—whether bird populations across the Western Hemisphere or bakers and artisans across the Hudson Valley—is at the forefront of the Redstart Coffee mission. And Redstart features plenty of local bakers, ensuring all products are all-natural—Bella’s Home-Baked Goods of Highland is displayed prominently, for one.
If she’s not doing cupcakes anymore, Josie wants to give other folks an opportunity to shine. “I’d like to find local bakers and bring their products in,” Josie said, “and do for them what people did for me when I was first starting out. Give them a place to have a name.”
1 West Strand Street, Kingston
Open daily at 8am