Espresso bar to share Main Street storefront

<p> <span style="line-height: 20.799999237060547px;">MIDDLEBURY &mdash; There&rsquo;s something new brewing at the vacant storefront at 58 Main St. in Middlebury that formerly housed Clementine.</span></p><p> The space will soon become home to an espresso bar to be operated by Burlington-based Cursive Coffee, along with a new business called Boo &amp; Roxy that will be headquarters to local architect and designer Anne Barakat and her husband, Jon Craine, a production designer and art director.</p><p> Founders Jim Osborn and Sam Clifton describe Cursive Coffee as an &ldquo;itinerant caf&eacute; and micro-roasting company.&rdquo; They founded the business during the summer of 2013, introducing their product through various pop-ups and private events before building a devoted following as a staple of the Burlington Farmers&rsquo; Market. They have also become a regular fixture at Pine Street&rsquo;s Barge Canal Market.</p><p> Osborn explained that Cursive has been able to carve out a niche by espousing a minimalist philosophy and by sourcing its coffee beans through a socially responsible supplier.</p><p> &ldquo;We have gained recognition by having an extremely simple menu,&rdquo; Osborn said during a recent telephone interview.</p><p> It is a menu that never exceeds five options with &ldquo;ingredients deliberately refined to only coffee and milk, and dedication to purveying a rotating selection of delicious, traceable and compelling coffees,&rdquo; reads Cursive&rsquo;s business profile on its website,</p><p> Cursive sources its coffee beans through The Coffee Shrub, a California company that contracts directly with farmers and exporters from around the world, rather than through distributors, according to Osborn. This means that the growers get a larger return for their products, he said. The Coffee Shrub is a micro-seller serving companies that also roast. Cursive roasts weekly.</p><p> &ldquo;We pay a lot more money for our coffee than if we were buying it through a distributor,&rdquo; Osborn said.</p><p> That means the cost to consumers will be somewhat higher that at other venues, Osborn acknowledged. A cup of Cursive will run you between $2.50 to $4, and most customers will say it&rsquo;s worth it, according to Osborn.</p><p> Barakat had sampled Cursive&rsquo;s wares and liked what she tasted. When she announced plans to have a collaborative public space at Boo &amp; Roxy, Cursive Coffee officials saw it as a good opportunity to finally lay down some roots for their budding enterprise. The two parties forged a deal that will allow Cursive to operate an espresso bar in the front portion of the 58 Main St. space. Osborn and Clifton launched a fundraising campaign through to raise capital for its Middlebury start-up. The space is currently under construction and Osborn said the venture will proceed regardless of the fund-raising success.</p><p> A floating partition will separate the Boo &amp; Roxy business from its java counterpart.</p><p> Cursive will sell its coffee retail at the new Middlebury store, as well as offer some food options.</p><p> &ldquo;We are not yet sure of what those food options will be,&rdquo; Osborn said. But he expects Cursive will contract with a local provider for high-quality food that will complement the espressos on the menu.</p><p> &ldquo;We will not shoulder the food prep, but will look for something that does not diminish the standards we have set for our coffee,&rdquo; Osborn said.</p><p> Meanwhile, Boo &amp; Roxy will give Barakat and Craine a downtown presence for their respective services. Barakat has done architectural design work for such high-profile customers as Ben &amp; Jerry&rsquo;s Homemade, Hotel Vermont, Urban Outfitters and Teva.</p><p> Craine&rsquo;s r&eacute;sum&eacute; includes creation of stage backdrops for the Chicago (rock band) 2000 World Tour, scenic design work for the Fall Out Boy 2007 Young Wild Things Tour, and scenic design for &ldquo;Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy&rdquo; on Broadway.</p><p> &ldquo;This is our brick-and-mortar opportunity to have fun with the storefront space,&rdquo; Barakat said.</p><p> That fun, according to Barakat, is likely to include some pop-up retail events and ever changing window displays.</p><p> &ldquo;We are treating it as an art gallery, as well,&rdquo; Barakat said. &ldquo;We are excited about it.&rdquo;</p><p> A Boo &amp; Roxy website is currently under construction. Plans call for the new businesses to be open by mid- to late June.</p><p> <em>Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].</em></p>

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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