the flair Q&A

Samantha Sapienza

Tell me about your business or specialty?

ALL THAT JAVA is a tiny coffee house. Our mission is to create happiness in the world with our coffee and vibe. We have three locations: our flagship store in Rhinebeck, Kingston and Tivoli. With more locations coming soon! We serve espresso drinks (lattes, cappuccinos, mochas and more) and delicious brewed drip coffee and have a few complementary food items, like our mini chocolate croissants. Our roaster is outside Seattle. our Simonelli espresso machine is the best, we only use Poland Springs spring water (for taste and consistency) and finish our drinks off with dairy products from Hudson Valley Fresh or alternative milks (oat, almond, soy). We have contactless ordering and pick-up. People text their order, keep a card on file and we have their drink waiting outside for them.

How'd you get to where you are now?

I grew up in New York City and moved up to Millbrook in 7th grade. When I was 20, I moved out to the west coast and lived there for the next 15 years. During that time I was married and had my three boys (now 13, 17, 20). I became part of that Seattle coffee culture, these tiny coffee houses were everywhere! I would visit my family back east frequently and what I noticed each time was that this west coast coffee presence didn't exist on the east coast. Each time I visited my Mom, I missed it more, "I need a good cup of coffee!" Longing to eventually move back home, I thought, "One day, I am going to open a bunch of these tiny coffee houses on the east coast. It will become a household name." And, in August of 2016, the timing was right and I did it.

How has the COVID crisis affected your work or business?

Any new ideas or approaches...or lessons learned so far? We are grateful that we were always to-go, so the transition to this new normal was easier for us. People love the contactless ordering system. It's safe for the customer and it's safe for our employees, too. Everyone's schedule has been turned upside down. School schedules, going to the office, everything is different. People seem relieved that we're here and open. A good cup of coffee brings comfort.

What surprises you in your work, now or in the past?

I absolutely love what I’m doing. We get to make a difference in each person’s life everyday…with coffee! It’s on a real human and personal level and I love that! We try to make that moment as perfect as possible and send them on their way to have an amazing day. I always loved entertaining (back when we did that) and loved coffee, so I thought it would be a good fit, but it has way exceeded my expectations.

What drives you crazy?

When people are rude. It’s just not acceptable or how we live our lives. At JAVA it is so, so rare, but if that happens, we try to make sure that when they walk away, with coffee in hand, their mood is uplifted.

Who inspires you?

Women. Strong, loving, creative women. My mom raised me to believe that anything is possible. Not in her words, but in her actions. She could always see the creative solution to a problem. My grandma was the same way. So that was a big thing for me…I didn’t have any initial doubt…if you wanted to achieve it (with hard work and determination) you did! I am grateful to have had that instilled in me from a very young age.

You're a trailblazer...what are some highlights in your career to date?

Wow, well, thank you! Raising my three boys, creating this idea, and building this business. Those are my greatest joys!

Words of wisdom or thoughts?

Go with your gut, focus on intention, and make it happen. I now believe that not just anything is possible, but everything is possible.


Samantha Sapienza has been a small business owner since 2016. Originally from New York City, she has been a Hudson Valley local for many years, after spending some time on the west coast where she was introduced to the bustling coffee house scene. Her belief in creativity, hard work and the spirit of spreading goodwill has helped her create a winning brand with a strong presence and, above all, an outstanding product. Her ALL THAT JAVA coffee houses can be found in Rhinebeck, Kingston, Millbrook and Tivoli New York. Samantha is the proud Mom of three sons and currently lives in Rhinebeck, NY with her boys and her partner in love and business, Patrick Madden.

(published in 2020)