A yarn store shouldn’t be usually the primary cease when in search of a meal, however the indicators for lobster rolls outdoors of Yarn Farm Kingston (YFK) pull in hungry and curious clients. This was the imaginative and prescient that Jocelyn Songco, proprietor and founding father of YFK, had when she moved out of New York Metropolis in 2022: to mix her two passions into one unlikely vacation spot. After 14 years working for Soros Financial Improvement Fund, she had determined to take a voluntary separation bundle to start out her personal enterprise in Kingston.
“My profession was investing in entrepreneurs. I might see individuals who had their very own companies who have been so fired up and so passionate,’ says Songco. “I believed ‘wow, I need to be on that facet of issues.’”
YFK is a completely built-in yarn retailer and wine bar. The retail store is densely full of crafting supplies unfold atop massive wood tables. Brightly coloured yarn hangs from the partitions. Behind the wood tables sits the lengthy bar, geared up with stocked beverage fridges, an Instapot, and crockpot.
Songco’s love of fiber arts was sparked throughout her time within the Peace Corps in Ethiopia from 1996 to 1998, when a pal taught her the right way to knit. After returning to the US and visiting quite a lot of sheep and wool festivals, her curiosity within the artwork kind continued to develop. Within the meantime, Songco graduated from Columbia in 2003 with an MBA in finance and economics, in addition to a Masters in financial and political growth from the College of Worldwide Affairs. When transferring to the Hudson Valley, with its massive group of fiber artists, it appeared pure to Songco to mix this ardour with the enterprise expertise she had gained from her research and profession.
Together with her experience in enterprise and fiber arts, Songco wanted a accomplice with expertise within the meals trade to open the wine bar. “I got here down kicking and screaming,” says Todd Rowe, Songco’s boyfriend. “I didn’t need to mess up our relationship.” However any beginning considerations that the couple might have had about working collectively have disappeared since YFK opened in early November 2022. “We keep in our lanes,” explains Rowe, who manages the menu and cooking whereas Songco operates the retail store.
Rowe started cheffing 5 years in the past after leaving a 15-year promoting and advertising and marketing profession in New York Metropolis and transferring to Hudson. His ardour for the work has solely expanded as he has spent extra time within the kitchen. “I similar to feeding the folks,” he explains. “I like hospitality.”
Courses, Occasions, and Group
On the day of their grand opening, November 2, Yarn Farm Kingston hosted its first knit evening, a weekly Wednesday night group gathering the place people can socialize and work on private artistic initiatives. That first evening they’d 10 guests, however numbers rapidly grew as weeks glided by and the phrase acquired out. “Our group was created immediately,” says Songco. “It’s one of many primary the explanation why we do that.”
The variety in age and expertise in YFK’s group is inspired by the big variety of actions and courses supplied. Alongside the weekly knit evening gatherings, YFK hosts occasions comparable to trivia evening twice a month, paint and sip nights, and month-to-month open mics.
Newbie crochet and knitting courses are taught every Saturday by store assistant Natalie Probst. Visiting academics from the world regularly lead workshops on completely different fiber arts, comparable to needle embroidery, weaving, and felting. Many of those expertise are being taught on this summer season’s grownup craft camp, which launched over the last week in June, and can proceed by means of July and August. Along with courses, studying kits with supplies and directions on particular initiatives are offered within the store to encourage novices to study new expertise.
Fiber Arts and Culinary Arts
The extensive collection of crafting instruments and yarns offered at Yarn Farm Kingston are all rigorously curated by Songco for his or her high quality. “It is such a small area,” explains Songco. “All the pieces needs to be superb.” Most of the merchandise come from native corporations, comparable to Battenkill Fibers which produces all pure wool from upstate New York farms, Buckwheat Bridge Farm in Elizaville, and Crafter Gamer Geek Yarns, owned by Highland resident and knit evening co-host David Freer. Any merchandise imported from outdoors the area or nation are chosen by Songco for high quality, sustainability, and natural manufacturing. Supplies are offered for a variety of fiber arts actions, together with crochet, knitting, embroidery, felting, and weaving.
Throughout the merchandise offered on the store, in addition to the food and drinks supplied on the bar, Songco and Rowe have made positive there’s something accessible for everybody. “It was actually necessary to me that we be tremendous inclusive,” says Songco. “So our bar has nice non-alcoholic drink choices. We additionally attempt to have a vegan dish as soon as per week.”
The bar affords quite a lot of high quality wines from France, Italy, and California ($8 to $14 per glass), in addition to domestically sourced beers and ciders ($7 to $9). The meals menu adjustments regularly, with some current options together with avenue tacos; sausages and peppers; and vegan soups, stews, and chillies. A constant menu favourite is the charcuterie board ($15), which features a alternative of three cheeses and meats from a menu together with brie, truffle pecorino, calabrese salami, prosciutto, and extra.
All through the summer season, the bar can be serving lobster rolls ($25), and as part of Kingston’s Rondout Waterfront Night time Market each fourth Saturday of the month, they are going to be serving oysters on the half shell. “We use nice components,” says Rowe. “That is the important thing.” The meals is sourced utilizing the Connecticut-based firm Chef’s Warehouse.
Evident in the way in which they describe their enterprise is the care that Songco and Rowe really feel for his or her always rising group. “I would like folks to really feel like they’re in my home,” says Rowe. “Nobody goes to take a seat right here and really feel like they aren’t needed.”