POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- The secret to a good cup of coffee might be right here in Poughkeepsie.
The Ugly Mug recently opened at 39 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. The coffee shop is run by Ori Brachfeld, a town councilman in Fishkill. Brachfeld also runs Dash Lock and Key, a locksmith company.
Brachfeld, a former chairman of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, said everything at Ugly Mug is sourced locally, from the coffee and tea to the syrup, greens, and bread.
"We're trying to keep our neighbors working," Brachfeld. "We want to be a local employment agency. There's a difference when it's made locally and not shipped in."
Inspiration struck Brachfeld in late 2014 when he was walking around Poughkeepsie looking for a cup of coffee.
"I couldn't find anything on Market Street," Brachfeld said. "I couldn't find a place to get a cappuccino. I started to create the coffee shop in my head."
And in keeping with his commitment to local, all of the construction and equipment was locally sourced.
"The motto of the chamber is to think local first," Brachfeld said. "It was already ingrained in me. Why not keep our businesses and neighbors working?"
Brachfeld is also hoping to get a boost from being next to the Bardavon 1869 Opera House. The Ugly Mug will close its doors when they are open so as not to compete.
Brachfeld said the secret to a good cup of coffee is having a great barista and he thinks he's found someone in Breanna Keeler. Keeler put together the place's signature drink- which includes cayenne, honey, steamed milk, and espresso.
"It may sound weird, but it's something else," Brachfeld said. "Her coffee jumped out of the cup. To have a professional making drinks, it really makes a difference. She's awesome."
Owning two totally different businesses might seem like a challenge, but Brachfeld is confident he can pull it off. He plans to put one of his locksmith shops behind The Ugly Mug, which means customers who accidentally lock their keys in the car when they run in to get coffee will be in luck.
"I am blessed to have excellent employees," Brachfeld said. "I'm still working as a locksmith, turning screwdrivers every day."
A longtime resident of Dutchess, living in Fishkill with a Beacon mailing address, Brachfeld has always been about giving back to the community. Aside from serving as councilman, he was also on a committee to bring economic development into Beacon. When firefighters were battling a fire nearby the Ugly Mug, Brachfeld served them coffee and donuts.
"You can't just take from the community, you have to give back," Brachfeld said. "That's the number one belief in my heart. I volunteer for whatever I can. It's very important."
When it comes to his caffeine fix, Brachfeld said he loves three shots of Americano, three shots of espresso with half and half and sugar.
"It really wakes you up," Brachfeld said. "It's really good."