When Susan Kennedy chose to open Tend Coffee in Shirley area, she and her husband, Daniel, contemplated the right moment to do so. They opted to launch their product after the holidays instead of before the holidays. In the back of her mind, Susan Kennedy, 42, of Moriches, had a vision of a line waiting to buy coffee before she even opened and started roasting since around 2010. Before launching the retail location at 924 Montauk Highway, near Friendly's, they expanded to a warehouse in Center Moriches and started visiting farmers markets.
In the end, Kennedy’s full dream became a reality after a lot of community outreach although a lot longer than she would have liked.
Currently, Tend Coffee is also available at the Sachem Library, where Kennedy refers to it as “The Outpost” with two staffers working solely there and three staffers spread out between the two locations. Further, Tend participates in the following farmers markets each year: at the winter Riverhead farmers market, and at the summer Port Jefferson, East Hampton and Westhampton Beach farmers markets.
The two of us were alone when we started, Susan Kennedy said, sipping a Komodo Dragon, a fresh, delicious blend with beans that are grown on Flores Island in Indonesia. In their facility at North Shirley, Dan, 44, has been responsible for roasting. They both study at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island and are certified organic coffee roasters. His bachelor’s degree is in food service management and hers is in culinary arts. In food service education, they both have masters degrees.
Tend Coffee now employs 15 people and the Kennedys are seeking a new location, yet haven't found quite the right place.
According to Susan Kennedy, “There are many things that go into it.” “The goal for the company is to grow. It’s about touching more lives. That’s the bigger thing to me than just opening another store.” In the past seven years, Susan has learned what her regular guests like and dislike, and she’ll make recommendations based on that knowledge.
The Tend Coffee house has also prepared specialties for this month such as tiramisu latte, cherry almond tart latte, candy and raspberry latte, a dark chocolate anisette, a shakaratto and a red love latte. A celebrated birthday cake latte was available on the menu last month. There is a special blend that Susan prefers. She said it's made with two shots of espresso, one pump of vanilla, ice, and a little heavy cream. Then she shakes the drink. “It's perfect for summer afternoons,” she said.
Tend takes great pride in the impact she has made on the community.
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