Sunday, August 3, 2014

Utica Coffee Roasting Company

When most people they hear "New York," they think of New York City with its skyscrapers and bustling sidewalks. Some people don't realize that New York is a big state made up mostly of farmland, country villages and some small-medium cities. We have been living in the lesser known part of New York state for most of this summer. We are about 20 minutes outside of Utica, NY in a funky little farmhouse that we rented for three months. It has been a nice combination of a bucolic lifestyle with pretty easy access to quaint villages and the small city of Utica, NY.

A Utica poster at the Utica Coffee Roasting Co

Utica is like many cities in the Northeast and Midwest that thrived from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries, but have fallen on hard times as manufacturing moved elsewhere and the economy changed. Utica thrived because of its location at the junction of the Erie and the Chenango Canals. It was a transportation hub and manufacturing center. Now the downtown is full of empty buildings and vacant lots (city revitalization plans that went awry) and it is bifurcated by highways that make it hard to walk around and explore on foot.

View when from the front door.

The case with some local treats.

My husband and I have a soft spot for these kinds of cities. We like to come up with schemes that could turn them around, and root for any efforts by entrepreneurs to contribute to the local economy and revitalize the city. Yesterday after the farmers' market, we visited one such business - the Utica Coffee Roasting Company. We both are fans of coffee and local food, so we immediately loved it. They carry local yogurt, Utica made bagels, Adirondack nut butters, soaps made with their coffee grounds and lots of other fun stuff. We're sorry we discovered it so late in the summer, but we'll plan on a second visit our last Saturday in New York state.

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