BELLMORE, New York -- Soul Brew is on a mission to be more than just your local coffee shop.
Long Island's Kristin Walsh has cultivated Soul Brew into a safe space to savor specialty coffee, admire local art, and take a moment to embrace the shop's good vibes.
Walsh grew up in the food industry, with her mom being a deli cook. Walsh eventually developed a love for coffee, starting as a barista at the age of 14.
Her passions lead her to develop the concept of Soul Brew, a coffee shop that feeds your soul with specialty drinks, music, art, food, and community.
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Walsh's first attempt to open Soul Brew fell through when a deal to buy a previous employer's business collapsed.
Worried and heartbroken that her vision of Soul Brew would never come to life, Walsh teamed up with Jeff and Nicole Petrocelli, who frequented the cafe and offered to back her concept.
Walsh then met her soon-to-be husband, Dean Lambros, who joined the group and brought his experience in branding to the table.
"We all kind of became this big family," Walsh said. "Every single step we take with Soul Brew, my partners and I are terrified. It is always scary, the unknown, but you only get one life. Usually, when you push past that threshold, it just gets easier every time, so you just have to say, 'Go for it.'"
Soul Brew opened its first location in St. James in November 2016; the second location in Huntington in September 2019; and now their third location in Bellmore this past March.
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"I just feel like it is a different environment, it's more relaxing," said Jordan Nastazio, a customer. "It's different, it's not like a Starbucks that has the same generic thing on the walls. It's more personable."
On Soul Brew's menu, you can find your traditional latte or go for something a little out there, like their Cinnabon latte or the Oreo coffee shake.
"Especially in a life that is so short-lived, like why not live it to the fullest," Walsh said. "Pursue your passion, I mean feed your soul. I can't say it enough. I listen to my gut with everything and I think if your gut is pushing you to do something it's for a reason. That's where you find your purpose in life."
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