GENEVA — Customers of Raven’s Landing, Cindy Lane-Newcomb’s psychic business, would often ask when they arrived for readings and other services if there was a place they could get coffee while they waited.
Now there is — and it’s in the same spot as her psychic business.
Java 44 is now open at 590 Pre-Emption Road in the JRB Commons plaza.
A coffee business at the location “was the goal from the day we signed the lease,” said Chuck Chambers, Lane-Newcomb’s partner in life and business.
The couple, who are from Penn Yan, spent a year remodeling the space for the coffee shop, with Lane-Newcomb’s psychic business in the back and the coffee business in front.
Chambers, a drywall business owner, did all the remodeling work, with Lane-Newcomb, a retired Penn Yan school teacher of 21 years, doing the decorating.
“Everything you see he made,” she said. “We wanted a really nice, friendly atmosphere. It’s kind of urbany with a warm tone.”
She said the space was remodeled with reclaimed wood, while Java 44 also features a metal sculpture by renowned Yates County metal artist Sam Castner.
On the ceiling are wild grapevines.
While the pair didn’t have coffee backgrounds, they learned.
“We trained to be baristas,” she said. “We like a good cup of coffee, and we like people to get their money’s worth.”
They get their coffee from a Rochester roaster, and the beans range from single-origin Ethiopian to single-origin Costa Rican.
“We spend a lot of time developing our flavors and our shots (espresso),” she said. “It’s kind of like a chemist. We also make our own hot chocolate and our own whipped cream. We made our own recipes. We did a lot of tastings.”
They also do an in-house cold brew, which she describes as “awesome,” while iced drinks get a special touch: The cubes are made from coffee, not from water, so the drinks don’t lose their punch.
Starting a coffee business is not cheap, acknowledged Lane-Newcomb, pointing to the $23,000 espresso machine.
The couple is pleased with the reception they’re getting in their first month and a half of business, and are in the process of adding light lunches to the mix of beverages and locally made baked goods. They’re also adding outdoor seating for when the weather warms.
When that happens, they also will be adding frozen drinks and smoothies, Lane-Newcomb said.
Customers also can take advantage of punch-cards that give them a free beverage — not just coffee — for each five they buy.
Jodi Narron, was a first-time visitor to Java 44 Tuesday and was impressed by the coffee and the atmosphere.
“It’s very pleasant and enjoyable,” she said.
And while Java 44 is just getting rolling, the couple has ambitions beyond their new Pre-Emption Road coffee enterprise.
“We may open a second location,” she said.