Back in 2015, Tipico Coffee opened its doors in the Fargo Neighborhood, bringing with it a refreshing new take on café culture in Buffalo. Four years later, owner Jesse Krouse is teaming up with fellow entrepreneur Peter Herman to replicate the West Side success in the Elmwood Village. In fact, it was Herman who helped to co-found Tipico’s roastery on Rhode Island Street two years ago (photos below), along with Crouse. That is where they have set up a funky little office that overlooks the roasting operation.
It turns out that Herman left WNY 21 years ago. In that time, he became involved with banking and setting up product services for businesses all over the world. He was also the co-founder of a food manufacturing incubator in Long Island City that brought 25 new businesses and 100 jobs to the market. A handful of those businesses went national.
Now, Herman is setting his sights on helping Crouse to be the best coffee enterprise, and the best employer, in Buffalo. I have a feeling that having Herman back in WNY is going to be a boon for a number of small cottage industries. His credentials are pretty impressive, and he’s here because he wants to be instrumental when it comes to elevating the Buffalo small business experience.
As for Tipico II, it’s setting up shop next to Half & Half Boutique, across from Pano’s on Elmwood. Remember back in May, when we sent out a shout out, looking for a business to occupy 1084 Elmwood? Half & Half owners Jennifer and Kilby Bronstein had retrofitted a neighboring building into the makings for a super chic setup. It turns out that Crouse and Herman answered that call, and are now on their way towards opening a sensational new café that will go a long way towards bringing esteemed coffee culture back to Elmwood. In recent years, there has been a healthy tug of war – or brewing battle – between Elmwood and the West Side, pertaining to the business of bean counting. In recent weeks it looks as if there is a gentle sway back towards Elmwood, especially with news of Tipico II landing on the street.
Interestingly, it was during this summer’s Flutterby Festival that artist Chris Piontkowski painted a refreshing mural on the side of the Half & Half building. As a hat tip to the coming of Tipico, he made sure to include some coffee bean plants in the mural, subliminally signaling the arrival of the new business to the block.
As we can readily see, the transformation of the frontage of 1084 Elmwood is stupendous. The Bronstein’s have done a smashing job of recreating the facade, into something that is super appealing and welcoming. When the business is open, and the front courtyard has filled in with foliage, this place is going to be a real eye catcher on the street. Actually, it already is.
As for the interior of Tipico II, Crouse and Herman opted to retain the design services of husband and wife team – Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster,who tend to orient their visions around the concept of play. The plan is to build a space for the community – one that is playfully inspirational for people of all ages. Tipico II will be a place where families can dig in, or a professional can stop in and grab a cup of coffee on the fly. Crouse and Herman explained that the ultimate goal will be to create an atmosphere that is conducive to “interaction” – a place that promotes positive relationships among neighbors. After all, this is The City of Good Neighbors.
And finally, the coffee and the food. Tipico II will continue to build its brand, by serving up the same third wave coffee that people have come to love, with beans roasted on the city’s West Side. As for the food, there will be similar offerings as their initial location, but with more of a concentration on handheld foods. The owners want people to grab a coffee and a bite to eat, which they can then consume while exploring the Elmwood Village. For those that want to stick around and eat, the café is being designed to appeal to our playful senses, which will add a more lively buzz to the caffeinated experience.
For me, I am super excited to see more commercial density coming to Elmwood – a street that semi-suffers from being broken up into commercial and residential zones. Each time we have the opportunity to transition a building into a commercial storefront, we should jump on that opportunity. The more density, the more people will walk, and not worry about perceived parking issues.
Thanks to a complement of skill sets, and a shared vision for impeccable coffee and inspired design, Crouse and Herman have embarked upon another exciting adventure, and they want to take us all along for the ride.
Tipico II is planning on opening in early 2020.