Welcome to Pushcart Coffee
"Coffee is, in my opinion, the universal connector" - Ashley Whelan, Pushcart Coffee
Name, Location, Occupation
Ashley Whelan; 401 West 25th St.; Company General Manager, Pushcart Coffee
Tell us the story behind Pushcart Coffee
Pushcart Coffee grew out of a connection. Before diving into the coffee business himself, Jamie Rogers valued the personal, sincere interaction he received every morning from his local coffee shop in the Lower East Side. When it went up for sale in 2011, he bought it with drive to bring that connection and human aspect to his business and across Manhattan. Even as we grow we try to keep that value present in everything we do - new shops and neighborhoods, our own bakery, and most recently roasted coffee. Coffee is, in my opinion, the universal connector and it's so easy to turn into robots in the service industry. But not at Pushcart.
How do your locations differ? What experience can customers expect to have at each location?
The two locations are Chelsea and Peter's Field, which is Gramercy. The latter is 2 years old, smaller and really embodies that sense of community. Our regulars are our friends, and lines get backed up mainly because we are trying to catch up on each others lives or share a funny story.
While Chelsea also has many regulars we've quickly come to love, it is a much bigger space. There is the larger seating area where you can go to really get work done. Unique to Chelsea is our slow bar where you can get the more intimate experience and chat with your barista while ordering a pour over coffee as well as beer and wine on tap.
How is Pushcart fostering a community in Chelsea?
Chelsea is a very eclectic neighborhood, which I did not realize until after we opened. There are a large amount of students and residents in the area who we see more on the weekends and later in the day, but then you also have the gallery, ad and pr agency, and tech start up workers. I think we do a great job of bringing them all together and catering to all needs.
Each Pushcart location has a community board, and the one at Chelsea takes up an entire wall where we encourage customers and the community to post their ads, events and achievements - we also extend this to our virtual community through social media.
Additionally, we know we are fortunate enough to have such a large space in New York City, and therefore, encourage the use of our bar space for pop ups, reserving space for business meetings, or even renting the area for events, or hosting parties.
Not only does Pushcart serve great coffee, but you've also got a great selection of beer and wine on tap. Why bring the two together?
We have designed the space to be one where you can find whatever you might be looking for at all times of the day. The grab and go area, the 14 foot community table lined with outlets ready to work, and the bar where you can come have a craft beer or wine over a book or a happy hour meeting. This type of environment is more like the European style cafe, where you can have a go out and have a drink without the pressure of a loud bar.
What's your coffee order?
My coffee order is usually a black Americano. I like a longer drink than just an espresso shot, so I order an Americano to experience flavor complexities and a bigger body of the espresso versus regular drip coffee.
As told to Ellie Eckert on October 21st, 2014.