Located inside Aria’s School of Music & Art, on a one-way street in a retail and residential area across from a large shopping mall, New Roots Coffeehouse is a recent addition to the café landscape of Greece, NY. Set apart by a large tree wrapped in white lights, it proudly directs patrons to “turn right at the stump!” referring to a large tree stump just past the driveway. I say driveway, rather than parking lot, because this coffeehouse was once a two-story residential home. Be careful not to pass it up, or else you’ll have to loop around the block to get back to the busy, one-way street entrance. The former driveway serves as a narrow passageway to a small, shadowy parking area in back of the house, containing a half-dozen or so parking spots. Additional parking is available a bit further back, in a dark lot, bordering a pass-thru to a small strip mall.
With stairs at both the front and back entrances, I did not see a handicap accessible egress, although their website refers to accessibility. Seasonal outdoor seating is available on the elevated deck attached to the back of the establishment. This coffeehouse would surely benefit from more prominent signage and more plentiful outdoor lighting.
The New Roots Coffeehouse website states that the owner’s vision is “to create a safe zone where adults and children alike could come and relax, listen to good music, while enjoying coffee, specialty drinks, and baked goods with their choice of almost anything allergy conscious.”
The interior of New Roots Coffeehouse is quite cramped, but yet quaint and inviting. The seating areas consist of what were previously rooms in the converted house. They include two small lounging areas across from each other with four or five tables in each, connected by a small common area containing one table. Modest entryways are located at both the front and back entrances. Food and beverage orders are taken just inside the front entrance, where patrons can view the menu posted above the counter and pay for their purchases.
The dark hardwood floors and bright yellow walls make for a cheery décor. All of the hanging artwork is from local artists and is displayed for sale on a rotating basis. Adjustable lighting via a dimmer switch in the front room helps set the mood for the Saturday night student performances. The night we visited was the inaugural weekly student spotlight performance, followed by several other solo and duo student performances, including vocals and musical instrument playing. Although entertaining, the live music made it difficult to converse.
The clientele was a mix of students, parents and others supporting the performers. Some of the students appeared to be unaccompanied by adults, which was apparent by their uninhibited canoodling and very public (and inappropriate) displays of affection.
Aria’s School of Music & Art houses the coffeehouse. The school includes two student practice rooms downstairs and three rooms upstairs, all of which are separate from the coffeehouse space. Each downstairs practice room contained a piano, presumably for student lessons and practices. My companion noticed that the risers on the stairs to the second level (not open to coffeehouse patrons) were covered with sheet music paper – a nice themed touch! Also, one common wall by our table featured framed pictures and biographies of the school’s music teachers.
New Roots Coffeehouse offers a variety of hot and cold beverages and baked and frozen treats. Hot beverages include coffee in several popular variations (both whole bean and ground), chai latte, organic tea, hot cider, and hot cocoa. Flavor shots, and soy and rice milk are also available. Cold Beverages include iced coffee in popular variations, iced latte, iced and frozen chai, smoothies, shakes, Italian sodas, energy drinks, juices, Coke and Diet Coke
Breakfast Sandwiches offerings can be made with egg, cheese, bacon and sausage and are available on bagels (gluten-free available), waffles and English muffins. All of the baked and frozen goods are available as gluten-free options and include brownies, muffins, cookies, bagels, cakes, ice cream, parfaits, snack bars and oatmeal. I also noticed fresh fruits and single serving pre-packaged snacks available.
I ordered hot cocoa with whipped cream for $1.65 and a large chocolate chip muffin priced at $2.50. The hot cocoa was hot, very rich and a bit overly sweet. However, the whipped cream balanced the sweetness nicely. I found the muffin to be fresh and moist, with a surprise cream cheese center. It was a great accompaniment to the hot cocoa. Together, these two items made for a nice evening snack. My companion also ordered a hot cocoa, but without whipped cream. She agreed that it was very sweet and rich, but still quite enjoyable.
Later in the evening, I ordered an organic lemon tea on ice. The $1.78 tea was made by steeping a lemon tea bag in iced water. It was refreshing and tasty.
I found the service to be friendly, quick, attentive and accurate. While Aria prepared the drinks behind the counter, another worker (presumably her husband?) took orders and cashed out customers. Our beverages were delivered to our table, which was a nice touch. Patrons can fix their drinks at a self-serve nook next to the ordering counter, containing cream, sugar, and various other accoutrements.
Aria, the owner of New Roots Coffeehouse and Aria’s School of Music & Art, delivered my lemon iced tea drink to our table and explained that organic tea bags are thin, sometimes allowing for tea particles to escape into the drink. She wanted to be sure that I knew that the drink was supposed to be that way. I appreciated her personal attention as she spent some time chatting with us. She also explained that she decided to open the school after she could no longer adequately teach the 130+ students out of her home.
New Roots Coffeehouse also offers a frequent customer punch card, with which customers may earn free or discounted beverages after accumulating ten punches. I was pleased when Aria remembered to bring a punch card for me right to our table. In addition to cash and credit cards, they also accept Square payments.
The small sitting area in the back of the establishment is available for rent for your event. A host is included with the room rental. The size of a bedroom, the room fits a handful of tables with four seats each, and has a door for privacy and a window for extra light.
As we were leaving, I could not find a trash receptacle to discard my beverage container. Instead, I had to bring my trash to the front ordering counter, where the host offered to discard it for me.
I am happy to see that a privately owned coffeehouse opened in Greece, which has been dominated by franchise coffee establishments for several years. The hot and cold beverages were quite good and the service is high quality. The student performances are a nice change of pace and a unique offering, but admittedly, I did feel like I was at a high school band practice, due to the groups of boisterous teens. I would consider stopping in for a breakfast sandwich or cup of coffee on a day without performances, because I like to support local small businesses, and the food and service were enjoyable.
Whether you want to hear the music school students perform or you simply want to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, stop in and check out New Roots Coffeehouse on Long Pond Road in Greece, across from the Mall at Greece Ridge Center. Also, if you are interested in enrolling your child in music or art lessons, talk with Aria while you are there; she owns Aria’s School of Music & Arts, in which the coffeehouse is located.
If you go:
New Roots Coffeehouse
1273 Long Pond Road
Greece, NY 14626
(suburb of Rochester, NY)
Phone: (585) 453-8228
Email: direct email not available – see website for comment form
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newrootscoffeehouseTwitter: @newrootscoffeehouse
Business Hours: Mon & Tues: 7am-9pm, Wed & Thurs: 7am-10pm,
Fri: 7am-10pm, Sat: 8am-11pm, Sun: 9am-8pm
Cuisine: Coffeehouse, Breakfast (Limited Menu, Food Allergy Conscious)
Meals Served: Breakfast Sandwiches, Baked and Frozen goods, Hot and cold beverages
Children’s Menu: No
Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Requires Reservations: No
Table Service: No (other than to deliver beverages ordered at the counter)
Take Out: Yes
Delivery Service: No
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Parking: Limited in the rear of the building, free
Valet Service: No
Bar Seating: n/a
Coat Check: No
Date opened: Fall, 2013
Date visited: Saturday evening on March 8, 2014