Heads up, Staten Island! A new coffee shop has come your way! Located along the bustling New Dorp Lane on Staten Island, SIPS + Maker combines two of the world's greatest inventions: coffee and hand-crafted items. With the coffee bar in the front of the store and the design market in the back, the joint business is a pioneer in its pursuits. 

The Idea

SIPS + Maker, according to its founder Estera, was the product of her extensive background in interior design and furniture, her daughter, her travels, and a striking lack of coffee shops in the New Dorp neighborhood. 

Wishing to not only provide a community center for people to mingle over coffee, but to be also able to buy from a curated gift store while doing so, she set out to fulfill her vision. Her 10 years of freelance design helped her in creating the beautiful aesthetic of the shop.

Although navigating her way through the food and service industry served to be a challenge for her, Estera enjoyed the road towards building her café and hopes to expand her ideas from shore to shore on Staten Island.

The Sips

This business has partnered with Joe Coffee, a small, family-owned coffee company with roots in Red Hook, Brooklyn. With a meticulous procedure towards picking and grinding coffee beans, the company will make its splash on Staten Island with a stunning array of classic, specialty coffees. From cappuccinos to lattes, there will be a brand for everyone to enjoy.

In the future, SIPS + Maker will introduce teas, including chai and matcha, along with French pastries (including vegan and gluten-free options) to widen the menu. Soy and almond milk substitutes in drinks will also be offered soon.

The Maker

Towards the back of the café is a curated gift shop containing products such as towels, bags, and other useful items. Every product is imported from businesses that are Fair Trade Certified. This means that the artisans and product creators of these businesses are being treated with safe working conditions and fair pay. 

In addition to international items, there's an emphasis on Made in USA products. Imported from states such as Vermont, Colorado, and California, there is a strong emphasis on the handmade value of both domestic and international gifts. 

The Cause

Estera has always had a desire to help others, and SIPS + Maker works off of this desire by serving as a champion for humanitarian causes. For example, a jewelry line on the shelves of the café is made by a nonprofit group of Indian women who are survivors of human trafficking.

Another line of hand-knit items was created by women in Bangladesh living in rural villages, giving them the chance to provide financial support and scholarships for their children without having to travel far from home. By supporting these businesses, Estera says, she can help those truly in need

Looking beyond, the coffee shop hopes to host events from book signings to arranged music sessions to behind-the-scenes tours of how coffee beans are roasted.

As Estera puts it, "I want this to be a place for the community, for people to go and experience a little bit of culture." This up-and-coming coffee shop is sure to deliver on this promise.