34 DECEMBER 2 0 1 9
Photos by Luis Bruno
Village and is based on sustainability and
unique coffee brews.
Barista and Astoria resident Apostolos
Theofanidis, who lived in Greece up until
about a year ago when he moved to New
York City, has a clear passion for coffee,
specifically what Joe Coffee stands for.
“They take care of the environment, care
about the trees, about the coffee trees,
about the farm,” Theofanidis said.
So far, some of the best-selling drinks that
Theofanidis and the other baristas have created
are the turmeric ginger chai latte and
freddo espresso cappuccino.
“I think it was very important to open a
store like this with specialty coffee,” Theofanidis
Vanila N Bean has a visually appealing,
cute design, down to its logo, which
features Vanila with one “L” because the
spacing made it more aesthetically pleasing.
The atmosphere is paired with friendly
workers and baristas to make the whole
place feel more welcoming. The staff is
made up of a diverse range of people,
from baristas with 15 years of experience
to younger people who are still in school.
Each member of the staff was carefully
chosen, with over 70 people interviewing
for about six spots.
Much of what sets this gelato shop apart
from others is its positive “vibe,” according
“We’re probably the only store you’ll ever
see to wave you in and smile,” Ali said.
Astoria resident of 52 years Gladys Ruis
said she has come to Vanila N Bean every
day since it opened to get an espresso. Ali
said most of the workers know her, and they
say hello to her everytime she passes the
store, even when she is not coming in to
“They are so wonderful, all of them. They
treat the people so nice,” Ruis said.
For more information, and to keep up to
date with the opening date of the new location,
Vanila N Bean
37- 06 DITMARS BLVD., ASTORIA
40-12 34TH AVE., ASTORIA
(OPENING FEB. 2020)
FOOD + DRINK