Photo by Ready Coffee
Ready Coffee adds a second location in Orange County to follow up on the success of its Wappingers Falls hotspot.
Anyone in the Hudson Valley can get amazing food and drink whenever they desire. Iconic restaurants are tourist destinations, bakeries with gorgeous desserts make regular appearances on Instagram, and the craft beverage scene is among the best in the state. Cafes are no exception; locals sip on top-tier espresso, cappuccinos, and lattes with every flavor imaginable at cozy coffee shops. In 2019, however, the Hudson Valley was ready for something different.
The phenomenon that took Route 9 by storm crossed the bridge into Newburgh. Ready Coffee, as it approached its second year operating out of Wappingers Falls, unveiled its second location in February 2021.. The new building sits just off Route 32/North Plank Road, near Downtown Bagels and Spiritual Ink Tattoo.
“What we heard a lot from customers was ‘I am driving across the bridge over a half an hour to come see you. So we found a location in Newburgh, on the other side of the river,” said Ready Coffee partner Jed Bonnem. “So for those who live over there, it’s very accessible. But still it’s connected to this community here.”
One trip to the cute-yet-bold building in the Kohl’s parking lot in Dutchess County and you’ll get a taste of the community Ready Coffee has been brewing. Since the store first opened in February 2019, fans from up and down the highway have traveled to try repeat favorites and promotional flavors alike. Regulars collect stamps on a punch card for a free drink every 10 — which fills up faster than you would think.
Rooted in the Hudson Valley, Ready Coffee is all about local. Ever wondered why its coffee tastes so great? The brand roasts fresh coffee beans at a facility right on Route 376 in Wappingers Falls, which empowers the drinks with fresh, bold flavors. The team even pays homage to the region with fun beverage names on the board. “Storm King,” for instance, is a hazelnut mocha, and “Trail Mix” combines nutty chocolate and raspberry. Who wouldn’t want to take a flavor-packed drink on their next hike?
Loyalty and enthusiasm have only increased for Ready Coffee since its debut. This past summer, the parking lot was forever teeming with activity as people began to escape their homes for socially distant fun outdoors.
“People were looking for something to do during the summer. A lot of people felt cooped up. Some people may have felt disconnected and socially, I think they found Ready Coffee to be a place that they could go because it’s outdoors, and even if they go through the drive-thru they could then park and see a friend at a distance,” Bonnem says.
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Bonnem, Emily Jordan, and the rest of the Ready Coffee team get excited by the idea of the fanfare their products have driven. It goes beyond just serving great coffee, and the team has worked diligently to build up the brand.
The Ready Coffee team started back in 2016 with the mission of bringing a new and different kind of coffee company – fun, local, and handcrafted – to the Hudson Valley. Ready Coffee had a long road to travel from inception to storefront reality, but the team used that time to perfect recipes, marketing concepts, and brand philosophy. A passion for top-tier customer service culminated in the energetic, personable interactions you’ll have with baristas in the drive-thru. No speakers squawk at you, only smiling faces (behind masks) greet you at your car.
The staff are exceptionally trained; for signature drinks, espresso is brewed fresh each time and combined with a variety of ingredients to create a flavor experience in a matter of minutes.
“Well, you might notice you’ve come through and been a customer that if the line gets long, one of the employees will actually come out to your car and takes your order,” Jordan says. “And we do that not only from an efficiency standpoint, but also from a personal interaction standpoint, so rather than having a really impersonal speaker box. We believe strongly in the training of our crews.”
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Baristas ask you about your day, where you’re off to, and how Ready Coffee can help you get there. In the summer months the staff loves interacting with all of the patron pooches that come through the line and has special “pup cups” for dogs to enjoy. A real treat is getting a taste of the flavors of the month, and some of the shop’s most popular beverages to date have come from that rotation.
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“Blue lime energy got everyone really excited,” Jordan says. The cool blast of tart lime and sweet blue raspberry fueled summer jaunts and was something radically different from the normal drinks. Ready Coffee energy drinks come in bright flavors like pomegranate-passion fruit, blackberry-peach, and cherry-lime. The talented staff encourages you to change up your tea orders, too, with a spectrum of fruit-flavored teas to mix and match. The steamed matcha and chai lattes are perfect for warmer weather and, in the fall, a shot of espresso in the pumpkin chai latte is cozy and energizing.
“We were pleasantly surprised with our grand opening. There were many people. It may have just been because people wanted free coffee, but there were many people that were at least intrigued enough to come out and give us a try. And so it has it has grown from those early days, and it keeps growing,” Bonnem says. “We would love to have a handful of locations around the Poughkeepsie area.”