Coffee with an ‘Artisanal’ Flair

Oscar Dotter owns Beacon Coffee Co. & Mercantile, which opened at 344 Main St. on June 30. Photos by Erin-Leigh Hoffman

Oscar Dotter owns Beacon Coffee Co. & Mercantile, which opened at 344 Main St. on June 30. (Photos by Erin-Leigh Hoffman)

Beacon shop boasts 19 brewing methods 

Oscar Dotter, the owner of Cornwall Coffee Co. & Mercantile on the west side of the Hudson River, had never parked in the Eliza Street parking lot in Beacon, which sits near the intersection with Main Street.

One afternoon in 2022, across the street from the lot, Dotter spotted an empty unit at 344 Main St. that sparked an idea. That idea became Beacon Coffee Co. & Mercantile, whose grand opening Dotter held on June 30. His building-mates include Paul Brady Wine and the School of Rock. 

“I saw that there was a vacancy and the shops sort of talked to me and said, ‘Hey man, come check me out,’” he said. 

Beacon Coffee Co. & Mercantile shares with its sister shop, which opened in July 2020, Dotter’s unique “artisanal-style” approach to brewing coffee. The style relies on vintage equipment like steam-piston lever machines from the Italian brand Victoria Arduino, a computer-monitored Dietrich coffee roaster and an algorithmic approach to preparing beans for roasting. 

The shop has 19 different brewing methods that create “this intimate micro-batch feeling,” said Dotter, 51. In addition, sweeter drinks with flavoring come from hand-made elixirs. Herbal drinks contain fresh herbs infused with a frothing method and dairy products are sourced locally.

“You’re creating recipes to offer to people, then you get the feedback and enjoyment that it brings to them,” said Dotter. “To me, that’s a successful business.”

Beacon Coffee Co. & Mercantile uses vintage machines and 19 brewing methods.

Beacon Coffee Co. & Mercantile uses vintage machines and 19 brewing methods.

To match the old-time artisanal feeling, the interior of the shop is clothed in a rugged-chic style of décor. Features include a 4,000-pound hanging mirror with imported panels from France, hanging lights and reupholstered furniture from the 1930s, and hand-selected antiques.

Goods from partnered brands are available in the store, such as Shinola Detroit products, Balthazar Bakery treats and a selection of other fine goods, including the store-owned brand of coffee beans, Deus Es Capulus (“You are a coffee god”).

As the owner of both locations, Dotter emphasizes that it takes dedication and passion to deliver artisan coffee to customers. “We’re constantly in rotation of what we offer and trying to offer the freshest and finest, most-premium product that we can,” he said.  

Beacon Coffee’s commitment to quality means employees underwent six weeks of training before the grand opening, learning not just how to use the machines but also customer-service practices. 

Before the grand opening, Dotter held a press event with support from Paul Brady Wine, which provided drinks. When the doors opened to the public, with lunch provided by Baja Taco, Beacon Coffee’s employees were “a hell of a lot busier than we anticipated,” said Dotter. They had served an estimated 500 people by 1 p.m., he said.

The crowd reminded Dotter of the day Cornwall Coffee Co. & Mercantile opened. Some of the customers who frequent that location have journeyed to Beacon, he said. 

“I’m so happy that we chose Beacon,” said Dotter. 

Beacon Coffee Co. & Mercantile is open at 344 Main St., Suite 4, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

One thought on “Coffee with an ‘Artisanal’ Flair

  1. There should be a moratorium on coffee shops in Beacon. Bank Square and Trax were all that was needed on each side of town and God knows why there is a coffee shop that has cats crawling all over the place. [via Instagram]

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