Undergrounds Coffee is celebrating five years of serving Buffalo’s Old First Ward, will open second location in Seneca One

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Undergrounds Coffee House and Roastery is marking a milestone anniversary – and holding a party to celebrate.

The coffee shop, 580 South Park Ave., is holding an event on Saturday, starting with free yoga at 9 a.m. from Space on Seneca Yoga studio.

READ MORE: Undergrounds coffee to die for

Then, the party kicks off at 11 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m. with live music, vendors, and wine and beer.

“We’re just going to celebrate,” Undergrounds owner and head of marketing Sara Heidinger said.

The shop, which is located inside of a former funeral home, has a lot to celebrate.

Since opening, they’ve expanded their roastery club to about 200 members, added a patio, and grown their staff significantly. Undergrounds roasts their own coffee, available to purchase in store or online.

“We get orders from all over the country,” owner, general manager and chief operating officer Bridget Morris said. “It’s a great opportunity for people from outside of Buffalo to have Undergrounds.”

They’re even opening a second location this fall in downtown’s Seneca One tower. It will be located near M&T on the lower part of the building, Heidinger said.

“We have a lot of big plans for the space – similar to here, but with a twist,” she added. “We like to start small and grow things.”

It’s a stark contrast to a year and a few months ago, when the COVID-19 shutdown struck.

Heidinger called it a “surreal feeling”.

“We were laying our whole staff off and working by ourselves every day,” she recalled. “We had to change things daily, change the menu, change our whole business model kind of – I’m really proud of us and proud of the staff we have, we have a good group of people here.”

Undergrounds pays homage to its building’s former life with plenty of death imagery – a colorful skull mural in the dining room, mugs decorated with the likenesses of dead celebrities and notables, and a food menu named after deceased people significant to Buffalo or the coffee industry.

“In cities like New Orleans, they celebrate death,” Heidinger said. “We kind of wanted to feed off of that energy a little bit, and celebrate some people from Buffalo who we really appreciate a lot.”

Since Jan. 1, Undergrounds Coffee is a fully woman-owned business.

Longtime staff member and roaster Erin Morris became an owner at the beginning of the year.

“It’s interesting and it’s fun,” Morris said. “These are just two solid, strong ladies I’m working with.”

Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.

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