Article: FAST COMPANY - "One Man's Bold Quest..." (Excerpt)

Photo: Kris Arnold

Photo: Kris Arnold

Turtle Raffaele, 41, is the CEO and co-founder of Coffeed, a socially conscious coffee shop in the trendy Queens neighborhood Long Island City. (Yes, he goes by Turtle, a nod to his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-ish last name.) A New York native with a thick, friendly accent to prove it, Raffaele talks about the city like it’s running through his veins, although that might just be all the caffeine. Coffeed has signed on to operate the café in URL Staten Island’s lobby, and Raffaele hopes that all kinds of Staten Islanders--not just residents--will grab their lattes there, integrating the new development into the old-school community. “It’s important to get the whole local vibe going,” he says. Coffeed will also serve beer from Staten Island breweries and food made from the on-site garden. “People used to say that downtown Manhattan was dead, and the opposite has happened,” says Raffaele. “I think soon Staten Island won’t have the stigma it has now.”

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