Pamplin Media Group – Brooklyn’s Rose City Coffee Shop vandalized on January 4

Pamplin Media Group – Brooklyn’s Rose City Coffee Shop vandalized on January 4

Brooklyn coffee shop experiences costly vandalism, but keep on selling coffee…and now plants, too


RITA A. LEONARD - Christie Gryphon, owner of the Rose City Coffee Shop a short distance south of Powell Boulevard on Milwaukie Avenue, stands by the front window destroyed by vandals who broke into her store on January 4th. The Rose City Coffee House at 3370 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue in the Brooklyn neighborhood started the New Year by being vandalized. In spite of a notice posted at the front of the shop, “No Money Left on Premises Overnight”, early Monday, January 4, one or more vandals smashed in one of the front plate glass windows, entered, but stole little or nothing.

It appeared to be the same sort of purposeless vandalism that led to broken windows and businesses here and there in Southeast recently, and the burning of newsstands – one for THE BEE and two for the Portland Tribune – on Woodstock Boulevard, as well as a car on S.E. 72nd, overnight on January 6. Two banks in Westmoreland have had large windows broken recently, as well.

Shattered glass indoors and out greeted Rose City Coffee Shop owner Christie Gryphon when she arrived in the morning to open up. “I knew there had been a break-in, since the alarm went off at 3:45 a.m.,” she told THE BEE.

By evening, the broken glass had been swept up and a piece of plywood covered the destroyed southwest corner window. Gryphon remarked that this had been the fourth break-in at the shop within 13 months.

Like many shops damaged during the pandemic, she expects her insurance rates to go up – and increasingly, business insurance does not cover broken windows – but the customers have been very supportive, she said.RITA A. LEONARD - Artemisia plants and terrariums are currently on sale in Rose City Coffee in Brooklyn. Here, from left, are Amy Aiello, founder of Artemisia, with her daughter Kiki (age 11) and her partner Bella Todd. Meantime, and on a brighter note, the store is offering more than just coffee these days. The shop also features an array of live houseplants for sale, in ceramic pots around the shop.

Amy Aiello, who has lived in the neighborhood for 13 years, sells these plants and terrariums (which can evoke the forest, desert, beach, or meadow) through her business, “Artemisia”, which is the Latin name for “sagebrush”.Aiello told THE BEE, “I was raised in a family of naturalists and artists, and enjoy welcoming folks to the natural world,” she says. “Artemis is the goddess of the hunt and also the part of our psyche that connects with nature.”I was originally located at 110 S.E. 28th Avenue but I moved here, where there’s more display space. My website – www.collagewithnature.com – also offers terrarium supplies, and offers virtual workshops on making terrariums, Kokedama (Japanese bonsai-style hanging plants), and air plants for home, office or gifts.”Aiello’s website also offers virtual fragrance classes which encourage students to learn about natural fragrances and to create perfumes that appeal to their personal nature. “We also sell a Terrarium Craft book, authored by myself and Kate Bryant, which was among the New York Top 100 books of 2011,” she reports.The Artemisia plant displays at Rose City Coffee received only minor damage in the break-in, and they remain on display and for sale there.


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