Muddy Waters Café aims to fill essential college niche

A new coffeehouse on Main Street promises a friendly atmosphere where patrons can relax and enjoy freshly made drinks and foods.

"A good college town needs a good coffee house," said Jacob Kane, owner of the newly opened Muddy Waters Café at 53 Main St.

Originally from Brockport, Kane is familiar with the college town setting and said he was inspired by Geneseo students claiming that good coffee is a rarity here.

Kane had already been operating a Muddy Waters Café in Rochester when communication professor Mary Mohan contacted him last spring. With Kane's permission, one of Mohan's classes worked with Kane's business to form a public relations and marketing campaign. Working with these students spurred Kane to open a second branch in Geneseo. Had he not talked to the students, Kane said he "would have no inclination to look down here at all."

Muddy Waters takes great pride in serving only organic Fair Trade coffee and tea.

"The coffee I'm buying ensures that growers receive a sustainable wage," said Kane. "If you have a choice, why not buy something that is good for everyone?"

Because many modern coffee growers receive scant wages, Kane said he believes wholeheartedly in the use of fair trade products as an important feature of his establishment.

Muddy Waters also serves a variety of chai drinks and Yerba Mate tea. The menu currently includes several freshly-baked goods and will soon debut Panini sandwiches and homemade soups.

The coffee shop is named after famous blues musician Muddy Waters, one of Kane's favorite artists. Kane plays in a blues band and said since he feels music is an important aspect of any coffee house. He intends to hold an Open Mic Night every Wednesday from about 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

"The setup is mainly for acoustic music and there will be a guitar player here if someone wants to be accompanied," Kane said. "I think it's a great alternative to the bar scene."

Although opening a new business can often be a daunting task, Kane said he feels up to the challenge.

"We are ready to work with the community and offer a place with personality for people to get together," he said. "We're very happy to be here and we're having a lot of fun."

Muddy Waters is open seven days a week and holds extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays.