City of Saints
City of Saints Coffee Roasters is part of Bushwick’s renaissance, bringing a modern and community-minded approach to coffee roasting in one of New York’s most vibrant neighborhoods.
Ray: What’s up, Bushwick? I’m Ray.
Kandace: I’m Kandace.
Ray: This is Unpacking Coffee today.
Kandace: City of Saints. This is some kick-ass coffee. Can I say kick ass here? Is it okay?
Ray: No. You just bumped us up to explicit.
Kandace: This is a fantastic coffee. No, that’s boring though. It does kick ass.
Ray: City of Saints is located in New York City. They started by roasting in the …
Kandace: Pulley. They got their start, yes, in the Pulley Collective and we’ve heard about the Pulley Collective previously with Joe Coffee. They also …
Ray: Oh, sure, Joe of New York.
Kandace: Joe. Came out of the Pulley Collective. They’re considered one of the big success stories of the Pulley Collective because this is a place where you can go and you can roast coffee. Three years later, they have three locations and a roastery, and they’re killing it. They got this really kick-ass roaster.
Ray: The Loring roaster?
Ray: That looks really cool.
Kandace: Research, Ray.
Ray: You just told me before the show. I just remembered what you said.
Kandace: It’s cool and they’ve been opening up their space to other people that come in and roast, too. They’re being good community members. We spoke to Joe Palozzi from City of Saints. Joe’s going to tell us about how they got started.
Joe: My name is Joe Palozzi and I’m director of operations City of Saints Coffee Roasters.
Kandace: Joe started as a roaster, but he has blossomed into an everything guy and so, I think other people are roasting now.
Joe: We started as takeaway coffee shop and then decided to become vertical, integrated coffee roasting facility.
Kandace: This coffee roaster in particular is all about community. When I see them talking in interviews, they use the word camaraderie a lot. They use the word community. Cha-ching, cha-ching …
Ray: If you’re playing coffee roaster bingo, you already have … It’s interesting that compared to the roasters that we’ve talked about recently whose packaging was kind of minimal and who felt that the space would sort of speak for itself and the coffee would sort of … The approach here with City of Saints is almost the opposite. These are literal representations of what’s inside the space. If you look inside the City of Saints spaces, this is the graffiti on the wall. You can’t mistake those spaces from … They’re indistinguishable from the coffee packaging itself, which is kind of …
THE BUSHWICK COLLECTIVE
Kandace: This art is by Dasic Fernandez and a fellow that goes by the name of Mr. Nerds and they came from the Bushwick Collective. The Bushwick Collective is a group that’s been painting murals all over the area and so, Bushwick is starting to have this really particular look.
Joe I have a little party here in the community, paint some walls, the whole community came out. The artists painting on the walls, it was a great experience.
I woke up the next day like I took a pill and I felt happy like I was a kid again.
That party was great and it symbolized everything that I wanted. It was everything I had lost, which was family. One thing led to another and I ended up falling in love with street art and graff, and I ran with it.
Kandace: City of Saints got a hold of them and asked them to paint the interior of their space and started using the art, too. That’s another way that they’re really supporting the community.
Ray: The packaging is interesting in that it is just these giant cardboard boxes with cellophane bags with the one-way vent inside.
Kandace: No coffee inside.
Ray: They didn’t have coffee inside.
Joe: When we were deciding on what we wanted to do for our box design, we got these two great Bushwick Collective murals on our walls and I said, “Well, why don’t we just make the walls the box?” Since they’re really in a pretty good dimension aspect ratio, I was like, “We just take these and get them to go.”
Kandace: I loved how most of the information is on the bottom here and then they take all of this space to show the art. It’s fantastic. They’re not even covering it up in the end, in the back, on the back end, back end
ART & COMMUNITY
There’s so much to be said about the way that art can support a community and I think that City of Saints is really into that. We brought in Portland’s own Matt Wagner.
Matt: I’m Matt Wagner. I own Hellion Gallery. I write art books, the Tall Trees of series. I’m one of the producers of the Forest for the Trees Mural Festival here in Portland.
Kandace: Matt Wagner puts on a curated citywide show called the Tall Trees of Portland where he brings in mural artists from all over the world and businesses and spaces donate walls and the artists come in and create the murals.
Matt: Instead of having these buildings with these blank walls or really crappy graffiti on it, these businesses get to interact with an artist and have something beautiful on the outside of their building.
Ray: City of Saints of Bushwick in Brooklyn in New York City in New York in the United States, Planet Earth.