CapNY Small Biz: Upstate Coffee Collective

Sipping on a freshly brewed cup of their flagship coffee blend, Matt Pfeifer, Co-Founder of Upstate Coffee Collective, said that if he could connect with every one of CapNY’s million residents, he would spread the value of drinking ethically sourced, carefully crafted coffee.

Coffee & Community

Co-founder Kevin Miner and his friend Matt

The small business venture started when Kevin Miner, co-founder of Upstate Coffee Collective, invited his longtime friend Matt to kru Coffee in Saratoga Springs. Kevin worked at kru to learn the ins-and-outs of coffee science & culture. He shared his knowledge with Matt — the science, method, and trial & error behind that caffeine deliciousness. They decided to form a small coffee club with others who shared their passion. VOILA! The Upstate Coffee Collective community was born.

The Pandemic & The Pivot

Coffee beans being prepared

The community quickly grew. About 30 people a month were showing up to their gatherings to taste and to learn more about coffee. Then Covid hit. They pivoted, developed a website, a podcast and an online retail store. There they shine a spotlight on people in CapNY doing cool things, through the lens of coffee. The online retail store highlights special roasts and shares stories of origins, producers and roasters. Matt said, “So many hands touch coffee on the way to your cup. Farmers are making a living on this agriculture, and we need to tell their stories.”

CapNY Entrepreneurship

Matt public speaking

When asked the CapNY coffee community, Matt said, “Other coffee shop owners have been very supportive and are happy we’re chasing our dreams. They support us and we support them. It didn’t take much for me to make valuable business connections. People are so willing to hear your story and learn about your startup. I believe CapNY is in its infancy for major transformation in entrepreneurship. hat we have now is incredible, but I see the possibility of something greater on the horizon.”

Connect with Upstate Coffee Collective!

Photo credit: Kieran Mangels and Nick Rovazzini


Written by: Gabby Fisher

Gabby is a serial entrepreneur living solo with her toy poodle, Mochi, in Schenectady. She also happens to be the Senior Producer on the CapNY branding initiative!