Feb. 10, 2014 By Michael Florio
A popular Long Island City café is getting into the wholesale coffee business.
Coffeed, located on the first floor of the iconic Standard Motors Building (37-18 Northern Blvd), is in the process of doubling the size of its store –from 1,500 square feet to 3,000 square feet —in order to expand its coffee roasting operation.
The new space is set to open in about two weeks, with half that area to be dedicated to a roasting plant as Coffeed looks to break into the wholesale business.
A 10-pound coffee roaster is about to be installed in the new section. Coffeed will be bringing in bags of green coffee beans from around the world to the cafe and roasting them on premises before packaging them.
“It will be like a brewpub, except for coffee,” said Frank Raffaele, the owner of Coffeed.
Coffeed plans to sell roast coffee to hotels and other cafes throughout Queens, as well as sell it at its Northern Blvd location and its store in Port Washington.
“This is the beginning of our wholesale operation,” Raffaele said.
The 10-pound roaster is able to produce a little more than eight pounds of roast beans every 10 minutes. That equates to hundreds of pounds per day.
Raffaele is already planning ahead for his wholesale business.
“Once we hit 5,000 pounds of coffee a month… we will probably have to expand again,” said Raffaele. He said he would remain in Long Island City.
Coffeed, which opened in September 2012, will be opening a café at Hunters Point South Park in about two months, which will be called Hunters Point Landing by Coffeed.
“This will require a ton of coffee, which will be produced in the [Northern Blvd] roasting plant,” Raffaele said.