Nestled in Ellenville on the foot of the Shawangunk Mountains, Morning Sunshine’s journey is as distinctive as its brews. The cafe initially began as a pop-up within the fall of 2021, serving espresso and pastries on the weekends out of Reservoir Studio, cofounders Victoria Messner and Natalia Moena’s full-service images, branding, and advertising agency. Now, two years later, Morning Sunshine has blossomed right into a brick-and-mortar vacation spot for extra than simply espresso fanatics. The standalone store, which opened its doorways in late Could, has expanded to full-service market, cafe, and specialty grocer all rolled into one.
Moena is a photographer and Messner specializes as a inventive director and graphic designer. Collectively, they mixed their respective backgrounds to enterprise into the world of foods and drinks. Moena’s expertise as a meals photographer in New York Metropolis’s restaurant business was particularly useful. Her meals business expertise—mixed with a pure love for cooking—complimented Messner’s branding and visible id abilities. When the time got here to launch Morning Sunshine, their collaborative abilities performed an important function. Now, Messner is answerable for the front-of-house, together with all the design and advertising, and Moena is heading up the kitchen.
Messner and Moena’s authentic pop-up was onerous to search out. This was very true when in comparison with their different meals enterprise, an out of doors farmer and artisan market known as Market on Market. This enterprise—based by the duo together with Kerhonkson resident Ryan Byrd and Michele Weisman of MOMEMADE Canine Treats—made a notable debut on the nook of the village’s Market and Middle streets. Nevertheless, Morning Sunshine’s pop-up at Reservoir Studio discovered itself on a quiet dead-end avenue, nestled behind different buildings, which restricted its visibility.
Regardless of the obscurity, lots of people confirmed as much as assist Morning Sunshine, and the success of the pop-up sparked the cofounders’s need to open a full time location. As soon as they realized they needed to open a standalone store, it took Messner and Moena a 12 months and a half to discover a appropriate area and renovate it. Priced out of downtown Ellenville, the duo finally situated an outdated storage constructing that hadn’t been used for roughly a decade. “It was simply damaged home windows, automotive elements—all that form of stuff,” says Messner.
Then adopted a 12 months of going via website plan approvals, negotiations with the Village of Ellenville’s Planning Board, after which the precise renovations. Fortunately, pals and locals got here collectively to assist the time-consuming course of. Matthew Bremer’s agency, Structure in Formation, helped them undergo the positioning plan approval. Chloe Rein, a pal with an inside structure background, aided with the design of the area. And all the carpentry, together with customized cabinetry, was carried out by John Glagola of Ellenville’s Studio Glagola.
The result’s an inside that mimics the texture of the unique pop-up. Excessive ceilings and open area function a reminder of Morning Sunshine’s humble origins inside a warehouse studio, which resembled an open storage. “It is very spacious and really calming. Nothing feels cramped, regardless that there’s lots of stuff in right here,” says Moena. Messner provides on: “It is a mixture of ethereal however playful. Like lots of our merchandise that we stock, it is about discovery and exploration.”
The expertise operating the pop-up store knowledgeable extra than simply the visible design of the brick-and-mortar. Having mastered espresso and pastries on the pop-up, the brand new store was capable of develop to a full kitchen with breakfast and lunch objects. Additionally they provide provisions like meat, cheese, and dry items.
On prime of the requisite egg sandwiches, the breakfast menu options a number of forms of cornbread, together with traditional, autumn spice, señorita, and mountain mama. For lunch, prospects can get considered one of many sandwiches alongside creamy lentils, protein salad, or a vegan farro grain bowl. There’s even the choice to construct a charcuterie board. There are additionally market objects to fill the pantry and grab-and-go merchandise for hikes.
A lot of the kitchen’s inventory comes from native sources. This contains charcuterie from Hurleyville’s La Salumina and eggs from Ellenville’s Ruddy Rock Farms. “Lots of the extra perishable items—like syrup or honey—we get domestically, however we’re additionally very a lot making an attempt to convey folks issues that they can not get domestically,” says Messner. “It’s a mixture of worldwide objects combined with native objects.”
Broadly, Messner and Moena hope that Morning Sunshine can fulfill wants inside the area people. The store’s 4 staff are women and girls who grew up in Ellenville, and Morning Sunshine has already linked with locals as its buyer base. “We do have weekenders and hikers coming from Minnewaska Park, however our regulars are individuals who have been born and grew up right here,” says Messner.
Morning Sunshine additionally exhibits native assist via varied collaborations and occasions. This previous Friday, Morning Sunshine partnered with Motion pictures In The Mountains, which presents free outside movie screenings, to point out the 1990 movie Mermaids. In addition to offering their very own poke bowls that evening, Morning Sunshine additionally partnered with Accord-based BjornQorn, who supplied free popcorn. They’ve additionally labored with Sideways—a wine, cider, and beer backyard on Ellenville’s Liberty Avenue—to supply sandwiches on the market there. And in its collab with Kerhonkson’s Borscht Belt-era Starlite Motel, Morning Sunshine provided snackle packing containers—sort out packing containers crammed with snacks.
“We’ve actually been on a mission to attempt to get folks enthusiastic about the place they dwell,” says Messner.