Barbara Kessler’s favorite food is ice cream and her favorite beverage is coffee. So, as the owner of Cross River’s Bluebird Homemade Ice Cream, Kessler is thrilled she’s now answering the community’s call for morning coffee by extending her hours and expanding into baked goods.
Bluebird has been open for five years, becoming a go-to destination for its delicious homemade ice cream. Coffee (and tea) were always on the menu, but Kessler says the majority of her customers would say they don’t drink coffee late in the afternoon. “They would tell me that they’d love it if I would be open in the mornings for them to sit with a cup of coffee.” Kessler, who teaches at John Jay Middle School, began looking for baristas for her shop.
Those baristas were trained on the handmade Italian coffee grinder and espresso machine that Stumptown Coffee Roasters, the brand she serves, required she have in her store in order to serve their coffee. Stumptown is familiar to anyone who’s eaten Bluebird’s luscious coffee ice cream – ground Hair Bender beans are one of the ingredients. Hair Bender and decaffeinated beans are usually on the menu at Bluebird – but Kessler notes that the coffee company is seasonal in its offerings. “Customers can order beans from us and we have a binder with information on Stumptown selections,” she says. There’s pour-over coffee and a number of espresso drinks. For iced coffee lovers there are cold brew selections with Stumptown “stubbies” in glass bottles, cans of its Nitro cold brew, and boxes of cold brew mixed with chocolate milk.
While you can always indulge in some morning ice cream with your coffee (you can mix the two together in an affogato; pictured above), Kessler is serving a rotating menu of baked goods, what she’s calling “noshes,” for the morning crowd. “Over the years we’ve become a place for people to not only come and eat ice cream but to socialize. I’m so happy to expand that and give the community a space to enjoy great coffee and to sit for a while in the mornings and earlier in the afternoons.” Kessler says.
Bluebird Homemade Ice Cream
19 N Salem Rd, Cross River
Opens at 9:00 a.m. Tues-Fri and at 12:30 p.m. Sat and Sun.
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