*notcot in sponsored , 10:15

Café Grumpy’s Ford Transit Connect- 09.24.13

grumpymain.jpg This post is sponsored by the Ford Transit Connect. For this next Transit Connect adventure, I was sadly stuck at home on jury duty, so Shawn Sims hopped out to NYC to join the folks at Café Grumpy as they did super early morning deliveries. See our first adventure with the Butler Blue Mobile Transit Connect here.

Café Grumpy was founded in 2005 (just like NOTCOT!) with a passion for quality coffee and it has been amazing seeing how they’ve grown over the years. With the opening of the latest (5th!) Café Grumpy in NYC last week, we knew we had to head over and check it out when we heard they too use a Ford Transit Connect to deliver their coffee and pastries! Beyond their cafes, they also have the  Café Grumpy Roastery, where they hand-roast small batches of specialty-grade coffee on a restored vintage Probat, and the Café Grumpy Bakery, where they bake their pastries and other deliciousness! And all of this goodness gets transported in their Ford Transit Connect to the cafes… with the launch of the latest cafe in the Fashion District in NYC and more to come, Caroline told us that she’s thinking about figuring out custom shelves (which the Transit Connect is ideal for) to better optimize the space for their deliveries. So we tagged along for their bakery and roastery deliveries to see what their process is like and what their dream Ford Transit Connect set up might be… as well as tasting some delicious coffee, pastries, and checking out the adorable stuffed grumpy beans! Check out our adventures with Cafe Grumpy on the next page!

p.s. If you’re feeling some de ja vu, but have never visited a Café Grumpy, perhaps you’ve been seeing/hearing about them in Girls, where some of the main characters work.

PART I: THE CAFÉ GRUMPY BAKERY! First thing in the morning before the sun even rose, we met at the bakery, which is located right next to the Essex St. Café Grumpy. So while you can peek at the delights in progress while grabbing a coffee, the bakery is closed to the public. bakery1.jpg

Inside Pastry Chef, Krystina Holak and her team cooks up all the treats you’ll find in the cafes ~ fresh each day! The recipes are inspired by the coffees and are created to pair especially well with them. bakery2.jpg

Once everything was ready to go, it was time to load up the Transit Connect! bakery3.jpg Please note, this vehicle is shown with aftermarket equipment.

As you can see, it could defintely be further organized to help make better use of the space, but they’ve come a long way from carrying things on the subway, to using zip cars, to now using the Transit Connect. Their transportation has definitely scaled along with the increase in cafes! Apparently the slim profile of the Transit Connect allows them to squeeze through the madness of NYC traffic far better than a lot of other options. bakery4.jpg

Here we are outside the brand new Café Grumpy in the fashion district. truckatNEWstore.jpg Please note, this vehicle is shown with aftermarket equipment.

And we continued to make the rounds to each cafe to drop off the goods… bakery5.jpg Please note, this vehicle is shown with aftermarket equipment.

PART II: THE CAFÉ GRUMPY ROASTERY! Next, it was time to check out the roastery. Unlike many others, Café Grumpy sources and roasts all of their own coffee! You can read about all of the different producers they are currently stocking on their site. They have three certified Q Graders on staff and work closely with socially and environmentally responsible producers to select the perfect green beans. coffee0.jpg

We got a peek into the bean roasting process, which was quite mesmerizing. They source green coffee beans from around the world, weigh out the beans, and pour them into roaster. The tumble heater roasts them as they turn (with heat controlled at around 400 degrees). The master roaster is constantly checking for color, smell, and the cracking of the beans as they roast, all to find perfect combination for flavor. Once it has been baked to liking, it is poured into a cooling tray with spinning fingers that comb and mix up the beans, which helps them cool. Amazingly, he even picks out the beans that are too small, imperfect, or burnt by hand! Finally, pulling the sliding tray to dump beans into 5lb buckets, which you will see getting delivered or being bagged for sale. coffee1.jpg

In addition to the roasting, the roastery is also where the beans for purchase are bagged. From date stamping, to labeling, to filling and sealing up the bags, it all happens here! coffee2.jpg

Next, it’s time to load it all up! Again ~ they definitely fill it, but imagine how much more could fit with a bit more organization… coffee3.jpg Please note, this vehicle is shown with aftermarket equipment.


… and in goes today’s coffee beans! coffee4.jpg

PART III: FUTURE CAFÉ GRUMPY TRANSIT CONNECT IDEAS Now as for what’s next ~ as Café Grumpy continues to grow its coffee & pastry empire, their current delivery system is going to need to find better ways to use that vast vertical space in the Ford Transit Connect. So between deliveries we discussed ideas and their needs a bit, and here are some possible concepts… After spending time doing deliveries with them, it’s clear that organization to keep things from moving around in the Transit Connect would be great. Imagine if each store had a designated pull out tray/drawer to house the pastries heading over? Perhaps the buckets of coffee could have their own drawer space to keep from moving too much, and there could be designated space for common items that might need mini-refills (from bags to napkins, etc) between restocking. Slide out shelves could function as versatile workspace and hold any other boxes, etc. And keeping the center open, but putting in some non slip surfaces could keep larger objects just where you want them and easy to reach from the side door of your choice! Luckily, all of this (and more! are easily possible to customize in the Ford Transit Connect, you just have to get creative! GrumpyVanSketch.jpg Please note, this vehicle is shown with aftermarket equipment.

PART IV: INTO CAFÉ GRUMPY! Now that you’ve seen the early morning rituals… this behind the scenes look wouldn’t be complete without seeing where it all goes.

Here’s the Greenpoint store as we drove by in the Transit Connect… grumpytruck2.jpg

Love the neon grumpy bean in the LES store. cafe1.jpg

Spot the pastries we saw them making earlier that just got added to the shelves! pastries.jpg

… and the bags of coffee that got prepared! product4.jpg

Place your order at the register and tip the android! register.jpg

Here’s a cup of espresso on the way… makingmycoffee.jpg

… and finally a much needed cup of espresso! mycoffee.jpg

And a peek at their adorable heartbreaker macarons! macaron.jpg

PART V: Beyond the Coffee and Pastries… Random fun fact: the Café Grumpy logo is by Andrew Bell (who happens to be Caroline’s brother) of all of the Android/Dead Zebra awesomeness you see on NOTCOT often!

Loving the logo so much, it is also great to see the fun products they offer… from espresso cups and mugs, to notebooks, totes, and even stuffed coffee beans! The coffee beans come in both green and roasted varieties. grumpygoods.jpg

And for all of us who aren’t in NY, luckily, there’s also an online store where you can order Café Grumpy coffee, products, and even coffee subscriptions!

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----- Roy Margaliot 29.09.13 01:00

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