COFFEE, CONVERSATION & COMMUNITY
If you’re in the mood for an organic espresso with a shot of caramel, stimulating conversation and some community building, then the Crafted Kup in Poughkeepsie is the spot for you.
At its flagship location on Raymond Avenue near Vassar College, the Crafted Kup draws students, commuters and neighbors. “When I bought this place, my goal was to appeal to both Vassar and the community, and it’s nice to have something to offer to both aspects of Poughkeepsie,” said owner Tanner Townsend. His mission was to buy only high quality local ingredients, provide intensive training programs for his baristas and become an integral part of the community.
The coffee comes from Chris’ Coffee in Albany, the biscotti and gluten free goodies are from Bella’s Home-Baked Goods and Bread Alone Bakery. There are bagels supplied by Lox of Bagels in Saugerties and Vegan energy bars from Grok Bites in New Paltz.
Some of the lunch favorites include a Beef & Brie: Roast Beef, Caramelized Onions, Fresh Tomato, Baby Spinach, and Sliced Brie with a Dijon Mayo, or their Fresca Wrap: House-made White Bean Hummus, Roasted Red Peppers, Cucumbers, Feta Toasted Walnuts with a drizzle of Citrus Vinaigrette served on a Flour Tortilla. The go-to coffees & teas include the Cafe Mie!, an Organic Locally Roasted Espresso with Honey, Cinnamon and Milk or the Matcha Latte, a Green Tea Powder with Vanilla, Coconut and Milk.
The space appeals to both students and local residents with its sun-filled areas great for studying for that physics exam and its darker, cozier spots for gossiping with a friend. Townsend built most of the furniture including the benches, tables and bookshelves, and he also renovated the stairs, banisters and tile work.
Townsend’s goal was to fill a void he felt the community had been missing. “I built a small stage up in the front, and the plan was to do an open mic evening, a night of spoken work, and also host local singer/songwriter acts,” said Townsend. The community events have continued to grow and currently include an Open Mic every Thursday night and a weekly discussion group.
Every Sunday at 11am The Crafted Kup hosts Conversations Over Coffee, an ingenious concept to hold meaningful conversations with your neighbors while enjoying a great cup of joe. The group chooses the subjects which can range from sustainability to the Equinox breach but often includes lighter subjects such as thrill seeking activities. Participants recently shared their thoughts on living on the edge and adrenaline rushes people get from the bungie jumping craze. The group’s motto says it all: “I’ll Take Some Knowledge With My Coffee Please.”
The Kup also hosted the Repair Cafe, a free community event where people bring their beloved but broken items, and together, with volunteer Repair Coaches, they are fixed!. Popular items include toasters, vacuums, toys, clocks, jewelry and chairs. Their motto is “TOSS IT? NO WAY!”
Recently, hosts Rob Conlon and J. Dewey taped a live episode of their Could Be Better podcast at the Kup. The duo shares a mutual love and appreciation for Better Homes & Gardens magazine. In their podcasts they pour drinks and spill the tea and tell you what they really think about the latest issue. “It's queer eye for the home decor magazine, and If you’re a fan of witty banter about interior design magazines, LGBTQ issues, gardening, baking, parenting and home decor ...you may want to listen to something else. But if you’re the type who flips through a design magazine and thinks ‘where did they hide all the clutter?’, then you’re in our tribe,” explained Conlon. Guests were encouraged to email pictures of their “I Did It” project, craft, or room design, and then come ready to flaunt it or revamp it! Admission was free and small bites, a cash bar and snark were all included.
Townsend also continually supports the Vassar College community. The Kup donates gift cards, participates in fundraisers and supplies student volunteers that much needed caffeine boost which they deliver to other scholars late into the night during finals week.
On February 16th, you can Moonwalk away those winter blues at Crafted Kup’s 80’s Dance Party For A Cause! Dig out your mini-skirts, leg warmers and shoulder pads and get ready to compete for prizes while enjoying complimentary snacks and beverages. Dance the night away to Billie Jean and Like A Virgin knowing that all proceeds will benefit the Family, Career & Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). The FCCLA is a nonprofit national career and technical organization for young men and women in Family and Consumer Science programs in public and private schools. Chapter projects focus on youth concerns including teen pregnancy,
family relationships, substance abuse, peer pressure, fitness, teen violence, and career exploration.
SPREADING THE GOOD BEANS
In December 2017, The Crafted Kup, opened its second location at the Poughkeepsie Galleria. “Tanner has done a great job building this brand and opening in the Poughkeepsie Galleria continues his commitment to grow the brand and take it to the next level,” said Kate Fakler, General Manager of Poughkeepsie Galleria. A third location will open soon at the Middletown Galleria.
“My mission has always been to give back, and bring students and the community together,” said Townsend.
The Crafted Kup:
44 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY
Poughkeepsie Galleria Mall
2001 South Road