Kestrel Coffee Roasters lands in a growing part of downtown Burlington
A coffee roasting company named after a bird has found a third place to land, in a developing neighborhood in downtown Burlington.
What is the place?
Co-owners Charlotte and Johnny Stevenson opened Kestrel Coffee Roasters’ third location on March 23. The new space is at 77 Pine St., in the building near the west end of Bank Street that houses the People’s United Bank.
Kestrel serves coffee, naturally, from filter coffee to cappuccino, macchiato, espresso and lattes. The space for up to 15 customers inside also offers tea, chai and soft drinks as well as sandwiches and baked goods including scones, muffins, cookies and brownies.
Johnny, who oversees the coffee roasting, said the couple come up with coffee they want to drink, but also step out of their comfort zone for adventurous varieties. If a customer doesn’t care about a particular coffee, he said Kestrel employees would ask, “What can I do for you?” to help the visitor build a personalized experience.
Kestrel prices include in-built tips and taxes. Charlotte said it helps simplify currency exchanges for customers and balances the pay scale for her employees.
“Everyone gets paid appropriately,” she said, “and we really believe in that.”
What’s the story behind it?
Charlotte Steverson is from Westchester County, New York. Mississippi native Johnny Steverson spent time in Vermont attending the now defunct New England Culinary Institute. The couple lived near New York but decided to move to Vermont to open the first Kestrel Coffee Roasters location in 2018.
This Technology Park location in South Burlington has a cafe, but it’s also where Kestrel roasts its coffee and makes its baked goods. The couple wanted a roaster on display there to make the specialty coffee less mystifying.
“We’re committed to making specialty coffee a little more accessible,” Charlotte said.
They had no plans to expand, but when their friends at the Maglianero Café on Maple Street in Burlington decided to retire from the business, the Steversons opened their second Kestrel store there. “We are waiting for the right opportunities”, according to Charlotte.
The next good opportunity led to their third location on Upper Pine Street. Nedde Real Estate converts space People’s United Bank no longer needs into apartments and built a second apartment complex just south of the bank. The Steversons said business has been good so far at Kestrel’s new location; they expect this to increase even more as people moving into the hundreds of new apartments continue to arrive and bank workers begin to return to the office after working from home for much of the past two years. during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It seemed like a perfect fit,” Charlotte said of the Pine Street location.
Since the new site is a renovated space and not a cafe that previously existed, Kestrel owners were able to make decisions about how the space would be aligned.
“Any barista will tell you they want to design their own bar,” Charlotte said.
Times and place
Kestrel Roasters, 77 Pine Street, Burlington. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Saturday. www.kestrelcoffees.com
Contact Brent Hallenbeck at [email protected] Follow Brent on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BrentHallenbeck.