For now, the shop is in the hiring stages.
Shiina, a women's boutique selling clothing, accessories and makeup, was the last business in this storefront, closing in the spring of 2019.
Compilation Coffee is laser-focused on its customers and coffee, so there are no espresso machines or latte art competitions. Pairing a Poursteady with a back bar of 10 Baratza Fortés, customers can select daily from 10 different coffees, made to order by the cup (hot or iced) as a pour over.Any cup, be it black or Au Lait, cow's milk or alternative milk from NuMilk, is $5 for a 12 oz. cup. Customers can even purchase 4oz tubes of the entire bean menu, so they can mix and match, or even buy three different ones — their version of a flight.
The ingredients in a small cup of high-end, direct-trade, “sustainable” coffee costs 62 cents, he says. That includes 43 cents for the beans, 14 cents for the cup, sleeve, lid, and stirrer, and 5 cents for milk and sugar.
But a cafe owner also has to pay rent on a New York City storefront, not to mention wages, insurance, supplies, utilities, trash service, software and payment processing. All told, says Mr. Kruszewski, expenses easily reach $600 a day.
If a cafe only sold $1 coffee, he says, it would have to sell 2,150 cups a day to just break even. That’s 3.5 cups a minute. The barista would have to serve faster than humanly possible.
At $2 a cup, the cafe would have to sell 500 cups a day, or one cup a minute—still too much volume for a small business.
“At $3.50,” says Mr. Kruszewski, “we get to a doable 250 cups a day.”
This shop sits next to a now-forgotten street called Stuyvesant Alley. The Alley was the scene of all the good, bad and ugly of old New York. It was a notorious hang out for ne'er-do-wells like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid who lived down the street, it was the scene of a beautiful painting by Armin Landeck and it was a convenient place to store a peddler's pushcart off nearby bustling Third Ave. The Alley disappeared in the mid-20th century and today is replaced by a dormitory of New York University.