Doers and Dreamers – Jenna Benincasa

It’s comforting to watch one of your favorite businesses transition from  owner to employee. There’s a sense of continuity as well as an anticipation of healthy changes. This week’s Doer and Dreamer, Jenna Benincasa, is making her tweaks to what has been an Uptown institution for awhile and it doesn’t seem like a beat was missed.

Your name: Jenna Benincasa

Business or organization: Uptown Coffee on Wall Street

Occupation: Owner

What is your approach to your business or occupation that makes you unique?
I don’t know that it is as unique as it is functional. I believe having a great product is important, but never as important as having an interesting and exciting environment. We have a lot of fun at the shop, and we’re happy people. I think that you want to come into your local coffee shop feeling welcome. You’ll always feel that way here. We have SO many exciting and crazy conversations every day. We promise never a dull moment in my shop! We sell coffee, scones, food; of course… but we are more than that. You’ll never come into my store and feel like you’re walking a line at a factory. EVER.

Where are you from originally?
I’m from Indiana, baby. The Hoosier state. Born and raised!!

What brought you to the Kingston area and keeps you in this area?
A very beautiful, sad and lengthy story . I stay here because I have truly built my life here. I have an incredible friend base, and a lovely family here. IT’S THE HUDSON VALLEY…it’s amazing. I’m very in love with my home.

What is your favorite hangout in this area and why?
I made a huge promise to myself and others around me early on. I love so so so many local businesses , and it’s hard for me to list them . I also don’t want to forget anyone and make enemies. My close friends will always know where to find me. I definitely have my favorites, and I’m always supporting our amazing city of Kingston!

When you’re not in Kingston, what’s your idea of a wonderful city to visit, and why?
My husband Mario and I are huge fans of New Haven , Connecticut. We will always take our weekend trips there to eat, drink and relax. We are major foodies, so that city offers so many amazing places to dine and hang. I’ve also spent every summer in Belgrade Lakes, Maine. That’s my second home. ACTUALLY, it is my favorite place in the world. I love places where you can go and not feel homesick. Those are my top two!

Tell us something that we never would have guessed about you.
Well, a lot of people know that my true love is music. My favorite thing in the world is writing song lyrics and finding inspiration from the world around me. I’m a lover of words. My favorite things to do are to write music with my hubby, cook, be around animals and drink champagne. Those things make me a happy girl. OH, AND OF COURSE…. I LOVE COFFEE.