This winter, the Trolley Stop Cafe opened as an early Christmas present to Highland. Situated at the bottom of a hill, across from a quaint church and surrounded by boutique stores, “inviting” is an understatement to describe the cafe’s ambiance.
A customer of the Trolley Stop Cafe and former New Paltz resident, Sue, who preferred to have her last name omitted, said that the cafe is “small, friendly and good for breakfast, which we didn’t have in Highland.” After dining there once, Sue claimed that she is eager to return.
A quaint atmosphere, complete with wainscot walls, vintage appliances and a cozy coffee bar with plenty of seating, greets anyone stepping into the cafe. The aroma of coffee delights and comforts the cafe’s patrons.
According to the owner, Janet Greene, “there has been so much community support here from the people of Highland.”
Even though she and her husband Darryl were worried about opening the cafe before the tourist season, business has remained “very steady.” Greene even sees the off season as an “opportunity to get to know all the locals” before the tourists start “swarming in.”
Darryl, a native to the Hudson Valley, began working in local restaurants as a teenager and worked with John Novi at the Canal House. It’s no wonder that the Trolley Stop Cafe has a five-star rating on Yelp with one reviewer stating “worth a trip just for Darryl’s special pancakes.”
Before the Trolley Stop Cafe, the Greene’s ran the Inn at Orchard Heights, located in a Queen Anne Victorian house in the Town of New Paltz. According to Janet, the couple decided to close the Inn due to the rise of Airbnbs in New Paltz and the surrounding areas.
Despite their experience in hospitality, the Greene’s acknowledge that they need to make adjustments, including gearing up for 12-hour work days and preparing breakfast for an unknown flow of customers.
“There’s a lot more to it than you realize before you open a restaurant,” Greene said.
Thankfully, the Greene’s daughters, Geneva and Alanna, will be lending their hand in the cafe’s functioning while their son Nathan, a student at SUNY New Paltz, helps out on the weekends.
According to Janet, Daryl wears many hats at the restaurant, working as a builder, plumber and electrician. His skills came in handy when the Greenes themselves needed to reconstruct the facade of the building.
The next obstacle that the family will face is predicted to come in the spring and summer as the tourist season approaches.
“I think that space is going to be a challenge,” Janet admitted. “We’re going to put a few tables out front, but other than that we don’t really have any way to expand… I don’t look forward to people lining up at the door and having to wait at the door to come in.”
Nevertheless, the Greenes are grateful for the support and steady flow that they have been met with thus far.
“We like it and I like that we’re keeping it intimate,” Janet said. “People are really liking the coziness of the decor and the whole sort of step back in time thing, that we’ve tried to accomplish.”
The Trolley Stop Cafe is open every day besides Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Mondays, the cafe is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information you can go to atrollystopcafe.com.