WHAT WE LOVE: An eco-conscious coffee shop with an out front, inviting “urban backyard” that changes with the seasons. Relax, and enjoy a handcrafted drink, such as the popular floral lattes, and a delicious mini-succulent cupcake. Also pet friendly with a refreshing bowl of water for four-legged friends.
WHERE: In NYC’s Nolita neighborhood.
WHO: Husband and wife partners, Martin & Cindy.
What makes Urban Backyard so unique? Our practices are eco-conscious and our green ethos is reflected through our interior, handcrafted drinks and tasty treats. We keep things as package free and less waste as possible to encourage others to reduce their waste. We offer locals a “take a pot, leave a pot” initiative. Customers drop off their unwanted plant pots that get reused by other customers instead of throwing them away with the trash. Also, we always encourage reusables and even offer a discount when you bring your own cup (BYOC).
Martin Abcede, shopkeeper at Urban Backyard
Is there a story behind the shop name, Urban Backyard? We wanted to create a backyard environment for our locals to enjoy coffee and be surrounded by plants – like an urban oasis.
Why did you open Urban Backyard? When you live in a city, like NYC, you are usually out of touch with the outdoors and connect less and less with the natural world. When we are in nature, we feel more creative, healthy, and alive, so we wanted to create an experience where you can keep in touch with nature. We also wanted to create an environment that encouraged sustainability and that promoted eco-friendly alternatives. Using coffee as a platform, we integrated everything into our little urban oasis.
What did you do before opening Urban Backyard? We both worked for large companies. Martin has a background in business management and Cindy has a creative background.
Your favorite thing about owning an independent shop? We get to do what we love and connect with people from all over.
What are your favorite local independent businesses? Mudhufalla green planet organics, Parisi Bakery, Cocoron, Landmark Diner, Lombardi’s and Casey’s rubber stamps.
What are your favorite shops? BigReuse, Green Fingers Market, Evelina restaurant, Noah clothing and Hatchet Outdoor Supply Co.
ON THE FUTURE OF RETIAL
“Social shopping is the future of retail. For a retail to be successful in the future, they need to consider their e-commerce and social media presence more than ever.
“The pandemic has obviously changed how we shop, fueling more online shopping, so technology and social media will play a part on how retail will evolve.”
“We hope to see more and more retailers consider their impact on the environment. In every decision they make, to how they operate, to a products end life, businesses should think of how to avoid creating waste.”
180 Mulberry Street, NYC