Meadow Blues Coffee plans grand opening in Chester this Saturday
Gina Stafford and daughter Simone Ayers have been working on their dream project for nearly two years


Meadow Blues Coffee: proprietor Gina Stafford is pictured to the right (Photo provided)

CHESTER — Gina Stafford has long dreamed of being her own boss right here in her hometown of Chester. She's now the proprietor of a new shop she's called Meadow Blues Coffee.
"It was a vision for the community," she said. "The idea was to create a casual, family friendly space to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee, a nice light snack, and some great music. We didn't have that here. I saw a need for change and acted on it in an effort to help build up the growing downtown Chester area."
Meadow Blues is located at 3 Winkler Place, directly adjacent to American House Ice Cream. Her daughter, Simone Ayers, a student at Syracuse University, is her partner. They've been working hard for the past 18 months to get their dream project going.
The public is invited to the shop's grand opening this Saturday, Oct. 20, from noon to 4 p.m. The first ten customers through the door will get a $10 gift certificate. Also during the grand opening, any customer who buys a pastry will get a free medium-drip coffee to wash it down. And smoothies will be available for $1 off.
Her friend and Rushing Duck Brewery owner Nikki Cavanaugh is one of the many local business owners who are helping Stafford in her new venture. Rushing Duck will offer some of its brews for the grand opening. Long Lot Farm Brewery in Chester has also been a big help, Stafford said.
She said her shop will support woman-owned businesses. Janet Picarelli will supply Meadow Blues with freshly baked goods made daily at her home in Florida, including pastries, croissants, bagels, and muffins. Smoothies are also on the menu.
"We'll be keeping it simple at first," Stafford said.
The art of the brewBrewing a great cup of coffee isn't so simple, as it turns out. Stafford studied the art of the brew at Coffee Labs in Tarrytown, where she also learned how to attract customers and create the ideal floor plan. Coffee Labs also trained her staff.
"Coffee to me is like a fine wine," Stafford said.
The shop will serve "an extensive list of coffee-based drinks, including specialties like cold brew, nitro brew espresso, and more to keep the fun in your morning cup of joe."
Tea drinkers will have their choice as well, of herbal, black, and green teas, iced or hot.
And while sipping and noshing, customers can log onto the internet with free Wi-Fi.
Stafford said the name of her business is "an embodiment of my soul and everlasting love for blues music. I think it's important not to forget the roots of modern music and I want to try and keep it alive in our community by creating this space for anyone to enjoy. We're hoping Meadow Blues Coffee becomes the drop of soul in Chester's cup, we've received so much love and support so far, I think the future looks bright."
Stafford wants customers to think of Meadow Blues as "your home away from home."
"Come in a grab a drink and a pastry," she says — "And don't forget to spread the word!"
Meadow Blues' hours are Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Editor's note: This story has been revised from the original.