By Madison Zoey Vettorino
There is something decidedly unpretentious about The Crafted Kup. Perhaps it’s the subtle, inviting coffee scent that perfumes the air or the barely audible alternative music that sings in the background. Maybe it’s the eclectic combination of materials present in the makeup of the shop – metal, wood, exposed brick and pipes – or maybe it’s the comic pop-art-esque pieces that adorn the walls as decoration that evoke memories of childhood nostalgia. Whatever it is – there’s nothing commercial feeling about The Crafted Kup. Instead, walking in (even as a first-time customer) seems more like visiting a home-away-from-home, a place of tranquility.
According to Crafted Kup team member Julia Farese, who has been employed at the store for “five or six months,” the look of the shop was a very conscientious decision. “We’ve worked very hard on the aesthetic,” she says.
The space itself, situated on Raymond Avenue, seems to inherently lend itself to a coffee shop; walking in, customers first purchase their coffee and then may walk up a small flight of steps to a lofted landing where tables and chairs are situated in several dining rooms. Each of these rooms have slightly varying décor; the establishment itself is a splattering of different types of furniture, lighting, and styles of decoration that somehow cumulates perfectly, resulting in a shop that is loaded with character and can best be described as perfectly imperfect.
Nothing in the space is overwhelming, however, from the pale ocean blue walls that connect all of the dining rooms together, to the dim lighting. If it wasn’t for the occasional hiss of the espresso machine and the sound of chatter from strangers’ quiet exchanges, a customer could easily forget they are in public at all. And despite the fact that the Crafted Kup is obviously a local hot-spot for individuals of all ages to work on assignments, draft emails, and read in a comfortable setting while enjoying a tasteful cup of coffee, the place doesn’t have an underlying frantic energy to it.
Farese believes this easy-going vibe is buoyed by the physical space itself. “We’ve got a lot of space for it, and it’s chill,” she says. “…Even if we’re super busy, it doesn’t get stifled up. It’s a lot of space, so it’s good for it.”
A two-minute drive from Vassar College and a slightly further drive for Marist College students, Farese states that she does see a lot of repeat customers, which she declares is her favorite part of her job.
“It [The Crafted Kup] has a really nice community,” she says. “Like, the people that work here, but also, we have a lot of regulars, and that’s how we function. So, when I come into work every day, it’s the same people coming in most of the time and so it’s a good environment to be in because you build up a relationship with the people.”
Vassar College student Lizzie Snyder is a loyal customer and loves the shop due to its winning combination of quality coffee, the distinctive, home-grown atmosphere that simply cannot be achieved at a chain coffee store, and the kind people that work there.
"My favorite part of the Krafted Cup is definitely the environment,” Synder says. “It’s my favorite study spot where I can cozy up with a book and a great cup of coffee. The employees are all so nice and friendly and really make the experience so wonderful.”