Port Jefferson family to open Druthers Coffee in Stony Brook


While working at Stony Brook University for the last 20 years, Kathryne Piazzola noticed something missing in the area.

“There is a need for a local place to hang out in and enjoy some really good coffee,” said the Port Jefferson resident.

That’s why she left her job at the university’s research office on Wednesday to launch Druthers Coffee at 1113 Route 25A in the new Stony Brook Square development.

This will be a family affair, as Piazzola is teaming up with her husband Kevin Phieffer, son Zachary Russell, and son-in-law Michael Buchholz for the endeavor.

“We are over the moon [about this project],” said Piazzola. “I couldn’t imagine better business partners.”

The idea for the coffee shop originated from Russell and Buchholz, who both worked as baristas on Long Island and New York City.

“Zachary and I have worked in coffee for a few years now — we are passionate, and slightly addicted,” said Buchholz. “We wanted to bring some of our favorite coffees to the town that we live in now.”

Four years ago, the family — who all live in Port Jeff — acquired the property on Route 25A. They say is a perfect location with its proximity to the university and LIRR station.

“We want to be the bridge to the neighborhood and the university,” said Piazzola. “I know everybody in the university would love somewhere to walk, to see something different.”

Druthers is eyeing an early 2020 opening.

Now to the coffee.

At Druthers, which will have 16 seats and standing areas, there will be a variety of beverage options from a selection of teas to different coffees.

“We’re going to have drip coffee, single-origin coffees on rotating on a monthly basis, and espresso-based drinks cappuccinos and lattes,” said Russell. “We’re also going to have fun, seasonal special drinks too.”

There will also be baked goods made in house, as well as breakfast and lunch fare.

“We want to provide an elevated experience but with a product that is affordable,” said Russell.

The 2,000-square-foot space will have a homey, cozy vibe with its wood paneling and warm lights.

The inside will also pay homage to the area.

“We are really trying to bring historical design details into our space as a focus,” said Buchholz. “Even though everything is new, we want it to feel like its always been here, a part of the neighborhood.”

Outside view of Druthers Coffee in Stony Brook on Route 25A

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