Like many new entrepreneurs, Chris and Mandy Aubin used the pandemic as an opportunity to refocus their lives. “I’ve always loved coffee and like a lot of people, my wife got really into plants during the pandemic,” says Chris. “We thought, maybe there’s a space for retail products unique to what we are interested in.” The couple decided to follow their passion and Seed Café and Espresso Bar, a space selling coffee and plants at Still on Main in downtown Pawtucket, was born.
“The whole concept of the coffee shop is essentially wanting to show coffee as a sense of place, where the coffee comes from, focusing on single origins,” says Chris. “Customers can get multiple brewed coffees in different ways – drips, pour-overs, and iced, without it being too complicated.” The cafe also offers build-your-own breakfast sandwiches at affordable price points. Additional menu items, including toasts and sandwiches, as well as in-cafe events will be added later this summer. Look for their products at the Pawtucket Farmers Market at The Guild Brewery through October. Pawtucket, Facebook: Seed Cafe RI
The state’s newest small-batch brewery is scheduled to open in South Country Commons in late summer. Named for popular Route 1 landmark, the Hannah Robinson Tower, Tower Hill Brewery is a dream come true for four lifelong friends. Like many new projects in the food service industry, it’s been a long time coming. “There are still supply chain issues due to the pandemic,” says co-founder Brian Hubert.
Expect the brewery to have a widespread selection of popular beers. “We’ll have a great offering of hazy IPAs, which everyone loves,” says Hubert. “Ivan, our head brewer, who has been homebrewing for several years, has an amazing porter that he is going to scale up.” Tower Hill will also serve seasonal brews such as winter ales, summer blondes, and Oktoberfests. A seasonal beer garden will offer “800-900 square feet of outdoor space that will open into the main area inside,” adds Hubert. “We’re going to really encourage our customers to become patrons of the restaurants in South County Commons. We’re also hoping to do some live entertainment.”
South Kingston, TowerHillBrewing.com
A green concept for roasting coffee beans inspired Vincent Emery to establish The Lil’ Rhody Coffee Company while still a student at St. Raphael Academy in 2022. “When you look at how coffee is traditionally roasted using fossil fuels, and the global supply chain that fuels it, nothing has really changed in the past 100 years,” explains the Bryant University sophomore and CEO of the company that he runs alongside his father Patrick. “We decided to roast our coffee using 100 percent electricity, with no fossil fuels, resulting in over 80 percent fewer CO2 emissions. We’re doing these small things to set ourselves up for long-term success.”
The coffee will initially be sold online and at farmers markets throughout the region. In true Rhode Island fashion, the coffee varieties are named for landmarks including Rocky Point (cold brew), Federal Hill (espresso blend), and What Cheer (medium blend). “You’ll be able to go to the website and purchase bags, tools, merchandise, and other brewing products,” adds Emery. Pawtucket, LilRhodyCoffee.com
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