Photos by Andrew Dominick
A local couple offers two distinct brews in their thoughtful new shop in Ossining.
One step into Here Coffee + Beer and you’ll swear you’re in a shop in the center of Williamsburg.
The husband-and-wife duo of Dylan Hardman and Stacey Belmont will tell you that their spot is an ode to Portland, Maine.
Don’t worry. We’ll explain their coffee story right now.
The couple originally met at The Black Cow in Croton-on-Hudson in the ’90s, where Hardman worked as a barista. They’d leave Westchester together after they took a cross-country trip that left them contemplating three places to move to: Denver, Vancouver, or Portland.
“There was no real demand for a barista in Vancouver,” Hardman says. “Maine was close enough to come back and our parents could drop by still if they wanted to, plus we have good friends in Boston that helped and made that decision easier.”
Hardman landed at Coffee By Design, the “craft roasted coffee shop” where he started as a barista and eventually worked his way up the ladder. As for Belmont, she worked in special education, but along the way found out the bureaucratic tape of working in the school system wasn’t her deal.
“It took me a while to realize I wanted to do the hospitality thing,” she says. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted. While at the school, I waited tables part-time at a small wine bar with a tasting menu, and I can cook, so I even tried to get into the kitchen. After that, I applied and worked at a brewery/distillery.”
As for Hardman, his coffee career only grew.
“I researched coffee a little more because I was unsure of the direction I wanted to go with it,” he explains. “I wanted to master it. Shortly thereafter, I realized it’s such a broad subject that you never master it! But I still wanted my career to be in coffee.”
He’d go from barista to manager, then Coffee By Design promoted him to the production side of the business after six months as manager. But one day, while running the company’s wholesale operations, his bosses asked him to clean up one of the roasters.
“They asked me to clean it and I said, ‘Well, we should have a little conversation. I wanna buy this roaster, take it out of market, and I want to give my notice,’” he says. “They actually loved the idea of the roaster going out of market, like it’s their first one, a 1997 model. I gave them essentially a year’s notice and, as a result, they ended up giving me the roaster! I’m familiar with it, I know how to work on every part of it, [and] I can disassemble and reassemble it.”
In 2019, Hardman and Belmont moved back to Westchester to be closer to her family in Ossining and his parents in Rhinebeck (he’s originally from Croton-on-Hudson). They found a vacant space a block or so away from where they live that was previously a dog groomer adjacent to the Ossining Metro-North station, and they combined two Portland staples together under one roof: coffee and beer.
Here Coffee + Beer officially opened in November 2022 selling not only what’s in the business’s name, but locally sourced baked goods from Balthazar, Melanie Bakes, and Baked By Susan as well. (They’re always looking for other local purveyors to carry and help support.) Homemade hummus and pimento cheese, plus fine cheese and charcuterie boards and occasional sandwich specials are a thing here, too.
The meats, cheeses, and dips, though, all appropriately match up with what’s in the fridge (plus one rotating draft). Expect a stock of Hudson Valley-specific beers, some from big-time NYC breweries like Other Half, Grimm, and SingleCut, and a blend of domestic and imported selections that are important to the craft beer movement like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Maine Beer Company’s Lunch, Saison Dupont, and a bunch of legendary Trappist brews.
But that intoxicating smell when you walk in — and one glance at that ’97 vintage roaster — should make you crave a cup of something hot or iced, carefully made with beans that are roasted fresh every week. It all comes from a relationship Hardman developed before Portland.
“We source our beans from Royal Coffee,” he says. “It’s a relationship I’ve had over 20 years dating back to The Black Cow days. It’s our best option right now, but as we grow, we’ll diversify and develop more relationships. Our whole concept is seasonality, plus our core blends, including one that’s an homage to deli coffee that’s meant for milk and sugar — like going to the Croton Mini Deli and having that drip coffee, that’s not overthought, with a bacon, egg, and cheese.”
He notes that “there’s a nostalgic element to everything we do. We want to focus on producers that are innovative in terms of coffee that they’re drinking, sustainability, and ethical practices. I know those are catchphrases in the industry, but it’s still important.”
Here Coffee + Beer
20 Main St, Ossining; 914.233.1189
Related: How to Spend 24 Hours in Ossining