LIC Coffee Shop Bringing Pizzeria With Brooklyn Grange Veggies to Jamaica
QUEENS — It's a slice of farm to table.
The company behind Fetta, which owns the popular Long Island City coffee shop Coffeed, is also planning to open a coffee shop and large-scale roasting facility in the neighborhood.
The company has a partnership with the Brooklyn Grange, a one-acre rooftop farm in Long Island City, and uses its organic produce for the shops' sandwiches, salads and now also pizza.
The new pizza place will open by the end of this week, the owners said.
“We'll be using tomatoes and vegetables from Brooklyn Grange,” said owner Frank Raffaele, whose family owns the famed Coney Island slice shop Tontonno's. The new shop will not be affiliated with the Brooklyn eatery, which has been around since 1924.
The rooftop farm operates one of its two locations in Long Island City, in the same building where Coffeed is located.
“We offer natural, local produce and local vibe,” said Raffaele. “Everything here will be as Queens as possible.’
He said the company is not interested in competing with “dollar pizza” places, but that it will be "accessible for anyone who wants to enjoy a high-quality brick oven pizza.”
The shop will be serving at least three types of pizza every day, including a margherita as well as one meat and one vegetable option. All slices will cost less than $3, the owners said.
Patrons will also have a choice of three types of pasta, which will include meat and vegetarian options (about $5), and will be able to order the Brooklyn Grange salad, made with seasonal vegetables from the farm.
Raffaele, who grew up in Howard Beach and is very familiar with Jamaica, said he is also looking to open a large coffee shop that will roast its own coffee in the neighborhood.
Coffeed is currently roasting its beans in Long Island City, but Raffaele said they need more space.
While searching for the location for the new coffee shop, the opportunity for a pizza place emerged, Raffaele said.
“We were so happy to get them,” said Mary Reda of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation who runs the Jamaica Market. The group was looking for a pizza place to fill the gap among the options offered at the market's food court.
All places operated by Coffeed also include a charitable component.
“We give 10 percent of our food revenue and 5 percent of our beverage revenue to charity,” Raffaele said.
For example, the money from Coffeed in Long Island City goes to City Growers, a nonprofit educational organization based at Brooklyn Grange, which provides workshops on food, ecology and health. This year, the organization brought about 7,000 kids to the rooftop farm to teach them about urban farming, Raffaele said.
The company is currently looking for a charity organization to partner with in Jamaica.
"Jamaica is underserved, and obviously it is an upcoming area," Raffaele said. "It's really great to be getting back to the neighborhood where I grew up and [to] serve this community."