BERLIN – A new specialty coffee shop is the latest business to make Berlin its home.
The town held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Provision State Coffee Friday morning.
“A great coffee shop and a great place,” Berlin Mayor Mark Kaczynski said. “It’s wonderful to see the space here filling up with businesses. It’s great for Farmington Avenue and Berlin.”
Located at 848 Farmington Ave., Provision State offers coffee, tea and pastries. They have a rotating selection of baked items like cinnamon rolls and banana granola muffins, which are made in house. They also have breakfast items including yogurt with house made granola, super food breakfast cookies and rotating specialties.
“Our coffee comes from Little Wolf Coffee Roaster, a small batch roaster out of Ipswich, Mass. They’re intentional about the sourcing of their beans and roasting the beans to bring out the natural goodness and flavor in each bean,” said Pamela Zinn, co-owner.
The business, owned by Pamela and Wesley Zinn, was two years in the making, which included planning and finding the right location.
“We were able to design it and choose the amount of square footage we wanted according to our needs,” Pamela Zinn said.
Chris Edge, director of economic development for Berlin, said “I’m very excited to have been able to work very closely with them and we’re here in this beautiful building. I think the best part about coming here, too, is automatically your nose is grabbed by the smell of the coffee and what comes out the kitchen.”
It took about six months to transform the 1,700 square foot space.
“We wanted a clean, minimalistic feel and experience, but at the same time a place where people can come and feel peace; a place where they can get away from the business of life and rest and get coffee and good food and feel refreshed in a simple nice environment,” Wesley Zinn said. “We’ve always liked hospitality. Being a pastor we have many people at our house all the time and it tends to be people from the church. This is an opportunity to have hospitality in the community and to extend that to a broader community.”
There is an outdoor patio that will have outside seating and a community room.
“It’s kind of a semi-private space if you want to reserve that spot for a book club or any kind of business meetings,” Pamela Zinn said.
The bottom floor of the building, now owned by the Newport Realty Group, sat vacant for more than a decade.
“Basically almost to this day one year ago they bought this building; they came in did renovations from the very front of it back to the unsafe stairs,” Edge said “I’m so blessed that Provision State ended up here. We’ve been talking for a while and I think when they realized the big windows the spot it seems like purely a marriage made in heaven.”
Pamela Zinn shared she did feel it was definitely a risk opening during the pandemic.
“It (the pandemic) delayed us a few months, but we were able to engage an architect right before the shutdown in March,” she said.
They continued to move forward and are now open with six employees.
“We’ve lived in town for the last 20 years,” Zinn said. “When we first moved here I thought about opening a coffee shop, but it didn’t seem like the right time, but now 20 years later, here we are and I’m just thrilled.”
Provision State Coffee’s grand opening was Jan. 1.
“I figured it was a good way to bring in 2021,” Zinn said.
“Provision State is a lesser known nickname for the state of Connecticut. General George Washington dubbed Connecticut the Provision State back in the Revolutionary War because Connecticut provided more cannons and food to his armies than any other state,” Zinn said. “So we wanted to pull on the richness of the heritage that’s here in our state and also showcase as much local items as possible.”
Provision State Coffee is open Tuesday-Friday 7 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and is closed Sunday and Monday.
They will be donating 10% of their profits to projects that empower women in coffee producing countries and also in their local communities.