Case Study: Gasoline Alley

We’re fortunate to work with amazing businesses across the country.  Whether it’s coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, offices or grocery stores – each one approaches their business differently. In an effort to share ideas, we thought we’d highlight some of our strongest relationships by asking them a few questions. First up is Gasoline Alley in New York. We spoke to owners Nick Carnevale and Neville Ross.

Tell us about Gasoline Alley.
Gasoline Alley Coffee is about serving premium artisanal coffee, in a fast paced environment, consistently, with unapologetic enthusiasm and friendliness. We wanted to create a simple but well designed environment that had a good vibe that people enjoyed coming to on a daily basis.  The name Gasoline Alley Coffee came from the history of the 60's & 70's when this particular strip was referred to as "gasoline alley" as it was a hub for mechanic and service stations.

What equipment do you use and why?
We use the La Marzocco GB5 3 group. What can I say without getting technical? It's solid and great to work with and it's design fitted in great with the design aesthetic of our store. We also Brew on a Fetco - with the space limitation we have and volume we do this is a great piece of equipment for both hot & iced coffee brewing.

Give us an overview of your menu.
Short & Sweet – we wanted to keep things simple and clear and serve most of our drinks in two sizes; 8oz and 12oz. We work with Analog for our espresso and find it great with milk and equally great as a shot. We often like to feature Single origins for home Brewing.

How do you ensure quality execution behind the bar?
Baristas come from a wide range of training and past experiences. We have a simple method for dialing in and we insist all baristas stick to the basic rules of our method to ensure consistency. It's handy having the Intelligentsia training lab 2 blocks from the store. Cleanliness is key to us, so we insist on a clean workstation for a quality end product.

How long have you worked with Intelligentsia?
Since the start, 18 months now.

Why do you value about your partnership with Intelligentsia?
Great team. Intelligentsia has such a wealth of knowledge that we were proud to work with. Quality & consistency is above all the most important factor and we believe this is one of the primary goals of theirs that has served us well since the start.

How did you approach the branding for the coffeebar, in particular how Intelligentsia fits in with it? The flag is particularly tasteful.
We had a certain Modern Industrial look in mind whilst trying to pay homage to the craftsmen, - attention to detail is key without being overly designed or fussy.  We took this approach in our branding and our store design and feel it compliments Intelligentsia's approach to stores & design. Yep we like the flag too.

What’s on the horizon for Gasoline Alley?
We would love to expand our brand in the future. This may involve all manner of things but another retail store in NYC is the primary objective at this point.

Coffee was first discovered in western Ethiopia before 1000 AD. Ethiopians consumed the cherry’s fruit or made tea from the pulp for several hundred years before brewing a beverage from the roasted seeds.