Dana Zimmerman-Rudy's employee Megan ran out the door with salad dressing that local customers forgot for their purchase. "This is the kind of thing that happens on your first day," said Zimmerman-Rudy, good-naturedly taking her post behind the counter at the brand new Eco Java Café in Byram on Saturday.
"I didn't do any advertising except put some balloons outside, but the heat made them burst!" she said, adding that she's planning a grand opening in September.
The café is a first for Zimmerman-Rudy, a native of Montreal who moved to Cos Cob eight years ago for an executive position with the Doyle Collection, an exclusive hotel company. With her bubbly, warm personality, it's easy to see why her transition from hospitality to food service was an easy one.
"Let me know about the food and if there's something you'd like me to get, by all means," she said to a pair of local women at the counter. Zimmerman-Rudy, a self-proclaimed "coffee nut," said she noticed a lack of gourmet coffee shops in Byram, and certainly none with environmental sustainability in mind.
"I strive for everything to be as natural as possible," she said of the eco-friendly materials she uses, including compostable, recycled or corn-made cups, bags and utensils. "To reduce my carbon footprint, the majority of my suppliers are located within a 16-miles radius."
Zimmerman-Rudy has specialty organic syrups, organic milk and soymilk to add to coffee, which is priced at $1.80 for a 12 oz. cup and $2.10 for a 20 oz. "I'm just trying to do organic wherever I can and be as sustainable as possible," she said.
Eco-Java Café is located at 251 Mill Street in Byram. It's open Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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