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Couple opening coffee roasting business in old county jail

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 3:57 PM EST
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LOWVILLE, New York (WWNY) - Java and jail. The two don’t seem to go together, but a Lewis County couple has a unique opportunity to bring a roasting operation to the old county jail site.

It may look like any old backyard shed from the outside, but on the inside, it’s home to Tug Hill Artisan Roasters.

The business was founded by Scott Gilbert, his brother, and a family friend and is now run by Gilbert and his wife, Vanessa.

“Vanessa and I really enjoy coffee roasting and running our own small business,” said Scott.

Right now, he says they don’t have enough space in Castorland for their entire operation, so they decided to move to State Street in Lowville, putting everything under one roof. The building has unique history.

“The 1860′s is when the sheriff’s residence was built. That’s the front part of the building and then it was later on in the 1930′s that they added on the jail,” said Vanessa.

The Gilberts say after looking at several properties, they saw potential in the space that has sat empty for more than decade.

“It’s a fixer upper to say the least,” said Vanessa.

They hope it’ll become their production hub with its own cafe as well as a destination for those near and far.

“Provide a space in the community that would attract other people in, tourists in, and showcase what our county has to offer,” said Vanessa.

The Gilberts say it will be some time before they are up and running, but they’re excited to one day open the doors.

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