Navigating Great Coffee Shops In NYC

Levi Dalton and Marguerite Preston of Eater have compiled a list of 21 great coffee shops in New York. This city has an abundance of quality coffee, but an overwhelming amount of coffee shops which can make it difficult to navigate. This list of coffee shops points out the best hand-made cappuccinos, great drip and bright espressos.  A few of these coffee shops include:

  • Abraço: 86 E 7th St: Known for having one of the best drip coffees in the city as well as quality baked goods. Tip: Try the olive oil cookie.
  • Hi-Collar: 214 E 10th St: Great coffee shop for coffee aficionados where the menu prompts the guest to choose bean type and brew style
  • Devoción: 69 Grand St, Brooklyn: Outpost of a Colombian roaster serving good espresso and drip, great decor and atmosphere with live wall
  • Fair Folks & A Goat: 96 W Houston St: Known for calm, quiet vibes with a particularly great cold brew

For the complete list of 21 great coffee shops in New York City compiled by Eater, click here

Tipped Wage To Increase Significantly

The Department of Labor Acting Commissioner announced today that he will be following the suggestions of the Wage Board to increase the cash wage for tipped workers from $5.00 to $7.50 effective December 31st, 2015. Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO of the NYS Restaurant Association voiced her strong opinion on the subject by stating, “It’s troubling that the Acting Commissioner ignored legislative precedent and the pleas of nearly 1,000 hospitality industry representatives who asked him for a moderate increase phased in over time…By rubberstamping an extreme, unprecedented 50 percent increase it becomes hard to believe New York is really ‘Open for Business.’”

The tip credit for food service workers has historically been between 60-70 percent of the full minimum wage. Seventy percent of the current minimum wage is $6.13. This increase raises the percentage to an unprecedented high of 83 percent. To learn more about the issue and to stay informed on all the developments, visit the New York Restaurant Association here.

NYC Vegetarian Food Fest

Sarah Gross and Nira Paliwoda are the founders of U.S. Veg Corp, an event production and marketing brand focused on the growing vegetarian and green markets. U.S. Veg Corp provides offline and online opportunities throughout the year to target a passionate audience interested in a vegetarian and eco-friendly lifestyle. Nira and Sarah are active members of the local vegetarian and green movement. Their involvement with the community ensures that the events they put on address the latest issues concerning the vegetarian market and the most of-the-moment technologies.

The NYC Veg Food Fest will take place this year on March 14th & 15th from 11AM-6PM at The Metropolitan Pavilion on 125 West 18th St. Purchase your tickets now to attend and get yummy food samples, engage in fun activities and listen to inspiring speakers. For a list of this year’s exhibitors click here. Tickets for a 2-day pass are $50, while single day passes cost $30. To purchase tickets to the festival, click here.


FTC Files To Stop US Foods/Sysco Merger

The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit last week against Sysco on the grounds that its proposal to purchase US Foods violates antitrust laws. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan states, “The loss of competition between Sysco and US Foods would raise costs for their customers and ultimately for anyone purchasing food served at hospitals, schools, hotels and restaurants.”

According to the FTC’s complaint, a combined Sysco-US Foods would have a 75 percent share of the U.S. market for what it calls broadline distribution services, or distributing a variety of food products with frequent and flexible delivery, customer service and other services such as menu planning. Sysco President and CEO Bill DeLaney states, ‘Essentially, we just have a very different view of the marketplace than the FTC does.’

To read more about the potential block on the merger between Sysco and US Foods, click here

New Ice-Cream Shop In West Village

The weather in New York right now doesn’t really leave us craving ice-cream, however Van Leeuwen’s new artisan ice cream shop in the West Village might change that! The shop, which started as an ice-cream truck in 2008, will offer all the classic and vegan flavors that are made in Greenpoint, as well as milkshakes, sundaes, pastries and Toby’s Estate coffee. There are still trucks in NYC and LA as well as existing shops in the East Village, Boerum Hill and Greenpoint.

The new outpost will also have its very own new and exclusive flavors: Cookies & Cream, Toasted Coconut, Orange Blossom Shortbread Pistachio, Milk Chocolate with Marcona Almonds, and Sichuan Peppercorn With Cherry Compote (wow). Laura O’Neill, co-owner of the shop with both Ben and Pete Van Leeuwen states, ‘We’ve always wanted to be a part of the West Village — it’s obviously so charming.’

A large flagship store in Williamsburg is also in the works which is scheduled to open by end of March. LA will also be opening two brick-and-mortar shops in the near future. O’Neill believes, ‘It’s only a matter of time before we expand to the rest of the country.” For now, stop by the West Village shop tomorrow between 1 and 4 p.m. for $1 scoops! For more information and pictures of the ice-cream, click here.

Starbucks Introduces A New Breakfast Sandwich

Starbucks is making a move towards the what Bloomberg is calling a ‘meat strategy.’  Starbucks shops in Orlando and San Diego are testing more protein focused food items. Some of these items include options such as chicken and artichoke sandwiches or barbecue brisket sandwiches. Another protein lunch (or breakfast) option being tested in these cities is the prosciutto and mozzarella Pinwheels Bistro Box. Along these lines, Starbucks is introducing a new breakfast sandwich, the Double-Smoked Bacon, Cheddar & Egg sandwich. This Starbucks version of a BEC will be prepared on a croissant-type bun.

Starbuck’s chief strategy officer explained that Starbucks is “no longer a one-trick pony … that era has long passed.” To read more about Starbucks’ strategy to rely less heavily on coffee sales alone, click here

Shake Shack Expanding In Japan

Shake Shack raised $105 million in its initial public offering last month and now plans to push the expansion overseas. Shake Shack’s largest presence is in New York with fifteen shops, but also has other shops within the US and a few overseas including London, Istanbul, Moscow and Dubai. The burger chain plans to open ten more and grow to roughly 450 shops.

Shake Shack signed a licensing agreement with a Japanese company, Sazaby League Ltd., which has opened Starbucks coffee shops in Japan in the past. The goal will be to open ten Shake Shack shops in Japan by 2020. A Tokyo restaurant is expected by next year. The Japanese Shake Shack restaurants will have the same Shake Shack menus with the same burgers, shakes and crinkly fries and their infamous frozen custards. For more information on Shake Shack’s expansion overseas in Japan, click here.