A husband and wife team are part of the revitalization of a once run-down building on Genesee Street in the form of a one-of-a-kind coffee shop.

Katie and Jesse Martin started their business as a mobile coffee service, inspired by their love of more than just the flavors. Katie says after a move to North Carolina, "coffee went from being just a drink to being introduced to an entire world of farmers, growing regions, roasters, and learning to taste coffee (much like you would wine). Beyond the delicious coffees we got to try, it was the story of coffee from farm to cup that grabbed our attention."

Once the couple moved back to Utica, they dreamed of opening a coffee shop that would feature unique roasts and emphasize the story behind the coffee. Enter Christine Martin and Ed Schmidt, who purchased the former Catholic Bookstore building at 171 Genesee Street in Utica. "(They) had heard of our pop-up business and reached out to discuss the possibility of building a coffee shop in their lobby!" according to Katie. Character Coffee was born.  

Credit: Katie Martin (Shop BEFORE)
Credit: Katie Martin (Shop AFTER)

Katie and Jesse say they really sought to "create an intentional space and provide a new environment for our community" while "focusing on an emphasis on approachability in the specialty coffee industry."

Character Coffee will be open beginning on December 12, from 7 am - 4 pm Monday through Friday, and will feature coffee, teas, chocolates, cookies and other items, from small businesses in Utica and beyond.