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Blends & Brews

Six Depot Café takes coffee to new heights



Six Depot co-owners Lisa Landry and Flavio Lichtenthal have declined offers to open other locations, franchise, and work with wholesale brokers. They are content with how their business is going.

Photo Megan Haley

Six Depot co-owners Flavio Lichtenthal and Lisa Landry were inspired by the title of Ernest Hemingway’s short story, “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” five years ago, as they designed their West Stockbridge café, coffee roastery, and gallery. “It’s all about dignity and providing a place for people to gather, be inspired, feel part of the world,” says Landry. 

Housed in what was one of the oldest train stations in the Berkshires, the rustic-chic café serves fresh, healthy fare (along with decadent pastries), and there’s a small shop offering goods made both at Six Depot and in the community. The airy gallery showcases local and international artists and serves as a venue for theater, music, poetry slams, lectures, film screenings, book launches, classes, tastings, pop-up shops, trivia nights, and dance parties. 

Underpinning all of this community goodness is a now-thriving wholesale operation selling Six Depot–branded specialty-food items to customers near and far. Each week, the company roasts some 2,000 pounds of coffee and packages 30 pounds of whole-leaf tea and 20 pounds of sea salt.

“It’s been very rewarding to be part of creating a space where people feel welcome and come seeking connection,” says Lichtenthal. “And to be able to turn people on to—and become familiar with—exotic coffees, salts, and teas from all around the world and, in a sense, travel through their palates and become part of something bigger. We are a depot after all, right?”

The couple, who have been married 23 years, waited until their two sons hit their teen years and were semi-independent before launching the business because they knew it would be an all-consuming endeavor. Lichtenthal is in charge of coffee roasting, developing wholesale accounts, and overseeing the café. 

His background is as a singer-songwriter and chef, and his love of coffee began at age 13 in the pool halls of his native city, Buenos Aires. Coffee roasting was a natural extension of his passions for cooking and music—he approaches coffee roasting like cooking, using all his senses; and he approaches blending beans like mixing music, experimenting until it has just the right amount of bass and treble.

For over 20 years, Landry worked with New York City creative agencies as an art director, writer, and brand strategist for corporate clients. She brings that crackerjack marketing savvy to Six Depot, where she handles graphics, PR, marketing, social media, and accounting. She also manages the gallery and selects the teas and salts to be sold under the No. 6 Depot label. 

Six Depot has a year-round staff of ten that doubles during high season. The company weathers slower times by shifting some team members from retail to wholesale operations. They have about 100 wholesale accounts, ranging from restaurants like Prairie Whale in Great Barrington and City Bakery in New York City, to small boutique stores, such as Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe in Boston, to specialty grocers, including Guido’s Fresh Marketplace in the Berkshires, Whole Foods’ northeast region, and Dean & DeLuca gourmet shops across the country. 

Rather than marketing at trade events or working with wholesale agents, Landry says, “we don’t use anything and it’s really been mostly Flavio and word of mouth.”

For example, the head buyer for Dean & DeLuca was on vacation in the Berkshires and visited the former Meat Market, where she was drawn to the design of the No. 6 Depot coffee bags. She raved to the butcher that her office receives ten submissions from coffee purveyors each week, but this was the most beautiful packaging, and he told her where to find Six Depot in West Stockbridge. The buyer ate at the café several times that weekend and, after she returned to the city, contacted them to see if they would be interested in selling to Dean & DeLuca. 

“That was one of those crazy, lucky, and fortunate experiences, but strangely enough a lot comes through from people who meet us at the farmers market or a festival or who have come to our café and have a brother or a somebody who is starting something,” says Landry.

Locally, Six Depot has partnered with several companies to produce coffee-flavored products. 

Shire Breu-Hous in Dalton makes its Policemen’s Porter with No. 6 Depot “Notes from the Underground” espresso. “They are every bit as passionate about coffee as we are about beer,” says co-owner Andrew Crane. “That, coupled with the fact that they roast their beans on site in the Berkshires, made it a wonderful match.” The brewers plan to work with coffee varieties on the fruitier end of the spectrum to make some lighter beers.

Lisa Newmann, founder of Coffee Snacks, chose to work with Six Depot for her Java Me Up® Coffee Bars because it’s Berkshire based and she thinks the coffee tastes great, plus she wanted to support organic, shade-grown coffee. 

In 2015, SoCo Creamery teamed with Six Depot to develop a single-origin coffee ice cream using ground beans rather than typical freeze-dried coffee powder. SoCo CEO Erik Bruun says, “It is a much, much more complicated and very rare way of making coffee ice cream, resulting in a much, much deeper coffee flavor. The ice cream tastes like real coffee with a lot of cream in it.” SoCo now make three different coffee ice creams: Bali Blue Moon (with tasting notes of milk chocolate and strawberry), Brazil (nutty cacao), and Sumatra (dark chocolate and lemon zest). 

“The process is very labor intensive and expensive to make,” says Bruun. “For SoCo, the No. Six Depot coffee ice creams are a signature product because they represent innovation, a commitment to community, and a very distinctive ice cream.”  

 

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Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
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Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
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Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
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We invite families to drop-in and enjoy interactive pop-up activity stations, gallery games, and art projects around the KMA.  Get inspired by Outrageous Ornament: Extreme Jewelry in the 21st...

Cost: Member price: Free Non-Member price: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Katonah Museum
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
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Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555
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Calling all fans of Scottish food and Diana Galbaldon’s Outlander series. Don your tartan, make like Jamie’s clan motto and be ready! You’re invited to an amazing Outlander...

Cost: 100.00

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
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Telephone: 860-355-0300
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Friday, Jan. 25 Wilton Library Mini Golf Tourney for Adults, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. The kids had so much fun at last year’s Mini Golf fundraiser, that Wilton Library is holding one for adults only...

Cost: $50 and up

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Contact Name: Wilton Library
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Original members of the Billy Joel Band featuring Liberty DeVitto on drums, Richie Cannata on saxophone and Russell Javors on rhythm guitar. The band recorded and toured extensively with Billy Joel...

Cost: $40

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Telephone: (203) 438-5795
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Born from humble beginnings in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, CT The Alpaca Gnomes cut their teeth in the neighborhood bar scene by playing marathon shows filled with originals and a wide...

Cost: $15.00 - $20.00

Where:
Wall Street Theater
71 Wall Street
Norwalk, CT  06850
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Sponsor: Jeanne Moore
Telephone: (203) 831-5004
Contact Name: Jeanne Moore
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Are you a lifelong with a passion for sharing history? Find out about becoming a Museum Docent! Docents are trained volunteer educators who present guided tours and other education programs to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Bring the baby and enjoy a lively conversation inspired by the art on view. Enjoy light snacks while socializing with newly-made friends. Crying babies welcome and activities provided for older...

Cost: Member price: Free Non-Member price with Museum admission: Free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
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Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555
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Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Blending nature and spirituality, Connecticut artist Lori Barker explores the rhythms of life in a new collection of mixed media works on display at the Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery from...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery
5 Wykeham Rd.
Washington, CT  06793
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Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey

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Winter Guided Hike @ Woodcock Nature Center Saturday January 26th, 10-11:30am, FREE ​ Join Mr. Sam for a hike where we'll investigate whats going on in nature in the winter season and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Woodcock Nature Center
56 Deer Run Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Woodcock Nature Center
Telephone: (203) 762-7280
Contact Name: Sam Nunes
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The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
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Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Saturday, Jan. 26 Mini Golf Family Day in the Stacks at Wilton Library, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wilton Library will hold its 2nd mini golf fundraising event. There will be food (each paid admission will...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Contact Name: Wilton Library
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  Touchon transforms verbal language into handsome geometric compilations, to reveal the beauty and musicality of language characterized by warmly colored shapes, interlocking irregular grids and...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
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Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
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Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

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Saturday, January 26th from 1:00 - 2:00 PM, Ages 4+ Attend for groovy crafts, snacks, games, and more in celebration of the Pete the Cat book series. This event is free and no registration is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
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Hudson Chorale, the area’s largest mixed voice chorus, is poised to please.  The group will begin its 2019 season with two matinee concerts on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 3:00 pm and Sunday,...

Cost: Advance Sale-$25; Door-$30; Students-$10.

Where:
The Chapel at Maryknoll
55 Ryder Rd
Ossining, NY  10562
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Sponsor: Hudson Chorale
Telephone: 1-800-838-3006
Contact Name: Anne Norum
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Join us for a very special evening of music from these four accomplished singer songwriters: David Ray, Mike Latini, Dave Goldenberg, George Mallas.  

Cost: 20.00

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
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Telephone: 860-355-0300
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Join us for another incredible evening of music featuring four local singer songwriters performing original music! Doors open at 7pm in New Morning’s handicapped accessible Community Room on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
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Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
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