The Hamilton Community Welcomes The Rye Berry to Town

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The Rye Berry feels like the cozy space that Hamilton needed.

Jonathan Santiago, Arts & Features Editor

Business has been booming for The Rye Berry Bakery & Café since it opened on April 2. Owners Patrick and Krista Gramens are passionate about bringing together local producers and high-quality ingredients into all of their products. This choice is evident in the scrumptious breads and delicious pastries.

Patrick was inspired to open up a classic cafe in Hamilton. 

“We were living in Washington,, D.C. and coming up here to visit Krista’s family’s farm in Munnsville. I’ve wanted to open my own cafe since I was a kid and have always been passionate about baking and cooking,” Patrick said. 

“I lived overseas for a long time while in the Air Force before we moved to Washington D.C., and I noticed there was a lack of easily accessible good bread and baked goods when I moved back to the U.S. I thought this town – with a college closeby and being so walkable – made it a good place to open and live near our family,” Krista added.

Patrick and Krista’s business is focused on their artisanal breads and the cafe atmosphere. They plan on using their bakery as a study space similar to the way that Saxby’s and The Barge functioned in the past. 

“Having a cozy place to sit, work and drink coffee is so important. I didn’t really see that in this town. We wanted to make it a nice place for people to relax with a comfortable atmosphere,” Krista said.

Most spots in the cafe were occupied by students and families – some were reading in comfy armchairs while others worked on their laptops (as a bonus there’s free wifi!).

“My favorite things about [The Rye Berry] is having a place other than the library to sit and work. I love the cappuccinos. It’s close to my apartment which is also really nice,” senior Isabel Lankler said.

The music filling the cafe ranges from jazz to classic rock. The buzz of cafe talk is reminiscent of the typical urban cafe with a comfortable and familiar vibe. The very open floor plan of the cafe makes it feel at once spacious but also cozy.

Patrick and Krista feel their quality food and great atmosphere are what Hamilton needs. 

“Our bread is all made from organic flour from New York and Vermont. We try to keep everything as local as we can,” Patrick said. 

The “toastie” is one of their most popular products. It can be made with a variety of breads, toppings and spreads and is very affordable – ranging from $1.50 to $4.50   depending on what you order on it. 

“I like that it’s a place that I can come and do work that is a lot more enjoyable than Case [Geyer Library]. I got the toast with nutella and banana, and I really enjoyed it,” sophomore Harper Loeb said.

The coffee was wonderful and came in classic ceramic coffee cups. The Rye Berry purchases its coffee from Copper Horse in Ithaca and each drink is made by hand. The hot chocolate also looks particularly tasty.  

The food was delicious though some of the menu items were pricey – the french toast and eggs topped the charts at $12, but it is one of their most popular items, according to Pat; this must speak to the quality of the food that Rye Berry is producing.

“It’s easy for us to use products readily accessible in a rural area and to provide them to the people around here,” Krista said.

Patrick and Krista love how the business is functioning so far. Most of their customers say they like the bakery and what it offers.

“I really like the vibe of the cafe. The art is interesting and relaxing. The atmosphere was very conducive to social engagements and work. I can see myself working from here over the summer a lot. I’ll probably come back for the toasties! Though I wish they were open for more hours,” said Environmental Studies and Sustainability Office Program Coordinator Pamela Gramlich.

Other customers felt the same way. Once they get settled in, Patrick and Krista are hoping to extend the time they are open as well as the menu to serve lunch foods such as sandwiches and salads.

Contact Jonathan Santiago at [email protected]