Article: A Corporation for the Community

Article: A Corporation for the Community

BY NEIL CHIRAGDIN

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL BERMAN   

 

You might not expect a man named Turtle to move very quickly; you’d be wrong.

Bobbing between umbrellas on the Long Island City Landing, Frank “Turtle” Raffaele is commonly seen greeting and serving customers at the waterfront location of his coffee shop chainlet, Coffeed. Dubbed “Turtle” by his former boss in his time at the New York City Parks Department for one of the Ninja Turtles, there is something of an unassuming hero in Raffaele as well.

Since its first location opened five years ago, Coffeed has sought to pair profitability with philanthropy. “I was looking to start a business that had a social mission,” says Raffaele. Raffaele’s shops are partnered with local charities, each location contributing between 3% and 10% of their gross revenue to local organizations such as the New York Foundling, which helps children and adults with developmental disabilities. The group provides them with resources for finding foster care and homes, after-school programming and jobs—even within the Coffeed family.

 

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Article: DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE - "It's Not (Just) About The Coffee"

by RONNYD

Call it coffee with a conscience.

COFFEED, a charity-focused, New York City café and coffee chain, recently opened a new location at 89 Washington Street in Lower Manhattan.

The locally-sourced coffee company, which roasts its own coffee and bakes its own pastries, lets customers give back while getting caffeinated. Every COFFEED shop (there are now 14) donates between 3-10% of all gross revenue to local charities.

And we’re not talking pocket change here. The company’s total donations so far? $238,844.15!

The Lower Manhattan location supports a particularly worthy cause. Proceeds from the café at 89 Washington Street benefit the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, which provides educational assistance to children of those killed or disabled in the September 11th attacks (including those killed or disabled during rescue activities).

So stop by, grab a cup of joe and do some good!

Article: LIC POST - "COFFEED to Open New LIC Facility" (Excerpt)

by Christian Murray

Frank Raffaele, the CEO and founder of the Long Island City-based coffee chain Coffeed, is a familiar face in the neighborhood, often serving drinks or clearing tables at his Hunters Point South Park café location, LIC Landing.

He’s typically wearing a short-sleeve shirt–even in winter– a red apron and dons an old baseball hat that reads “Yale.” He can be seen darting from table to table, conversing with visitors.

Raffaele, 42, despite his modesty and low-key demure, is on the cusp of converting a small Long Island City-based coffee chain into a significant player in the New York City food and beverage arena.

He’s in the process of adding several new cafes —and will soon be opening a large centralized commissary kitchen in Long Island City where the company’s food will be prepared and then distributed to his growing network of cafes and kiosks.

He plans on raising between $6 million and $10 million in capital for expansion and aims to double his revenue from $5 million in 2015 to $10 million this year.

“I’m really excited right now,” said Raffaele, who currently has 12 cafes/kiosks throughout New York. “We are at a big tipping point as we grow. It is going to be interesting and challenging to scale our model.”

(Visit the LIC Post to read the article in its entirety.)

Article: CRAIN'S - "This Coffee Company Has Grounded Itself in Philanthropy" (Excerpt)

Frank Raffaele's Coffeed donates a share of its sales to local nonprofits. Who gets credit for his success? Landlords.

by Amanda Fung

Frank Raffaele has donated more than $200,000 to local charities through his philanthropic artisanal coffee company, Coffeed, and he wants to give more.

Raffaele is looking to raise $6 million to $10 million from outside investors for the Long Island City-based coffee-shop concept he founded in 2012 and hopes to one day make into a billion-dollar company. So far, he has grown the it organically, to a dozen locations in the New York area, from Bryant Park and Korea Town to Port Washington, L.I., and a branch in Seoul, South Korea. Raffaele estimates that revenue grew 300%, to $5 million, in 2015 from a year earlier....

(To read the article in its entirety, please visit Crain's.)

Article: THE MARTHA BLOG: "The Chelsea American Made Meet-Up" (Excerpt)

COFFEED was honored to provide catering for Martha Stewart's recent American Made Meet-Up at the Centre for Social Innovation in Chelsea. Below is an excerpt from Martha's blog.


Here I was with Frank “Turtle” Raffaele, the founder and CEO of COFFEED. Each COFFEED location donates a significant percentage of its gross revenue to worthy local charities.

"I am very excited to host my 4th annual American Made Summit, which takes place tomorrow, November 7th, at our New York City offices in the historic Starrett Lehigh Building. This nationally recognized event honors makers, small-business owners, and creative entrepreneurs in the fields of crafts, design, food, and style.

Recently, we kicked off the Summit with an American Made Meet-Up hosted by our friends at The UPS Store - a great supporter of the maker community, and a dedicated small business resource for printing, packing and shipping services. The event was held at the Centre of Social Innovation (CSI) - a co-working space, and launch pad for new entrepreneurs, and artisans. The Meet-Up was a great opportunity to talk with some of the hardworking small business owners from right here, in the New York City area...

And, please visit our web site for more information on our 2015 Martha Stewart American Made Award Winners."

 

Article: NEWYORK.COM - "8 NYC Restaurants with Beautiful Park Views"

Thanks, NewYork.com, for including New Leaf on this list with Jean-Georges, Tavern on the Green, etc.!! 

PHOTO: J&R PhOTOGRAPHY

by Kathleen Squires

New Leaf
Fans of this bucolic restaurant in Fort Tryon Park have the Divine Miss M to thank for its existence, as the then-overgrown building was surprisingly discovered by Bette Midler and friends while cleaning up the park 20 years ago. Under new management since the spring, the menu remains refined and accessible, with dishes such as flatiron steak and mushroom risotto. The site is particularly breathtaking in the fall, when the surroundings burst into an autumn palette. 1 Margaret Corbin Dr.. newleafrestaurant.com

Article: YAHOO - "The Ultimate Guide to What Pope Francis Should Eat in NYC" (Excerpt)

We are SO honored to have been included on this list of must-visit NYC eateries!  Viva il Papa!!!  

"Before heading off to the airport, the pope should get his caffeine fix at one of COFFEED’s NYC locations. This 'city-based, locally-sourced, charity-minded café' donates 3 to 10 percent of its gross revenue to worthy local charities. It says its goal is 'to become one of the most charitable companies in the world,' and I think a visit from the pope himself would be an excellent place to start."

Click here for the full article.

Article: FORBES - "This Go-Getter Knows That Doing Good Is Great For Business" (Excerpt)

by Denise Restauri

Bethany Lampland is taking action to prove that doing good is great for business. “I’ve seen the magic that happens when human altruism and corporate America’s ambitions fit together, when the tensions between maximizing profits and doing good are resolved because doing good is good for business,” says Bethany.

Bethany is the 37-year-old Chief Operating Officer of The New York Foundling, a non-profit with a 146-year legacy of providing services to empower disadvantaged children and families — from an abused child in need of a foster home, to a young mother who lacks the skills to care for her child, or a young person lost in the juvenile justice system. Each year, The Foundling’s 1,800 employees provide services to over 7,000 families, 250 adults with developmental disabilities and 20,000 children through its child abuse prevention program.

Bethany has first hand experience in connecting profits to doing good. One example is the partnership between the Foundling and COFFEED, a New York based chain of coffee shops and cafes. COFFEED could not afford a Manhattan location. The Foundling headquarters occupies highly coveted real estate in Manhattan (Chelsea). The partnership: The Foundling rents part of its prime Manhattan real estate to COFFEED at a reduced rate (approximately 50% of market value). In return, COFFEED directs a percentage of its revenues to The Foundling that will soon exceed the rental income The Foundling gave up. But this partnership is bigger than just revenue. COFFEED sets aside a quarter of its interior space for marketing the Foundling’s work and the issues of poverty and inequality. And the café employs The Foundling clients, namely teenaged foster children.

***To read the article in its entirety, visit Forbes.

Article: FODOR'S - "Why Queens Is the NYC Borough You Can No Longer Ignore" (Excerpt)

by Elissa Garay

Wonderfully diverse Queens—home to the greatest concentration of cultures not just in New York City, but on the planet—has no shortage of fascinating immigrant enclaves and foodie-magnet international eateries to explore. Nor does the borough lack for its arts appeal, harboring cultural heavyweights like MoMA PS1, the Noguchi Museum, and Queens Museum. Still, the borough's obvious, yet under-the-radar, lures have long been reserved for in-the-know locals and adventurous travelers.

Today, Queens is in the midst of a renaissance, due largely to an influx of the city's creative class; long since priced out of Manhattan and even Brooklyn, they're finding a new haven in this more affordable and space-affording borough, bringing with them a fresh wave of hip markets, microbreweries, comedy clubs, and more. Add to the mix a new crop of affordable boutique hotels, reimagined waterfront spaces, and improved cultural institutions, and you'll see why Queens can no longer be overlooked—so put it on your travel radar now.

WOW-FACTOR WATERFRONT

The ongoing movement to reclaim NYC's waterfront continues in Long Island City. The two-year-old, 5.5-acre Hunters Point South Park, set on the East River, unveiled LIC Landing by COFFEED last year, serving craft beers, wines, specialty coffees, and healthy fare. The venue comes tucked under a solar-paneled pavilion that generates energy for the park, and features an outdoor seating area and events space. Plans are also underway to expand the park with a kayak launch, toddler play area, and a curving, 35-foot-high footpath along riverfront bluffs by 2018.

***To read the article in its entirety, visit Fodor's.

Article: HUFFINGTON POST - "New York Coffee Chain Blends Business And Charity For Success"

by Joseph Erbentraut

It’s not unusual for a small business to work with community nonprofit groups, but a New York-based chain of coffee shops is taking that partnership further.

Coffeed operates six cafes in New York, plus a restaurant in Fort Tryon Park in Manhattan and a new location in Seoul, South Korea. The company partners with a different charity at each location.

As Inc. magazine reported earlier this year, the Queens-based chain opened its first Manhattan location in Chelsea in February inside the lobby of the headquarters of The Foundling, a nonprofit that provides foster care and adoption services.

In exchange for the highly coveted location at a reduced rental price -- $6,000 a month, about half the market rate -- Coffeed donates a percentage of its revenue to Foundling.

But that’s not where the partnership ends. The cafe also sets aside about a quarter of its interior space to information about Foundling's work and the issues of poverty and inequality. In addition, the cafe employs clients of the agency, including developmentally disabled adults and teenaged foster children.

At Coffeed’s flagship cafe on Northern Boulevard in Long Island City, the company partners with Brooklyn Grange, a small farm located on the building’s rooftop. As City Atlas reported in a 2013 article, Coffeed sources most of its produce from the farm and supports the work of City Growers, an initiative that educates the community about sustainability and agriculture. The company also partners with Community Mainstreaming Associates, a nonprofit that helps individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities attain residential and employment opportunities.

Coffeed’s social consciousness is no afterthought. The company’s CEO and founder, Frank Raffaele, was a stock trader during the pre-crash days, and saved up the funds with three other traders to open Coffeed's first location in 2012. Raffaele told the Times Ledger, a Queens newspaper, in a story published Monday that he “wanted to prove that traders had heart” with the cafes.

“As quick as we’re growing, we always keep that in mind,” Raffaele added.

The model appears to be working. Raffaele told Inc. that sales at the Chelsea cafe have averaged $2,000 a day and were “growing every week." He has ambitious plans for that growth to continue.

“I think people are social creatures and really do want to help one another,” Raffaele told City Atlas. “And I think that a business can be charitable as well as profitable. … I want to have 100 of these stores across the city.”

News: HARPER'S BAZAAR - "Some Like It Cold: The Best Iced Coffees in NY"

We're honored to be on Harper's Bazaar's best of NY iced coffee list!!!

"For a cup of coffee that gives back, COFFEED donates 3-10% of revenue to local charitable partners. COFFEED's cold-brew is not to be missed and neither is the Long Island City location that showcases the perfect view of the Manhattan skyline along the river."

Article: INC. - "How This Coffee Shop's Good Deeds Landed Its Killer Location"

by Kimberly Weisul

Photo: Ryan Lash

Photo: Ryan Lash

Sometimes doing good is its own reward--but sometimes it also gets you bargain rent in a prime New York City location. 

In 2014, New York coffee shop Coffeed was invited to participate in an unusual competition: The New York Foundling, a not-for-profit that owns its own office space on the edge of Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, was offering part of its lobby for use as a coffee shop. Rent would be $6,000 a month--about half of the estimated market rates.

The Foundling, one of New York's largest providers of foster care and adoption services, promised to award the space to the applicant who would do the most for New York's poor children. "We wanted a focus on empowerment, not gloom and doom," says Bethany Lampland, the non-profit's chief operating officer.

Ninety-four coffee shops responded to the Foundling's proposal, and most offered to donate a share of revenues or profits to the Foundling or similar non-profits. But Coffeed, which has a deep (if not long) history working with not-for-profits, got more creative: Yes, it would donate 10 percent of beverage sales, and five percent of food sales, to the Foundling. But it also said it would allocate 25 percent of the café's interior space to information about issues of poverty and disadvantaged children. Where appropriate, it would give first priority in hiring to the Foundling's clients.

***To read the article in its entirety, visit Inc.

Article: DAILY COFFEE NEWS - "LIC's COFFEED Opens in Manhattan and Seoul, More Coming"

Photo: Ryan Lash

by Nick Brown

Long Island City, Queens-based roastery COFFEED (emphasis on feed) has opened its first Manhattan cafe, inside a building owned by children’s charity The New York Foundling.

COFFEED regularly donates portions of proceeds from each of its shops to charities, and the new shop at 590 6th Ave., in Chelsea, will donate 10 percent of drink sales and 5 percent of food sales to the Foundling, which helps underserved and abused children and families.

It was a busy 2014 for COFFEED and its owner Frank “Turtle” Raffaele, who opened COFFEED's Long Island flagship cafe in 2012. While planning the Foundling shop, COFFEED opened its first international location December 2014, in Seoul.

The company is also planning a large anchor cafe on the first floor of a new development in the Stapleton Homeport section of Staten Island. It is also taking over the Fort Tyron Park space occupied for the past 13 years by New Leaf Restaurant & Bar.

COFFEED roasts its own, working with numerous importers, while the shops feature a fairly traditional European-inspired espresso drink menu, with some New York twists. The Foundling location represents the debut of a food menu created by New York chef Corey Cova, founder of Dough Loco, who has joined the COFFEED team on a permanent basis.

For more photos, see the full Daily Coffee News post.

Article: NEW YORK MAGAZINE (GRUB STREET) - "What To Eat At COFFEED"

by Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite

The Long Island City-based coffee shop and micro-roaster COFFEED donates part of its revenues to a different charitable partner at each of its locations. For the new Ladies’ Mile outpost, that partner is The Foundling, an organization that supports children and families in need and whose ground floor the new café occupies. The other thing all the branches have in common is chef Corey Cova, late of ABV and Earl's Beer and Cheese, who was hired to revamp the company’s food menus and run the kitchen at Fort Tryon Park’s New Leaf restaurant, now under COFFEED’s management, when it reopens this spring. At the Foundling, Cova integrates seasonal produce (microgreens at the moment) from Brooklyn Grange rooftop farms into sandwiches like a club with turkey, ham, and olive salad, and a chile-roasted cauliflower with miso mayo on black-rice bread (above).

For more photos, see the full Grub Street post.

News/Profile: COREY COVA - Putting the "FEED" in COFFEED

Corey, bread in hand, out for a Stroll in Yountville, CA.

We are delighted to report that, as a result of recently taking over operations at the beautiful New Leaf Restaurant in Fort Tryon Park, our team now includes the wildly creative, insanely talented, dryly funny, remarkably unassuming chef extraordinaire - Mr. Corey Cova.  Having served as a cook on a Navy submarine, having graduated from the prestigious Culinary Institute, having worked at Morimoto, Pure Food & Wine, and Momofuku Ssäm, having opened the kitchens at ABV and Earl's Beer & Cheese, and having co-founded the Upper East Side's Dough Loco, Corey has quite an impressive track record in his still-young career.  Given that his first experience in the restaurant business came as a kid at his uncle's café/roastery near San Jose, CA, we're hoping COFFEED feels like home.

Q&A w/ COREY COVA

MC (Michael Cialdella, COFFEED):  The sandwiches you've added to the COFFEED café menu are some of the best I've ever had.  What's your thought process in constructing a sandwich?

CC (Corey Cova): The major attributes would be: flavor, texture, freshness, appearance, and...humor?  Whatever can get a good cheap laugh, I’m always up for.  So if that opportunity presents itself, I'll take it!  I just try to hit all the senses...be really thoughtful about what we’re doing.

MC:  How would you describe your overall vision for the COFFEED menu?

CC:  Everything is going to be more farm-centered, while staying as convenient as possible.  I imagine there will be a core set of sandwiches and salads that will stay...and then a few seasonal options.  It comes down to how many really good options we can make and figuring out when to insert them into the menu...could be monthly, could be quarterly.  My rule is we have to make/cook everything we use.  Eventually, we’ll be doing all sauces at one location and then dispersing them everywhere else...making everything simple, focusing on what works at what time of the year at what location.  

MC:  Speaking of farm-centered, talk a bit about COFFEED's special relationship with the Brooklyn Grange.  [The Brooklyn Grange operates an extraordinary, acre-sized farm on the roof of COFFEED's flagship location in LIC.]

CC:  It's amazing.  Very few places can offer what the Brooklyn Grange offers.  It makes a big difference from growing outside the city, even relatively close farms in the Hudson Valley and on Long Island, everything from the carbon footprint to freshness.  When you’re dealing with tiny vegetables, they age quicker, so the chance to cut out those steps will make a huge difference.  Also, the Grange is up for growing any specialty items we might need, or even picking something out of the ground sooner.  You can’t always talk directly to farmers; when you can, it’s a big boost!

MC:  What initially attracted you to the New Leaf job?

CC:  The location, more than anything.  It’s a great setting...in the middle of a park with a lot of room.  Working in Manhattan, there’s rarely space for anything.

MC:  After spending three months at New Leaf in 2014, how do you plan on modifying the menu when the restaurant reopens in the spring?

CC:  I’m really looking forward to being super-seasonal, utilizing the Brooklyn Grange farm produce, sourcing everything as locally as possible, and working with good purveyors like my favorite cheesemonger.  I'm obsessed with them and haven’t had a chance to work with them in a while.

MC:  What does the charitable aspect of COFFEED's business model mean to you?

CC:  Restaurants usually have such razor-thin margins, especially the more fine-dining you get, so this opportunity is something that doesn’t come around very often.  It’s great.  It’s a chance to do something good.  I like the synergy you get doing something good for the community, and doing something good for yourself, and for me, it’s for the craft...all these goods come together. I’m excited looking at who’s going to be our partner at each COFFEED location.  It’s really exciting to still have a relationship with NYRP at New Leaf, and the history of The Foundling is incredible.

MC:  Cooking on a submarine seems like amazing preparation for the challenges of working in the NYC restaurant world.  How has your Navy training impacted your career as a chef?

CC:  Overall, it made me a more organized person.  Also, you realize how lucky you are to have really simple freedoms.  When you’re living on a submarine, there’s a ton of things you can’t do.  I was in boot camp, then cooking school, then submarine school, and those things all take months and months...so treasuring the time I have to myself is pretty big.  If I’m going to do something, I’d rather do it the best I can.
 

For more on Corey, check out:

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkintheroad/2013/10/corey_cova_flock_dinner_recap.php

http://firstwefeast.com/eat/bodega-cooking-challenge-corey-cova-abv/

http://nymag.com/restaurants/cheapeats/2011/earls-beer-and-cheese/