New café set to open at former Muddy Waters storefront

Renee Livingston officially became the new owner of the Main Street coffee shop formerly known as Muddy Waters on Friday Oct. 31. Renovations on the storefront are currently underway and doors are predicted to open in mid-December. Livingston, who has resided in areas ranging from Washington D.C. to Syracuse, spent the last few years searching for an ideal spot to open her first coffee shop. When the opportunity to purchase Muddy Waters arose, she could not resist.

“I had this vision of a place where the community could gather,” she said. “Muddy Waters has provided that before and is the perfect place for me to create my shop.”

Livingston plans to completely redo the interior; incorporating new furniture, wall paint and art into a rustic atmosphere with help from family, friends and the community. She hopes to include a rotating art gallery as well, which will showcase art from students and the local community.

As for beverages and snacks, the new business owner strives to keep things simple. “I would like things to be consistent and done well,” Livingston said.

This means traditional teas, coffees, lattes and mochas will dominate the menu, with a few specialty and seasonal drinks on the side.

“I have an amazing recipe for a sea salted iced coffee I want to try,” Livingston said.

She explained that all of the coffee will be locally grown and purchased, further engaging the community. She also plans to have a small menu of smoothies made from fresh fruit and vegetables.

The same supplier will be providing Livingston’s shop with the renowned bagels that Muddy Waters served. Livingston will be making many goods as well, offering an array of simple sandwiches, waffles and treats.

Through COMN 200: Theory & Practice of Public Relations, taught by professor of communication Mary Mohan, the Geneseo Marketing Association has taken on the challenge of marketing the new shop. Business administration major senior Lauren Hollasch has played an active role in publicity and branding for then new business.

“It is going to be a great addition to Main Street,” Hollasch said. “The student population will have a new place to hang out, do work and grab a cup of coffee.”

Livingston wants to work with these students to rebrand and start fresh.

“Changing the name is important to me,” she said. “I would rather have a fresh start, so people can judge the place for itself.”

The coffee shop will ultimately become another social venue for students to both study and relax off campus. According to Livingston, the main goal is simply to create a place of comfort for people to stop by, hang out and enjoy a cup of coffee.