By Sophia Ricco
The signature roasts of Southdown Coffee that bring smiles to sippers’ lips were recently recognized as some of the best in the nation. Owner Mark Boccard recently brought home a third-place trophy for roasting from the 2019 US Coffee Championships held last month in Kansas City, Mo.
Not bad for a five-year-old coffee shop.
Southdown Coffee had a grassroots start with Boccard selling his roasts at farmer’s markets in 2014. He opened Southdown Coffee in Huntington shortly after.
From the start Boccard was eager to share his knowledge of coffee with the community. Customers received it with open arms.
And they continue to; Southdown Coffee opened a second location in Oyster Bay two years ago and will soon reach Glen Cove.
“My motivation was the same then as it is now, to bring top quality coffee to communities on Long Island, hiring and training serious coffee professionals who want to build careers with me or in the industry,” Boccard said. “These days I think just as much about how we’re going to provide enriching jobs with career potential as how we’re going to make good coffee.”
Don’t just ask him. Ask the judges at the coffee championship where Boccard placed third in the nation. The championship puts roasters to the test by asking them to “green grade” raw coffee beans, make a roast plan and roast it onsite. Boccard was delighted to get “a big thumbs up” from his fellow coffee-enthusiasts.
“I got involved in the competition because I thought it would be a good way to prove to the world that great coffee does exist on Long island,” Boccard said.
Java fans who step into Southdown Coffee are greeted by a giant roaster wafting the rich, aromatic scent throughout the shop. This is how the business currently roasts but Boccard plans to move this operation to the larger space in Glen Cove. At any given time, Southdown Coffee stocks several varieties and blends of coffee, in store and online through wholesale.
“Things we look for when buying coffee: high quality, sustainable farming, transparency of supply chain and how it tastes,” Boccard said.
Southdown Coffee’s espresso menu offers selections ranging from espresso-dominant to milky and frothy beverages. A classic cafe item, the latte ($4.50/5) is light with just enough foam on top, while rich notes of espresso still shine through. Bold flavors are found with the cortado ($4), that puts the espresso center stage. It’s a great pick-me-up.
“Our coffee menu focuses on bringing in a range of unique, high quality coffees from around the world,” Boccard said. “We obsess over roasting and maintaining our brewing standards in the cafes.”
While coffee may be the center of Boccard’s universe, he recognizes his customers don’t exist on caffeine alone. The Huntington location began selling a breakfast menu with a variety of egg sandwiches, burritos, tacos and extras. The breakfast tacos ($8) spice up eggs with chorizo, guacamole, salsa, and crema mexicana to make for a messy but satisfying bite. Handmade corn tortillas give it an authentic taste.
Given a name to match it’s popularity, the famous egg sandwich ($8) has won over the hearts of customers. Homemade tomato butter and bacon add a fresh and savory element.
Boccard admits the shop can get hectic, particularly in the morning. To aid efficiency he’s brought in an additional register, and once roasting operations have moved, more space will be available to sit.
“It’s definitely difficult to maintain standards as we get busy, but our crew does an excellent job. I will admit I never anticipated our food program being so popular so we’ve had to tweak things a lot over the years,” Boccard said.
Boccard is excited to open Southdown Coffee’s newest location in Glen Cove this May. He hopes to continue to provide quality products and service to customers, who have supported the business over the years.
“We always want to create a welcoming atmosphere,” Boccard said. “The positivity of our customers has always made this really easy too.”
210-B Wall St, Huntington