The pandemic has been tough on local businesses, yet simultaneously opened opportunities for small entrepreneurs, especially in the cafe space. In Greenpoint, Green Lane Coffee and Espresso Paloma both turned unused spaces into coffeeshops in 2020, and now Maison Tsuru (428 Humboldt St.) is doing the same, repurposing a glossy former check-in desk as a barista station.

“We believe neighborhood cafes are anchors within their community,” said Maison du Tsuru co-owner Dies Christine. “We want to serve our neighbors and grow in community. Want everyone feel and think about the pandemic is not always bad.” Of course, Christine notes, the loss and suffering was terrible, but while stuck inside during the first lockdown, as an unemployed barista, she had time to think about her passion and the value she wanted to provide her neighborhood. Creating a community space was fundamental to her, and she couldn’t wait.

Tsuru, which means crane in Japanese, symbolizes many things, including longevity, fidelity, peace, hope and healing in challenging times, which Maison du Tsuru wanted to highlight in the business. “We hope have longevity, long relationship with all people, all customers in the neighborhood,” Christine said. “Once they step in to our coffee shop, they will feel peace and restore hope in their heart, especially during challenging times.”

Maison du Tsuru currently serves drip coffee, espresso drinks, matcha, apple cider and tea, as well as French pastries from Le Petit Paris. Daily offerings range from different flavors of croissants as well as Kouign amanns, cheddar chive scones, gluten free chocolate walnut cookies, macarons and more.

“We want keeping grow and be known as a neighborhood coffee shop in this neighborhood as well as in the other locations, serving our neighbors as friends with our passion for coffee and matcha drinks,” Christine said. In the future, she sees Maison du Tsuru potentially even becoming a roastery, because why not dream big!

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