As I was thinking about where Cafe Kubal started back in the day -- (4,822 days ago) I vividly remember finishing my first full day of roasting. I had spent the entire day roasting coffee on my tiny mailbox-sized roaster
We would like to start the New Year off with some long overdue customer appreciation. This is Dave. He is a local at our Eastwood café and loves a midnight oil pour over with a shot of espresso. Dave’s heavy metal, skull-ring, exterior quickly fade as he smiles and his inner light and optimism permeate through. The first thing he said to me was, “I’m not who people expect me to be,” and it could not be more true. Like his drink, Dave is strong, and has a dark challenge he overcomes every day.
Four years ago, Dave made the decision to get out of his car on 695 to assist a woman who had been in a previous, unrelated accident. That one moment changed the course of his life and turned into a subsequent accident, ending with him crushed between a minivan and pickup. At 24, he found himself without his right leg, learning to walk again.
It is hard to believe Dave’s story at first because you cannot see pain, regret or pessimism. You think, “what a hero”, and then you realize there’s more to his journey because of his interpretation of it. In response to “Do you believe everything happens for a reason?” He confidently and calmly says, “I’m anxious to see what that reason is.”
More than patronage, Dave has given us the gift of perspective and nothing we can do will ever repay him. He feels that “When you go to a café you become a part of the people's lives that work there. You have the choice whether you want to make them a part of yours, even within the confines of the coffee shop.”
Well, Dave, thank you for letting US be a part of your life. We look forward to serving you.
Thank you, Dave.
You can catch Dave at our Eastwood café; he loves a good chat and a strong coffee. If what we have already shared about Dave doesn’t impress you enough, he also plays sled hockey for the CNY Flyers and you can catch him there for a game in the spring. For details, please see http://www.usahockey.com/page/show/1183981-cny-sled-flyers
Words and photography by Katarina Kostic
Escape to Bailiwick Market & Cafe where, owner Nancy Hourigan, has achieved a closeness of farm to table that no other city restaurant is able to achieve. Local goods greet you from head to toe; the entire barn is an exhibition of local vendors, arts and crafts and of course, there is food from the farm and Cafe Kubal coffee from the city. At Bailiwick, one encounters a world of creativity and productivity from the surrounding lands and areas.
Eleven Waters is NOW OPEN for breakfast, lunch & dinner at Marriott Syracuse Downtown. Grab your cup of joe from Cafe Kubal in a beautiful new setting or take it to go, available all day long.
Syracuse, New York – Original Grain, a new eatery to the Syracuse area, will open on June 13th, 2016, in the former Tim Hortons space of Pike Block at 302 S. Salina Street.
The community of Central New York is responsible for Cafe Kubal’s existence. It’s the loyal customers who make room in their day for a cup of coffee. They stop by for a 10-minute detour from deadlines at work or challenges at home for a moment away from life’s craziness.
Owner Matt Godard says customers remember a positive experience and they come back. Now, the hospital clientele is showing their support. Since last week, Cafe Kubal has been supplying coffee for Gifts on the Hill at Upstate University at Community General.
Godard is happy about pursuing customers in hospital settings. Cafe Kubal is highly sympathetic towards people who need help with their health, he says.
“We try to go where we’re wanted,” according to Godard. “Based on the requests that have flooded my email, I feel that we can have impact on the day to day life for people at the hospital whether it be patients, staff, or visitors. Hospitals can be very stressful. We can focus on the human interaction at the counter.”
“When people come into our café,” Godard said, “It might be the best part of their entire day. Some people’s lives are hanging on by a thread while others are trying to keep going. ”
It’s not just about coffee. Godard has a unique hospitality manual for his staff. Even if a barista knows the steps and procedures of making good coffee, that is only 49 percent of job. The other 51 percent is empathy for the customer, respect towards others, passion and willingness to go the extra mile.
Godard’s diverse customers range from public officials, entrepreneurs, social workers to retirees, students or mechanics. He says some customers are working on important missions in the community while others might just be getting by.
Godard also wants to eliminate the stereotype of the hip-indie coffee house that only caters to certain individuals. He wants everyone to feel welcome at the café. His classic example: “Napa Pete”, a customer who works for an auto retailer.
Napa Pete first came to Café Kubal because the line was too long at his usual coffee place. He asked a lot of questions and the staff patiently explained to him.
“He had no idea what our coffee was about and he appreciated how we answered,” said Godard. “People appreciate us for not being pretentious. Since then, Napa Pete is a repeat customer who visits five or six days a week for the past five years.”
It all started in 2004 with a trip to Guatemala where Godard’s wife, Rachel, grew up. Godard saw the effect that coffee can have on an entire culture. Inspired to bring some of that home to Syracuse, he first started roasting coffee beans in his parents’ basement. He sold them online and to anyone willing to buy from the trunk of his car. In 2007, the property owner in the Sacred Melody Plaza in Eastwood heard about Godard and offered him a 300-square-foot space.
Among Godard’s early challenges - to convince the public why micro roasting was better.
“There was not a lot of public understanding of roasting,” he said. “I had to work extra hard to convince people that we were worth trying. You have to have a great deal of customer empathy and humility when you’re presenting a new concept to people.”
Godard’s business has grown to three other locations and two more on the way this spring. The cafes are located near Syracuse University at 720 University Ave.; downtown at 401 S. Salina St. (in the Dey's building); and in the Creekwalk Commons at the corner of Water and Franklin streets. Two upcoming locations include shops in the historic Hotel Syracuse and in a new residential/retail development at 712-714 E. Fayette St., near the Syracuse Center of Excellence.
When you drink a cup of coffee at Cafe Kubal, you contribute to help and sustain farmers and villages throughout the coffee growing world. Godard buys some of his beans for roasting directly from farmers through the Rainforest Alliance Certified program and others through various sustainable programs that ensure the growers to get a fair price while the farming and forestry methods are good for the people and planet.
Giving back to the community is also important to Godard. Part of Kubal’s profit from the SU Cafe location is donated to the Rescue Mission. Customers there also receive a free cup of coffee if they bring in a bag of clothes for donation. A few other causes which Kubal has supported include the Water Ball which raises awareness and money for clean water in developing nations where Kubal sources its coffee; Spring Clean Up for Earth Day; and donations for Breast Cancer Awareness.
“I’m thankful and humbled for the community’s support,” Godard says. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.”
Understanding that spring is a big studying season for the SU students, we have prepared some tips for an efficient study time: find an aspiring study spots such as Creekwalk Commons Cafe and Downtown Cafe, have a good beverage (Midnight Oil Roast) and studying snack by your side, and most importantly, take a social break with us via #booksandCKcoffee!
Exciting things are cooking and brewing at Cafe Kubal. We are about to launch a brand new South American cuisine menu as well as an irresistible new blend - Valentine's Blend. Read on to find out how you can try these exciting new products for free!
Coffee For The Soulmate
Cafe Kubal Roastery soulfully selected beans from Brazil and Papua New Guinea, according to their bean "characters" and mixed in balanced proportion with a mild roast profile because they are so good together! Valentine's Blend is a medium roast with notes of dark chocolate and peanut butter which go well with any chocolaty dessert.
February is the month of love and we want to know what you love about Cafe Kubal and local businesses in Syracuse. Share with us by using the hashtag #iHeartKubal to show your most beloved Kubal beverages! Cafe Kubal will select one share that wins all our hearts on February, 14th and love back our followers by giving away a set of His & Hers mugs + Valentine's Blend!
Food For The Soul
Cafe Kubal has many sentimental connections with South America other than the good coffee we imported from this region, owner, Matt Godard's wife Rachel actually grew up in Guatemala. The word, "Kubal" is derived from a dialect spoken in a region of Guatemala and when combined with the word, "Cafe," its meaning becomes, "coffee for the soul." Therefore, we decided to proudly embrace the name and culture by incorporating it into our newest food menu so that all the Kuballers can truly "take in" the Kubal culture. And the best part of the new South American food menu is that most of it is gluten free! It is time to eat healthier and tastier and get back in shape for Spring!
We had a public tasting in late January and invited a table full of Kubal's regular customers because we care about what you think. The tasting went successfully. The customers raved about the elevated Ku-B-L-T sandwich made with hand-cut, house-cured pork belly and Pico de gallo as well as the mouthwatering Huevos tossed with pulled pork carnitas.
Enough said, we'd like you to try it for FREE because we are confident that you will come back for more. Click to download a one time coupon for a FREE small side of your choice from the new menu. *The coupon is valid between 02/14--02/24/2015
Click the image to download.
What is Charity: Water
Charity Water is a non-profit organization that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations where Cafe Kubal also sources their coffee from.
What is Kubal Water Ball
Water is a crucial element of great coffee. Although coffee is the beverage that makes the world go round for many of us, more importantly, clean water is an essential for life and the well-being of many coffee growing countries. Kubal Water Ball is a celebration that will raise funds and awareness for charity: water. Join us for live bands, silent auctions, a cash bar, treats and beverages by Cafe Kubal and cuisine prepared by Sky Armory‘s executive chef. Ticket prices: $60-75 sliding scale. *Online ticket sale is closed now, but you can still get your tickets in any of the Cafe Kubal or at the door for $75.
Event Sneak Peek
Pacific Shrimp Cocktail- Lime, Honey –Pepper “Salsa” “Caprese”- Fresh Mozzarella, Basil Powder, Kumato, Garlic Chips Lobster Mac N Cheese- Smoked Gouda & Asiago The “BLT”- Pork Belly, Brioche, Tomato Aioli, Micro Greens SKY Tuna- Sambal Tartar, Avocado, Mango, Pickled Onions, Soy Cucumbers Thai Peanut Chicken Satay Greek Yogurt Parfait- Mint, Cucumber, Zima Tomato
The Farm Table
Chef Picked Cheeses, Cured Meats, Jerky, Dried Fruits, Pickled Vegetables Arcadian Greens, Tuscan Lettuce, Fresh Baked Bread, Infused Oils Dressings, Vegetables, Legumes, Local Honey
Late Night Snack
Black Pepper Truffle Fries
Empire Brewery, 317 Montgomery, Aspen Athletic Club, Sweet Frog, Genesee Grande Hotel, Hotel Skyler, Tailwater Lodge and many more.
Live band: Early Bird Trio and DJ
When: January, 30, 2015 Doors open at 7pm
Where: SKY Armory – 351 S Clinton St. Syracuse, NY 13202
What: Live bands, a cash bar, Kubal beverages and treats, Sky Armory cuisine and silent auctions.
As a company who strives for involvement with and the betterment of the community around us, we decided it was time that Cafe Kubal joins forces with a charity. In pursuit of a charity with similar values and goals, we discovered Charity Water, a group of passionate and determined creative problem-solvers who want to make a difference. Their mission is to bring clean and safe drinking water to every person in the world, and we want to be a part of it. Water is an essential ingredient of great coffee. It is a lump of clay out of which a carefully roasted, ground, and extracted cup of coffee is molded, and makes up a large percentage of an actual cup of jo. Although coffee is the beautiful beverage that makes the world go round for many of us, even more importantly; clean water is an essential for life. Charity Water is heartily pursuing that goal. Together, we aim to make a change for the better. In addition to the basic function of hydration, water is a catalyst of change in several other ways as well. 90% of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are in children under five years old. Additionally, In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely contaminated. Margaret Catley-Carlson, Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum puts it most powerfully as she states, “Water is an astonishingly complex and subtle force in an economy. It is the single constraint on the expansion of every city, and bankers and corporate executives have cited it as the only natural limit to economic growth.”
Charity Water’s approach to seeking clean water is to travel the world to find inspiring organizations that are providing long-lasting water and sanitation services, and then fund their most successful programs. Their goal isn’t just to get water flowing, but to make sure it flows for many years. Charity Water’s mission hits home for Cafe Kubal. Their goal is clearly an important one. Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, and Tanzania are just a few of the countries that Charity Water services with whom we also source coffee from. Our business is not content with sourcing beans from countries and never looking back. We want to share a complete partnership with those countries and view their tribulations as our own. To join in Charity Water’s mission, we are very excited to be hosting the Kubal Water Ball. The goal of the event is to raise funds for Charity Water, through an evening of camaraderie, inspiring ambiance, and great food (and coffee). We hope to draw in the community with this event and better educate others and ourselves on the need for clean water and what Charity Water is doing to help that. We hope that you will join us on this journey to help bring clean water to parts of the world.
Celebrate the dream that came true!
When: 7/19 9-1pm
What: Free samples all around! Hungarian Shortbread, brioche, mini half moons, browned butter carrot cake, cookies and baked donuts.
Why: Picasso's One Year Anniversary Bash - Celebrate the dream that came true!
We are celebrating the dream come true. Picasso's had its beginnings when Kayla began saving as a young teenager to one day own a business. With wild passion for food and success, she drove herself to work in any restaurant possible from the waitstaff to the dishwasher. Learning the in's and out's of the industry all the while saving for that moment when the opportunity would present itself.
Meanwhile, David was born and trained within a family of restaurant owners. Seeing the long hours and hard work that his family put into the business he knew that that lifestyle was for him. He wouldn't trade anything for the experience he received growing up around business owners and restaurateurs.
Almost as if it were fate David and Kayla's paths crossed. Kayla with her dollar and a dream along with David's knack and the need for excellence collided. They began growing in their knowledge together with one vision in mind: To make people's lives better through food.
They both traveled the globe learning from chef's and bakers all over Europe and the United States. With all of this knowledge the last thing that was needed was a location. They had places lined up on the West Coast and East Coast. With locations in California and beach towns they landed on Westcott St. There are a plethora of reasons for their location on Westcott but David, and Kayla, both love the feel of the Westcott community. They knew in their hearts that this was the location they had dreamed of.
And now we're celebrating it! Come together with us to celebrate Syracuse, small business, coffee and pastries! See you all on Saturday, July, 19!
This blog post is written by Jake Thurston - Cafe Kubal wholesale account manager 7/11/2014
Introducing the Kubal Coffee Truck!
This collaboration is a perfect fit for Kubal and Image Auto, one of the premier automotive reconditioning companies around. Both businesses arose from an obsession with sweating the details and crafting solid relationships. Image Auto founder Paul Daly started Image Auto as a small rim repair company. It has since grown into a complete premium auto reconditioning company servicing over 100 dealers and dealership groups in 9 regional markets across New York and Pennsylvania. Image Auto is best known for its aluminum wheel refinishing, straightening and custom painting, paintless dent removal, and interior appearance reconditioning and maintenance.
Daly says about the company he founded and leads, "If we could leave a legacy we would want our community to remember that we worked hardest to be a group of people who truly took care of one another."
Kubal founder Matt Godard, of course, had a similar journey and shares a similarly intense vision. His mission plan for Café Kubal is simple: everyday to become an innovator striving to delight customers. Both men are inspired by a singular passion to be the best at something, and their companies reflect that passion. The joining of Kubal and Image Auto in the Kubal Coffee Truck venture is a perfect reflection of that passion, as well.
The partnership arose organically.
“After observing the nuances of the operations of the various Kubal locations”, Daly says, “we started with the question: ‘how can we deliver the most authentic Café Kubal experience from a mobile platform?’
A quick deal was struck, and Image Auto and Café Kubal launched into a research and design process. They examined multiple food truck platforms and modern mobile power systems. In keeping with Café Kubal’s obvious commitment to renewable resources, great efforts were made to make the Kubal Coffee Truck the most energy efficient food truck possible. By merging modern solar technology with high efficiency gasoline power generation, they engineered a system that operates much like today’s hybrid automobiles, such as the Toyota Prius. There are a variety of situations where the truck will be running solar alone for key functions, such as refrigeration and lighting.
Importantly, much care was taken to keep this project local. Even the cabinetry of the truck was harvested, milled, dried, and installed within a 50 mile radius of Syracuse. The vast majority of all mechanical equipment is made in the USA.
Some of the major contributors to the coffee truck project include Peter Schultz, the Chief Systems Designer and Engineer and Paul Daly, who was also Project Director. The vehicle itself was acquired from Drivers Village. Michael Gerbes of Camping World worked on the General Systems Integration. Aaron Camp of Solid Ground Contracting fabricated the cabinet and installed systems. City Electric offered consulting and supplied the solar power system.
What sets the Kubal Coffee Truck apart from other food trucks in the area? Besides its intensely local focus, the coffee truck represents a partnership between two innovative Syracuse companies with complementary skill sets. Image Auto and Café Kubal are established local brands. It boasts a clever mechanical design, unique renewable power system, and no small amount of tech savvy.
Next week, there will be more updates on the design of the exterior of the truck. Both team Kubal and Image Auto are now working day and night to finish up the Kubal Coffee Truck for this year of Taste of Syracuse on June 6 and 7. We hope you can come out to preview the Kubal Coffee Truck!