Irving Farm Coffee Roasters was founded in 1996 when David Elwell and Steve Leven opened a much-needed neighborhood café in Gramercy Park, hoping to provide a space where people could gather and drink great coffee. At a time before “handcrafted,” “organic,” and “fair-trade” had yet to enter the coffee drinker’s lexicon, the two trailblazing college friends distinguished their Gramercy shop from other java huts in New York by stocking it with specialty blends and single-origins. Shortly thereafter, they decided to convert a carriage house in bucolic Dutchess County into a roastery, determined to learn the craft of coffee roasting themselves. This proved to be more of a challenge than they’d anticipated: before the movement known as the Third Wave of Coffee revolutionized the industry in the late ‘90s, there weren’t as many resources available to novice roasters. But with help from friends and roasting mentors, as well as feedback from customers, they learned by doing and became pioneers in the exploding coffee scene in New York City. Fast-forward twenty years, and now Irving Farm is one of New York's most beloved hometown roasters with seven cafés, a bustling wholesale business, the only SCAA-certified Training & Education Loft in NYC, a brand new Roastery & Tasting Room, and a green coffee buying program led by Dan Streetman that focuses on direct relationships with farmers, sustainable practices, and a philosophy of quality over quantity.