May 24, 2023

Writing in Favor of Proposed Coffee Roastery on Witherspoon Street

To the Editor:

I want to register at least one voice in favor of Sakrid Coffee Roasters’ proposed coffee roastery at 300 Witherspoon Street in advance of the Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting on Wednesday, May 24. The main concern that opponents have voiced is the potential smell produced by the industrial coffee roasting process. This is a reasonable concern, but one that can be allayed by actually visiting a modern roastery. I’ve visited several industrial roasteries around the country and also roasted beans in my own kitchen during the pandemic. In all these cases, I have found the smell of roasting coffee totally unobjectionable, and even pleasant.

It’s worth remembering that Sakrid isn’t some soulless mega-corporation. It’s a small business that is already contributing to the community by providing a lovely gathering space at their location on Nassau Street. The idea that they would suddenly flip a switch and act contrary to the interests of the community and build a toxin-spewing pollution factory is implausible.

More broadly, we should encourage small businesses to move to Princeton and support entrepreneurs as they experiment and build. If we continue to put up barrier after barrier to doing anything remotely controversial, Princeton will become a living museum.

Ben Reinhardt
Birch Avenue