October 2021: A Letter from our Founder
From my perch at our Brooklyn roastery, I’m grateful to see New York City steadily regaining its inimitable always-on hum. Make no mistake, the scene has changed: the rules of engagement have shifted (mask and shots required!) and the current of our collective electricity has been rerouted, leaving the once densely packed commercial corridors for residential neighborhoods and green spaces, weaving through the city according to a new wiring that’s yet to find its final frequency. Things may look different from where you stand, but the essence of our hometown seems to me to be intact. New Yorkers are nothing if not resilient, and we’re still proud to call this iconic metropolis home.
When I founded Parlor nearly nine years ago, I set out with the belief that Brooklyn deserved a world-class roaster to call its own. In those initial moments, after we opened our humble pop-up espresso bar in the back of a Williamsburg barbershop, it was clear that I had embarked on a daunting voyage—something like taking to the ocean alone with a small life raft and a lot of optimism. Thankfully, with a little luck and a lot of support and belief from loved ones, friends, and business partners, I managed to survive those initial squalls. When the fury of Hurricane Sandy arrived in New York a few weeks later, I recall wondering if it was a sign to proceed no further, to turn around immediately. But I persisted full speed ahead, stubbornly convinced that if I just kept serving the best espresso to those bold or curious enough to make their way to the back of the crowded barbershop, I might just cut through the noise and build a coffee company.
Since those early days, much has changed: we’ve long since shuttered the barbershop pop-up, our team has grown to more than fifteen people, and thankfully we’ve stopped doing everything ourselves. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to each origin where we purchase our coffee, forming bonds with growers, agronomists, traders, exporters, mill operators, and more. The pace of it all has rarely afforded me the opportunity to step back and take stock of what we’ve built. But in truth, we’re only getting started. We’ve always aimed to deliver you the best damn cup, and I promise that will never change.