One new shop owner hopes to bring the Dutch Kills community together over a cup of joe.
Beatrix Czagany will soon open Our Coffee Shop in the Long Island City neighborhood at 38-08 29th St. with plans to sell a variety of pastries, including Hungarian delicacies, coffees and teas.
The name of the spot comes from Czagany’s hope to become a coffee shop for the neighborhood.
“Personally owned coffee shops have more character than the coffee chains,” Czagany said. “I want to bring the people together again, like a community. I really want people to sit down, drink a coffee and have a normal conversation.”
The Astoria resident, who has been in the fitness and health business for 15 years, said she found the spot for her shop after passing by the vacant storefront while helping a friend move late last year.
Although she has no prior experience in owning a business, Czagany said her decision to open the coffee shop came from working at a friend’s pizza restaurant and realizing she enjoyed the interaction with customers better than at her current job.
She said she has also gone to numerous coffee shops throughout the city to get a taste of coffee types and an idea of site set-ups.
“I never ever thought I would be in the restaurant business. Many years ago I was thinking I would have my little own gym. And this is the opposite of that,” said Czagany, who immigrated to the United States from Hungary in 2002. “If someone told me, ‘You’re going to come to America and sell Hungarian stuff,” I would say, ‘Are you crazy?’”
Met with bills from having to fix up the site by herself and buying all equipment and items needed, Czagany has turned to Kickstarter to raise funds with hopes to open the shop by the end of September.
“I really just need a little backup,” she said. The goal of the campaign, which ends on Sept. 16, is set at $1,800.
For the time being, Our Coffee Shop will be selling pastries from Astoria bakeries as Czagany searches for local commercial kitchens where Hungarian delicacies could be handmade. She hopes to begin serving the Hungarian treats by December.
“I hope [customers] will get to know each other. It’s more like a little family spot. They are going to bring their own ideas here,” said Czagany, who hopes to hold community events at the shop. “It’s going to be shaped every month and every season there will be something new.”
Czagany plans to open Our Coffee Shop seven days a week starting at 6 a.m.
To donate to the Our Coffee Shop Kickstarter campaign, click here.