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The Little Peck's storefront is just down the street from Peck's Arcade. (They share the same building.) Vic Christopher said the front windows of the space will eventually be replaced with windows that open up to the street.

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Little Peck's lead barista Katryn Malen.

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Little Peck's is sourcing coffee from Tandem Coffee Roasters in Portland, Maine.

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A hallway leads from the front of the cafe past a kitchen area and into a space that will have seating.

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That space, in turn, opens up to the shared patio with The Confectionery.

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Owners Heather LaVine and Vic Christopher.

A quick look around Little Pecks

Little Peck's interior

The latest addition to the collection of downtown Troy businesses created by Heather LaVine and Vic Christopher -- Little Pecks -- is set to start serving coffee this Friday. And a soft opening with a menu of food items is lined up for the end of next week.

The concept: A cafe open morning through the evening that serves drinks, pastries, lunch-type dishes, and grab-and-go items.

Here's a quick look around the space, along with a few bits about what's planned, and a few bonus tracks...

Photos

There a handful of photos above in large format -- click or scroll all the way up.

A little bit about what's in store at Little Peck's

Little Peck's is in the same building at 217 Broadway that houses Peck's Arcade -- the two spaces are separated by just a few feet -- and it occupies a renovated space that formerly housed The Grocery. The cafe space also backs onto the shared retractable-roof patio that's between 217 Broadway and The Confectionery building around the corner.

The menu is shaping up to include breakfast pastries and lighter lunch fare such as tartine-style open-face sandwiches and grain bowls. Nick Ruscitto, the executive chef for Peck's Arcade, says the goal is to provide people with some healthy options that are also a little different: "We like to take something everyone's doing and say, 'OK, we're not going to do that.' Like, at Peck's Arcade we were like we're not going to do steak ever. So we've been a year and half open and we're busy every night, but no steak. Just trying to change the way people around here eat and give them different options."

Vic Christopher said there were a few different motivations for choosing Little Pecks as their next venture. One of them was to make more use of that covered patio space shared with The Confectionery, which they often use to host events but usually doesn't get a lot of use during the day.

"So, to me, this has been our most underutilized asset," Christopher said to us as we stood in the patio area, the warm midday sun streaming in through the roof.

The cafe also expands the the hours of operation for their cluster of businesses -- the plan is to be open from 6 am to 9 pm.

"I feel deflated when nothing's happening here, when it's not busy ... I want people and life and activity. And if Little Pecks is well received, this place should be very busy in a couple of weeks."

"I feel deflated when nothing's happening here, when it's not busy." Christopher said. "I want people and life and activity. And if Little Peck's is well received, this place should be very busy in a couple of weeks."

Another major motivation for opening the cafe: It provides room for their staff to grow and try new things. Christopher said Greg Kern, the ace pastry chef for Peck's Arcade, will be the lead on Little Pecks and they're happy the new challenge allows them to hold on to him.

"So, for us, it's about the people around us and our team. And that's now become the top priority for our organization: retaining talent and acquiring new talent. And that's more important than anything."

Bonus tracks

Whenever we interview Vic Christopher he always has a lot to say about a lot of different things. So here are some "bonus tracks" from this week -- they're audio snippets from the interview.

On the process of opening a new place

On fostering and retaining talented people

On their management style

On downtown Troy right now and the opportunity in small cities

Earlier and elsewhere

+ Eater: Vic Christopher and Heather LaVine: Bringing Community Back to Troy

+ AOA: A look inside Peck's Arcade (2015)

+ AOA: Checking out The Grocery in Troy (2013)

+ AOA: The Confectionery (2012)

Find It

Little Pecks
211 Broadway
Troy, NY 12180

Comments

I am digging the use of audio. Could an All Over Albany podcast be in the works?

Are we at last being rescued from the great vacuum of mediocrity that is the Capital District coffee scene? Is this the fulfillment of our shining hope that we may one day have an actual, honest-to-God, GOOD coffee shop? Will this become our go-to place for writing and working? Will this raise the bar for the entire region, showing other coffee shops the error of their ways? Please, oh please. We've been suffering a long time. The struggle is real.

I would be all for a AOA podcast!

@Daniel. Thanks. A podcast is... a possibility. We've been reluctant to do it just because of the time involved, but more people have been asking for one. I think some of it is figuring out what sort of format we'd like to do and then deciding whether it's something we can sustain.

(I gotta say, though, that editing those clips was giving me public radio flashbacks.)

@sara who do you think serves the best coffee in the area

@Daniel and @Greg another vote for an AOA podcast ;-)
Fun addition to post the audio, I like it.

I'm not sure how long someone expects to get free office space for the price of a cup of coffee, but still . . . if you haven't tried Spillin' The Beans, what the heck?

I went yesterday to grab a coffee before work and was so happy. Usually at that time (boooo early job!) all that's available on my route to work is Dunkin, Stewarts or miscellaneous gas station coffee.

Count me in as pro-AOA podcast!

@Sara & @a, Superior Merchandise just brought some of the best coffee _in the world_ to Troy last week. (Drop Coffee Roasters).

Stacks/Superior/LP are the trinity of "Actually Good Coffee" in the area. Nothing else meets the actual definition of specialty coffee.

> "the highest-quality green coffee beans roasted to their greatest flavor potential by true craftspeople and then properly brewed to well-established SCAA developed standards. Specialty coffee in the green bean state can be defined as a coffee that has no defects and has a distinctive character in the cup, with a score of 80 or above when graded according to SCAA Standards."

Podcast yes!

And maybe more news about other folks doing stuff in Troy.
Spread the wealth as they say.

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