From booking to brewing: Lowville couple seeks grant to turn old village jail into coffee roastery

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 5:11 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A Lowville couple is up for a state grant to redo a village building that once housed a jail. They want to expand their coffee roasting business, Tug Hill Artisan Roasters.

Renovations are underway, and the historic building is getting quite a facelift. Scott and Vanessa Gilbert purchased the old jail on South State Street.

“Everything just kind of fell into place,” said owner Scott Gilbert.

Fixing up the structure has been a multi-step process. Work is nearly done on the bakery, and after that, they’ll finish up the roasting room and make it accessible to people with disabilities.

“This elevator will give access to all three floors,” Gilbert said. “The basement, the first, and second floor. That’s going to be a huge step.”

Gilbert said the bakery is on track to open up early next month, but there’s still a lot of work left to do.

“Because we’re quite a ways away, obviously,” he said.

Later down the line, the Gilbert’s are planning to convert some rooms at the front of the building into a cafe.

There’s plenty of unused space in the building. Old cell blocks may end up being converted into an apartment in the near future.

“There will be some office space, or classroom space. Really, the sky is the limit. There’s lots of different possibilities for that space up there,” he said.

By expanding their business, the Gilbert’s will also be able to bring on additional staff, for both brewing and baking.