Roast Master Susan Kennedy and her husband, Chef and Confectioner Daniel Kennedy, are the co-owners of Tend Coffee in Shirley NY. They both trained at Johnson and Wales University in Providence RI completing their Masters in 2000. Susan delved right into the coffee industry upon graduation becoming a leader in operations for her company. Daniel pursued his craft taking a position alongside Chef Jody Adams of Top Chef Masters fame winning "Best Restaurant in the Northeast" awarded by Gourmet Magazine in 2001.
By 2004 they returned to NY with a desire to share their vision. In 2005 they formed Chokola’j LLC which is the parent company of Tend Coffee, opening to praise for inventive technique and flavor combinations. By 2008 they were awarded Artisan of The Year by Taste NY and garnered the attention of Martha Stewart magazine, chosen as their Editors Pick in 2011.
Having started in a stark warehouse “it was a pleasure” says Daniel on finding their current location on Montauk highway in Shirley. “It’s a great crowd” says Susan, appreciative of the welcoming atmosphere of the community. It is there where they cup, select and roast specialty organic coffees for their community and local restaurants.
Traditional laminated yeast dough, fluffy muffins and incredible scones form the base of the offerings. Daniel has developed a full line of 24+ pastries and dough that are baked fresh daily right there at the store. “We have a separate licensed production kitchen where we do all the pastry work. It is a real surprise to people when they walk in and see the quality and variety of offerings being done in a relatively small footprint of a shop”.
Susan talking about the menu: “We have some great Baristas. They embrace creativity while maintaining focus on our guests. Some of the drinks and flavors we come up with like the Lavender Honey Latte is a combination Daniel created for a confection that we applied to a latte. It was an instant hit. But many of the drinks are now developed by our store team in collaboration with our guests. It’s taken on a life of its own”.
Now Tend Coffee is part of the community. Susan says she is "working with the best crew a girl (or guy) could ask for while meeting lots of great people, making some really great friends and are still one of the only Certified Organic Coffee Roasters on the Island. Thanks for choosing us!"
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