New Paltz residents are lucky: They can see double right in the heart of the village. Lagusta’s Luscious, opened in 2011 at 25 North Front Street, is where Lagusta Yearwood’s artful, Fair Trade vegan chocolates are made. Commissary! (the exclamation point is part of the name), just a couple of streets away, is its eat-in sister café, co-owned by Yearwood and Jacob Feinberg-Pyne.
With its youthful vibe, Commissary! has a casual air of fun and inclusiveness. There’s Socialist Sliding Scale Soup and a Mitzvah Wall, where customers pay treats forward. The words “resistance is fertile,” writ large along the main counter, refer not only to Lagusta’s commitment to social justice, but to the changes everyone can make with conscientious food choices.
Commissary! serves a sampling of the bonbons and truffles made in Lagusta’s sweets shop, along with an extensive menu of hot and cold specialty coffees, teas and chocolate drinks. Rich, homemade nut milks and nondairy whipped cream turn these standard beverages into something special. Vegans who thought they’d never eat a croissant again will rejoice over the two varieties of the flaky pastry made without dairy butter.
Savory items have gradually been added to the menu, including a cheese and pickle plate featuring house-made pickles, local jam and Treeline vegan cheese from Kingston, served with Brooklyn-made crackers. Hearty soups are always available, as are daily specials like seitan stroganoff. “People in the Hudson Valley are passionate about food and ethics,” Lagusta says, “and we’ve found a great customer base here.”
11 Church St, New Paltz