Food Industry Veteran Jodi Cummings Takes Over Caffe Macchiato


Caffe Macchiato is the cafe that doesn’t want to give up. This neighborhood favorite is over a decade strong and it’s not going anywhere any time soon thanks to Jodi Cummings. She is the new owner of Caffe Macchiato 99 Liberty Street, starting this past September.

Born at St. Luke’s Hospital, Jodi is a native Newburgher. Although she grew up seeing the decline of Newburgh, the distress is not what she remembers. Instead, she has fond memories of the City of Newburgh that include back to school shopping on Broadway and going to Geraci’s Meat Market on Mill Street.

A Culinary Institute of America graduate, Jodi has 25 years experience in the food industry. Up until recently she was the executive chef at Glynwood Farm in Cold Spring and also private chefs for very prominent and famous clients in the Hudson Valley and Manhattan. All of her experiences have had one common thread – sourcing local food using the best ingredients she can find. She cooks for her clients as she would cook for her own family. At Caffe Macchiato she plans to carry over this very same approach. Visitors can expect regional food with worldly influences in a European styled cafe. A recent item on the menu was shrimp and cheesy grits, with the shrimp sourced just around the corner from ECO Shrimp. Other menu items will be sourced from long relationships Jodi has developed with Hudson Valley suppliers. She is also planning on bringing back reinterpreted items that were popular when the cafe was run by Barbara and Edwin.

12105047_1029255043783680_2002174450_nChickpea Stew with Tomatoes, Pasta & Basil

Buying the cafe was serendipitous for Jodi. She never wanted to open a restaurant, but had always said if she did it would be a cozy cafe. When the opportunity arose she knew it would be Caffe Macchiato or no restaurant at all. The cafe is not a stepping stone in her career. She confidently said, “this is it.” She has lived in other parts of the Hudson Valley but always wanted to be back in Newburgh. Now that she has returned full circle she feels at home. She says there are a lot of people who have grown up in Newburgh that want to make it better. She sees them when they visit the cafe. As far as comparing the City of Newburgh to other cities Jodi says that there is a “humble quality to Newburgh that is unique” and she is optimistic that despite changes, the city’s “roots will be able to be maintained.”

12120384_553456078163435_134281494_n Chocolate croissants, freshly baked every morning

Jodi has many plans that she will implement slowly. She has already repainted the cafe, added new lighting fixtures and new antique-styled ceiling tiles. The cafe will steadily remain and breakfast and lunch venue. Dinner service will be added for two nights a week starting by the end of November. When her liquor license is approved she will begin to serve wine and beer. Dinners will be reservation only and they will be served in Jodi’s own unique family style. Her private clients particularly enjoy this style. The cafe can also be reserved for private dinners and parties of approximately 25 guests. Clients can design their own menu, play their own music and make the space their own for the evening. Jodi makes everything in the cafe from scratch . Some of these items – baked goods, jars, jams and granola will be available for purchase.

If Jodi’s story awakens your own desires to be a business owner in Newburgh consider her advice. “Visit the existing businesses and talk to each owner about their ideas and ask questions. We have a very diverse demographic, and I don’t know if potential businesses realize that. I think each person they speak to on Liberty street would have valuable input.”

Currently, there is a fabulous space available for rent right next door to the cafe.

12 Comment

  • Lovely article but I still have no idea WHERE it is! No address included.

    • 99 Liberty St, Newburgh, NY 12550, right across from Washington’s Headquarters.

      I don’t mean to sound mean, Robin, but just google the name of the restaurant next time…

      I’m VERY happy they found a new owner for the Macchiato. This place was a cornerstone for me convincing my girlfriend that there are good things happening in Newburgh (before we met she wouldn’t go into the city, now I’ve got her almost to the point of looking for a house there!) Hopefully, there will be some hold overs from the old menu, like the wonderful rice bowls!

  • So glad that Jodi arrived (or returned!) and is keeping the Cafe Macchiato alive! Having had a few meals there, I can personally describe it as supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I wish Jodi many decades of success and security in the cafe!

  • Wondering if you have an Opening date set??
    Looking forward to coming in.

    Best of Luck ….

  • Went in for a late lunch for 2, no sign with hours, owner busy chatting and not offered menus, left after a miserable cup of coffee. There were 6 people in the place. Won’t be back…

    One of the worst things is when an owner is right there and doesn’t even say hi or say why nothing is available to eat. I think the last time it happened to someone in our family was when he went to Communist Yugoslavia decades ago with parents on a vacation.

    BTW, we have been in Mario Batali’s places for years in NYC and HE is never too busy to say hi to people! No excuse!

    • That’s a bit harsh. She had been transitioning into ownership. Perhaps that is when you visited. However, it is best to keep in mind, this is a small cafe, you might not have a waiter at your beck and call, but the love comes out in the food and Jodi’s investment in Newburgh.

    • Did you voice your discontent at the time or walk away in silent reproach, communist style? If anything, your comment brews a visit on my part to the Cafe.
      Jodi thanks you in advance.

  • Was there last week and it was lovely. Food was great, service was too. Jody is bringing it back to what it was and we are grateful! Happy to have it back. Thanks, Jody!

  • Jodi,

    Can’t wait to visit your restaurant next time we go to Newburgh. Make sure you save us some of those delicious chocolate croissants. I’m addicted to them!

  • Was there the opening weekend, and appreciate the fact that everything was in transition. However…my waiter seemed to have never been in the food-service industry. I don’t know if it was Jodi’s husband, uncle, cousin, friend, but was obviously not a pro. After waiting for over 30 mins for our food (and that is a lifetime when you have two toddlers) we saw our entire order sit on the counter five feet from us for a few minutes, then get whisked away to the wrong table. By that time I had already returned my Espresso after one sip because it was undrinkable (regular drip coffee was fine). Finally got our food, cold. After all that, I must admit that the food tasted very good. Overall I was frustrated and felt that they were not prepared to open that weekend, but the ploace had the potential to be good. Also, as rough around the edges as Barbara could have been, she had a very keen eye for style, and the cafe has never looked as good since she left.