Two barks for espresso

I recently posted about Caffe Latte in Dobbs Ferry, New York – a place where, for a couple dollars, Basilio will give you a little slice of Italy.

I’d like to tell you about another nearby cafe who has no reason to worry about Howard Schultz moving in nearby.

By itself, the name can be misleading. Coffee Labs Roasters, on Main Street in Tarrytown, NY sounds like a white coat facility full of scientists that tests and retests coffee beans under a microscope.

In fact, they are a cafe that caters to people with pooches. The “Labs” part of the name comes from owners Mike Love and Alicia Kelligrew’s two Labrador retrievers. Dogs are welcome anytime and there is always a bowl of water on the front step so the thirsty pups can grab a drink too.

CoffeeLabs

Even if you don’t have a dog, here are five other reasons to check out Coffee Labs.

The coffee
CoffeeLabs doesn’t rely on the ‘must love dogs’ gimmick. They serve up one of the best cups of coffee in Westchester County. The first clue is the massive coffee roaster in the middle of the floor. It takes a special passion for coffee to roast the beans on site and that passion is evident in the quality of the joe. The hot chocolate also gets rave reviews.

Baristas = Artists
Mike Love is dedicated to getting baristas the respect they deserve. You can read more here.

The food
A great selection of desserts, cookies and cupcakes complements the beverage offerings. Relax and dunk a big cookie in one of their beautiful cappuccinos and and watch the parade of people up and down Main Street.

Live music
Since the large coffee roaster takes up a significant portion of the cafe floor, Coffee Labs shuffles around some tables and chairs to squeeze in great local jazz and acoustic acts. (weekends)

Green (and bird friendly)
From Westchester Magazine, where Coffee Labs recent won Best Green Coffeehouse, 2009.

Everyone knows that Coffee Labs Roasters is dog-friendly, but few realize that it’s bird-friendly, too, having been certified by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (which has the strictest standards in the biz, according to coffeehabitat.com). And that’s not the only eco-certification the shop has racked up. It’s Rainforest Alliance Certified, Fair Trade Certified, operating on 100-percent renewable energy, and everything from the napkins to some of the furniture is recycled. The coffee grounds even are composted at Stone Barns. It seems the only thing that isn’t green is the color of the coffee.

If you’re anywhere near Tarrytown, check out CoffeeLabs roasters.

If you’re not, understand that by building certain unique elements into their business, Mike and Alicia “Starbucks-proofed” themselves.

Did you build enough magic into your business to be protected from your competitors?

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