Meet Julie Crowley at Ithaca Coffee Company
For Julie Crowley, founder and owner of Ithaca Coffee Company, business management skills are in her blood. Her family operates Triphammer Wines and Spirits (formerly Crowley Liquors), a wine and liquor store with sites in and around Ithaca, and has done so successfully since the early 1940s.
Julie eventually ended up working for and taking ownership of the liquor store but not before taking the time to explore her options after graduating from Lansing High School. She earned degrees from Niagara University and Boston College and traveled around the country. She worked in Texas, Oregon, and Alaska before returning to Ithaca in 2002.
“My father was looking to move his liquor store to another part of town, so I offered to come back to Ithaca to help him with that move,” explains Julie. “It didn’t take long after my return to decide that I wanted to start my own business in the area.”
In 2004, just two years after she started working for the family enterprise, Julie purchased Gourmet Delights, a small local gourmet market and coffee roaster in Lansing and renamed it Ithaca Coffee Company. Three years after its opening in Lansing, Ithaca Coffee Company expanded, adding a site at 311 E. Green Street in the newly constructed Gateway Plaza in downtown.
“I saw opening a site in Gateway as a great opportunity for our business. The coffee shop is in a convenient location — off the east end of the Commons — for downtown visitors and those who live in or near Gateway. There’s a lot of construction going on in the area — don’t let that scare you. It’s worth the walk,” says Crowley.
Ithaca Coffee Company is a café that prides itself on producing high-quality house-roasted coffee and espresso drinks, serving fresh-baked goods and specialty sandwiches from its bakery and selling multiple types of packaged coffee flavors in a relaxing setting. It is the perfect spot to enjoy a tasty breakfast or lunch while socializing with family or friends. It’s also a great place to relax while sipping a cup of freshly brewed coffee. In addition to refueling yourself with a caffeinated beverage or a tasty baked good, visitors can also enjoy a variety of locally produced craft beer and wine at the tavern nestled in the rear of the coffee shop. The tavern has 10 rotating tap lines that showcase both local beer and craft beer from all over the country!
You should stop by the tavern on Thursdays for a free beer tasting from 5-7 p.m. and there’s a happy hour every Friday from 4 – 6 p.m. And, there’s more! Ithaca Coffee Company also carries the area’s largest selection of home brewing supplies, including wine and beer kits and fresh grains, malts, and hops.
“With a focus on coffee to start the day and the tavern towards the end of the day, we are able to create a steady flow of business. Our staff brings a variety of specialty skills and various backgrounds, which contributes to the variety of products we offer, and the quality we produce,” says Crowley.
Outside of operating Ithaca Coffee Company, the Crowley family is quite active with fundraising for Alzheimer’s of Central New York (ACNY). In 2007, the Crowley’s founded “An Evening to Remember,” a gala held annually to benefit ACNY. The event features wine and spirits, a beer garden, food from local restaurants and a silent auction. In 2017, Triphammer Wines & Spirits and Ithaca Coffee Company raised more than $60K for ACNY at the gala. They also contribute a portion of their packaged coffee sales to this non-profit organization.
Julie also plays an active role in the community as a member of the Cayuga Medical Foundation Board of Directors and she previously served on the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, Challenge Workforce Solutions and ACNY boards.
For more information about Julie, you can visit her at Ithaca Coffee Company’s Lansing location. For additional information about Ithaca’ Coffee Company’s downtown site, visit downtownithaca.com or ithacacoffeecompany.com.