Foundry42 spreads the Halloween spirit
Wed, 09/27/2017 - 12:57pm By IAN PUGH ARTICLE LINK
PORT JERVIS, NY — “Foundry42 is a combination of food, design and events,” says founder and owner Cooper Boone, and since 2016, Foundry42 has offered plenty of all three: music, arts and crafts and kids’ story times stand alongside a coffee bar and retail/rental spaces. But throughout the month of October, it will also serve as the starting and ending location of the Historic Ghost Tour of Port Jervis, an hour-long guided tour that promises to “inform and entertain” patrons through storytelling and surprises.
“About a year ago, I started doing a lot of research on tourism in the state of New York, and the number-one utilized tourist map were the ghost tours of New York. So I formulated a proposal, and we got a grant from the Orange County Department of Tourism to develop a ghost tour. I love it because I’m a history buff, and basically, ghost tours are about history at the end of the day—and Port Jervis has a very rich history. It’s an old industrial commerce town, and the railroad was very active with shipping as well. So once we got the grant, I hired someone to do the research and development of the tour, and she worked on it for seven months.”
Boone credits Jonel Langenfeld with that creation and R&D process, and cites William Schill and Helen Curreri as guides for the tour, whose attractions and stories were validated by Etta-Lyn Cavataio.
“[Cavataio] is a psychic medium—they don’t have licenses for these in the world, but I have experienced her personally doing readings, as well as a number of other people. Without any information... she is able to pretty much contact dead people… We purposely didn’t give her any information, and when she came down, for example, she went into one of the spaces [on the tour], and she’s like, ‘Oh my God, I keep smelling formaldehyde, there’s this thick stench,” Boone reports. “Many iterations ago, it was a funeral home, and she was smelling embalming liquid and all of that stuff.”
Boone further elaborates on the paranormal occurrences in his own backyard: “At Foundry42, we have a jokester and a prankster ghost who is definitely male, and feels like a very young male—almost like teenager humor. We were doing an event, and we have these birch trees that [appear to be growing] through the shelf. They’re all glued and nailed in, and literally they flew out across the room. No one was hurt—it isn’t anything that’s bad, but it’s like, standing-behind-a-corner-and-scaring-your-sister kind of stuff.
“Port Jervis is going through this massive renaissance… all of the buildings downtown have been purchased… So with all of this construction going on on Front Street—evidently, when there’s renovation of any kind in old buildings, it stirs up a lot of ghost activity. So when [Cavataio] came the first time, she was like, ‘Oh my God, my head is spinning.’”
Also among Foundry42’s autumn and Halloween events is an Autumn Bounty Dinner prepared by Dafna Mizrahi of “Chopped” (October 21, 6 to 9 p.m., $85+tax), a kids’ costume party (October 28, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., $15 per child+tax) a ball and adult costume party themed around Kenny Ortega’s 1993 comedy “Hocus Pocus” (October 28, 7 to 11 p.m., $40+tax). “It’s one of my favorite movies,” says Boone. “It’s become a classic American kind of Halloween film, and it’s light. It doesn’t feel scary to me. It’s something I would let my daughters watch at a young age and feel OK about it… I think that also [the witches are] misfits, and people connect with that as well... I was a psychologist for 20 years, and I think that some of the fanciest, most buttoned-up people still experienced feelings of being ultimately nerdy, and kind of not fitting in, but doing their best to do so. And I think that witches in general speak to that.”
In addition to his personal history across the worlds of music and the culinary arts, Boone describes his approach to psychology as “eclectic,” which extends to his general perspective on life and the supernatural. “Einstein said, ‘Energy never dies, it goes somewhere.’ I certainly have had some very, very interesting experiences throughout my lifetime, and when you bring up this subject, it’s fascinating to me how people respond. They’re like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve never told anyone this’… It’s almost like people are chomping at the bit to talk about their own ghost stories.
“I have this sense of time… it’s one life, and I’m perpetually curious and kind of fearless with my curiosity. I’m more than just one-note. I pursue what I feel passionate about—but I have to feel passionate about it.”
The Historic Ghost Tour of Port Jervis will be held on October 7, 14 and 21 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 plus tax, and each event date is limited to 20 tickets. Foundry42 is located at 42 Front St., and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about upcoming events in October and beyond, visit the Foundry42 website at www.f42home.com or call 845/858-4942.
The couple is active in the local farming community and in nearby Port Jervis, Boone heads up Foundry42, a home furnishings boutique that houses a coffee shop and event/workshop space. It also happens to be the only retailer, apart from Sephora and QVC, where Farmacy’s products are sold. The twin’s bathroom is well stocked. “They’re obsessed with Honey Savior because it’s an all-in-one healing salve, it works on scrapes, bruises and diaper rash,” says Veeder. “Every time they fall they say, ‘Honey, honey!’” Pots of Lip Bloom are another household favorite. “They call it lipstick,” he says, adding that the tinted lip balm came in handy as a reward for potty training (parents: “that’s another use for it!” says Veeder).
LOOSE IN THE BORSCHT BELT
Foundry42 Fires Up Front Street
Warm and welcoming new faces on old spaces are going up along Front Street.
Step into Foundry42 in Port Jervis, and the aromas of brewed-to-order coffee and freshly baked noshes welcome you. Your nose understands the handmade nature of the place — and everything in it — even before you adventure into the generous loft-style space. There, you discover one-of-a-kind wares from skilled makers and unique pieces picked from across the country.
“Everything in our shop is made with love,” says Owner/Proprietor, Cooper Boone. “Even our coffee is a signature blend just for us, and arrives within days of roasting.”
Boone launched the store in 2016 with his partner, Mark Veeder. It reflects their many interests, and Boone’s uncanny sense for combining industrial and pastoral elements to yield an upscale aesthetic that some have called “modern farmhouse.”
Foundry42 products possess the unmistakable, yet indescribable, qualities that come from small batch production. You will find hand-woven rugs, hand-dipped candles, handstitched aprons, handmade furniture, and all types of artisan-created household items. But, equally important to Boone is that you also feel some connection to the makers themselves.
“You may come in here and find us at the loom one day, or making our candles,” says Boone.
Foundry42’s logo includes a plus sign, a symbol of the positivity and inclusion that Boone hopes to spread from his retail base of operations. Including the community curated exhibition and performance space on the second floor, Foundry42 had always been conceptualized as a place for creativity to happen and be shared, as much as it is a store.
Boone and Veeder are also hands-on at the maker level. Besides having designed many of the F42+ brand items for sale, Boone also creates the locally milled wooden tops for his Truman Collection of tables. Veeder’s skincare line, Farmacy, is created, in part, from his proprietary echinacea plant. Farmacy products are available exclusively at Sephora stores, QVC, and now Foundry42.
Picked With Purpose
For each new item on the floor, Foundry42 also shows you two or three of an earlier vintage. Each piece has been chosen with a vision for its restoration and repurposing, and an eye toward how it will fit into Foundry42’s overall vibe. Wooden arrows are displayed as a bouquet; a salvaged limestone sink as a planter; refinished industrial lockers for your mud room; the floor tom from a vintage drum set, an end table. It’s quirky, quaint design that’s accessible to anyone.
“Like Port Jervis, a lot of the items have an historic quality to them,” says Boone. “It’s nostalgia, but we aren’t recreating the past; we’re creating something new.”
Boone chose to do business in Port Jervis, citing all the attractive details it offered: great architecture, its proximity to the train and highways, hip destinations nearby, the area’s natural beauty, and the peace of the Catskills. Following his move here and subsequent business successes, he’s helped convince other business people of the potential, and they’ve begun to piggyback on his enthusiasm.
“People are buying up these gorgeous old buildings and have started rehabbing them,” says Boone, “and great stuff is moving in.”
Boone coined the term “reJervination” for the movement! Now, Port Jervis isn’t just the
last stop on the train line out of NYC, it’s becoming a first stop for adventurous shoppers, diners, and sight seers. Foundry42 is right in the thick of it, located at 42 Front Street in Port Jervis — a place for people to go to relax and be inspired, as much as to shop.
“At Foundry42, there’s a place at the table for everyone,” says Boone.
Foundry42 is open Thursday through Sunday, from 8am until 5pm; Monday through Wednesday by appointment. You can call Foundry42 at 845-858-4942, or check out their website www.F42home.com to see some of their signature items. When you pay them a visit in Port Jervis, there’s free parking and an entrance behind the shop, off of Ball Street.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS: FOUNDRY42
Beneath a soaring ceiling stands a flannel-clad barista steaming a latte. A mounted buck, surrounded by thunderstorm-gray walls and a golden frame, holds court on the opposing wall. The room is awash in similar funky signage, handmade furniture, and art. Shoppers peruse these heirloom odds and ends scored by the constant whistling of the espresso machine. There’s a very Brooklyn-comes-home feel here at Foundry42 — a Port Jervis lifestyle shop that started serving coffee and baked delicacies in November.
Cooper Boone, a food- and design-loving singer/songwriter, has been a major force behind the whole operation. He was splitting his time between New York and Nashville, but when he and husband Mark Veeder had twin girls in 2014, he decided to move north full-time, and helped found the Orange County shop’s space. “Architecturally, Port Jervis is beautiful. It’s always had good bones, but it doesn’t make sense why it hasn’t flourished,” notes Boone. “It’s the last stop on NJ Transit, right off of highway 84, and some 15,000 cars go by every day. We really believed there’s a significant opportunity there.”
The shop features furniture (developed by Boone and artisan-designer Victor Salib) made of reclaimed wood, rolls of antique cloth, and locally made accessories. The cafe serves coffee from Minnesota, where the beans are roasted for the shop and shipped directly. “We have amazing, amazing curated coffee,” says Boone, “and signature baked goods. That’s it. No more, no less; no breakfast, no lunch. Just great baked goods.”
There are the “chip-chip cookies,” a sweet and salty concoction incorporating crunchy potato chips and chocolate morsels, and scones that are light and crumbly, dotted with currants. Boone also creates mini flourless chocolate cakes along with brownies that are dense and moist. Muffins are the only menu offering not made in-house.
Unlike many Valley venues, the baked goods here don’t depend so much upon what’s in season, but are rooted in Boone’s mood. “It’s not based on harvest. It’s based upon always wanting to make something new and different and fresh and interesting.”
Boone sees the business as “a trio of my selves living in one building: food, design, and, upstairs, a multi-functional event space.” While the main floor hosts the aforementioned crafts of all sorts and, of course, the lattes, the upper level is being converted into an event space that can be used for everything from music and kids’ dance classes to yoga sessions and weddings. Suddenly, everything is a mash-up of new and old again — innovation, construction, coffee, and a town angling for a comeback.
42 Front Street, Port Jervis; 845.858.4942; www.f42home.com/coffeebar
Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Thurs-Sun and Mon-Wed by appointment
ECLECTIC RETAILER OPENING IN PORT JERVIS
Front Street’s newly opened Foundry 42+ is not your typical retail store. It is, said owner Cooper Boone, “experiential marketing” at its best, a place where clientele can “experience” their shopping visit, even become “immersed” in what Boone has created as a lifestyle brand.
“You’re basically coming into my world,” he said.
Boone’s world is about music, art, food and reinvented furnishings. At the store entrance, a coffee bar offers cappuccino, lattes and hot chocolate “made with milk, not water,” the proprietor points out. Homey flavors of five signature baked goods waft onto a floor where artisans demonstrate their crafts, such as candle making, painting and rug weaving.
And throughout, there are the eclectic curiosities Boone has rescued from stagnation, repurposed and re-imagined. A vintage tom-tom drum became an occasional table; a cheerleader’s megaphone transformed to a pendant light; a bunch of wooden arrows evolved into a centerpiece in glass. Boone has been “picking” his store inventory for years, gathering an assortment of oddments in which his creative eye saw potential.
The rear of the store is dotted with pieces from the Foundry 42+ furniture collections, each piece handcrafted by Boone and business partner Victor Salib, a metalsmith. Here, a sculpted black walnut coffee table, cracked and knotted, has been lacquered to a high luster.
“The Japanese have a philosophy called wabi-sabi,” Boone said. “It’s embracing what we traditionally think of as damaged. A crack in the wood doesn’t need to be covered up. It’s actually really beautiful. That’s how I view people. There are a lot of cracks and flaws that are quite lovely about human beings.”
“Throwaway” armchairs from the 1930s have been upcycled, their backs deconstructed to expose burlap and springs; their seats upholstered in imported, hand-loomed fabric. They are priced upwards of $1,000.
The yet-uncompleted upstairs of Foundry 42+ will be a rent-out community space for functions such as musical concerts, private parties, book clubs, yoga classes, art exhibits, chef dinners, lectures, children’s activities — virtually any event. “I see a calendar packed,” Boone said.
If the store itself is unconventional, then so is its founder. Hailing from a small town in Minnesota, Boone was a musician and ceramicist before relocating to New York City, where he practiced clinical psychology for some 24 years. He then returned to country music, touring nationally as a singer and songwriter.
“People, if they allow themselves to be, are a lot of things,” Boone declared. “And I allow myself to be a lot of things.”
Drawn to the “good bones” of Port Jervis for years, the time was finally right to launch Foundry 42+. The plus sign, Boone explained, means “in addition to ... including,” a logo emblematic of the store’s heterogeneous wares. The property at 42 Front Street (formerly Tri-State Fitness) had a windowless, wooden facade; its interior was “dark, small and stuffy,” said Boone. Now an architectural antonym of what it once was, the structure is fronted by a wall of glass, gutted and open inside. “Our furnishings represent what we’ve done with the building itself,” Boone said. “We re-imagined it.”
“Yes, some of our stuff is expensive,” Boone conceded, “and I don’t apologize for that. We are a higher-end store.” A visitor had expressed doubt, he said, that an upscale retailer can succeed in so depressed an area. “She said, ‘I don’t mean to insult you, but ...’,” he retold. “I said to her, ‘I don’t think you’re insulting me. I think you’re insulting Port Jervis.’”
Boone believes, he said, in the “reJervination” of the city. “You will not know this downtown in a year. Things are happening. I had a dream that all the (vacant) properties would sell within five years, and close to all of them have sold within one.” Port Jervis, Boone predicted, will return to its glory days, “but with a contemporary perspective. It’s not going to be 1955 again. It’s 2016, and it will have a new identity.”
Foundry 42+ is scheduled to open this weekend. For hours and more information, call 858-4942 or go to f42home.com.
BARN TO PARTY
Musician and designer Cooper Boone transformed an old Pennsylvania Barn into the perfect place to make both music and memories with family and friends.
PORT JERVIS’ FRONT STREET TO GET ANOTHER NEW BUSINESS: FOUNDRY 42
If Cooper Boone had not waited five more minutes for his tardy real estate agent, the landscape of Port Jervis’ Front Street might have been a little different.
Boone had been waiting an hour for a real estate agent to show him 42 Front Street, the former Tri-State Fitness building. He was about to leave, thinking he would buy another Front Street building, when a friend who was with him at the time convinced him to wait another five minutes.
“We did, and we walked in, and I was like ‘Oh my god, this is it,'” Boone recalled. “I don’t know why, it was just a feeling.”
The building, built in 1940, has two floors and a finished basement. All the floors have tin ceilings, sturdy concrete walls, and on the top floor, large windows in the front and the back.
“It has really, really good bones,” Boone said.
Now the first floor, which before had only a glass door and no windows, is awash with light.
Boone and his construction crew have been hard at work since he and his partner closed on the building in September, fixing and painting the tin ceilings, tearing down what was there before, putting in new air ducts throughout the building and “a lot of bone work,” as Boone calls it.
On Jan. 31 they made the most noticeable change to the building. What used to be a brown wooden façade that wrapped around the door like a timber wave has become a wall of glass.
Now the first floor, which before had only a glass door and no windows, is awash with light.
Boone, who has an eclectic array of artistic pursuits, plans to make a furniture workshop in the basement where he and his business partner, Victor Salib, will produce their Foundry 42 furniture line.
Ironically, the building was once a furniture store, said former city historian Brian Lewis. “Leven’s furniture store was in there for a while,” he said. “I have a picture and … it moved to that building in ’46.”
Already there is a collection of yard sale finds that are waiting to be transformed into upcycled furnishings: several antique suitcases will become cocktail tables, an old cheerleading megaphone and a baritone will be light fixtures, and a box made of wooden dowels will be strung with lights to become an Edison chandelier.
“So really taking in things and reimagining them,” said Boone, insisting he is more of a “meddler” than a carpenter.
“One of my specialties is to take things that people don’t think about in a certain way and turning it into something else.”
One of my specialties is to take things that people don’t think about in a certain way and turning it into something else.
— Cooper Boone, Owner, Foundry 42
That ‘something else’ he plans to display on the first floor, which will be all retail. Along with the furnishings, he plans to have his own handmade candles, a project he plans to make there to give people a taste of the beehive of activity below.
“I want to bring back and share and see people get excited about seeing someone working on a project in a store,” Boone said. “And it also solidifies the fact that we also do this here … it’s not made in China.”
It’s not made in China.
— Cooper Boone, Owner, Foundry 42
He sees it as a mini version of a makerspace, a DIY movement whereby artisans and other creators take a space and dedicate it to a creative pursuit. He said he was inspired by old factories in Nashville that have been converted into makerspaces where artisans of all kinds work together.
That is also part of what inspired the name, Foundry 42. A foundry is a workshop or factory for casting metal, which Boone felt represented the metal work they do with the furniture as well as the industrial vibe of the building. Salib is a metalsmith and will be doing the metal work for their furniture in the workshop.
“Our brand is about embracing old-school craft,” Boone said. “And I wanted something generic enough that it wouldn’t be tied into home goods or something.”
That is because the top floor, which will be the last phase of the building to open, will be an event space, where everything from small concerts to bridal showers to cooking classes or kids theater can be held.
“I really want it to be a community-type space where people are able to come and do different things,” Boone said.
Our brand is about embracing old-school craft.
— Cooper Boone, Owner, Foundry 42
One wall will be left unpainted and serve as a display for artists to showcase their work.
Already there is a wooden foundation of a stage, and Boone, a country singer who also plays ukulele and piano, has some bands interested in coming up from Nashville to play. “Noted number one hit song writers,” he added.
Because it will take some time to curate the events, he is aiming to have the retail part of the building open in June and the event space open in August.
Boone is originally from a German Catholic town in Minnesota called St. Joseph. He moved to New York City in the mid ’90’s where he opened a clinical psychology practice, and even though the practice was fairly successful, “I was just not happy,” he said. “I just didn’t function well in the city.” He heard about the Port Jervis area at a dinner party and decided to go check it out. “I was driving through Port Jervis and I was like ‘Oh, this is it,’ ” he recalled.
He liked the architecture of buildings, the proximity to the river, the convenience of having a train in the downtown and being right off interstate 84, as well as the diversity of the city.
“It’s got this kind of beautiful, quirky mix of people, which tends to be more me,” Boone said. “I’m not like the Hamptons guy.”
He bought land in Shohola, Pennsylvania, where he still lives, and he and his partner, Mark Veeder took up several revitalization projects in Barryville, a hamlet in Sullivan county on Route 97, about 20 miles northwest of Port Jervis.
I was raised with a strong belief in community stewardship.
— Cooper Boone, Owner, Foundry 42
They bought an old boarding house and turned it into bed and breakfast, an antiques store, and rental apartments and called it the Spring House. Later, they bought an ailing general store, redid the building, and reopened it with a wider variety of goods, but with a commitment to keeping it the local store it always was.
Later they founded the area’s first chamber of commerce, which Veeder was the president of, and Barryville’s first farmers market, which they still run.
“I was raised with a strong belief in community stewardship,” Boone said.
Besides working on Foundry 42, he has committed to helping the Port Jervis farmers market rebrand and expand. Last year they had three vendors, one more than when the Barryville farmers market started. Now the Barryville market has over 15, according to its website.
And just as much as Boone has thrown himself into ameliorating Port Jervis, the city has embraced him with arms wide open.
People have been so supportive in this community.
— Cooper Boone, Owner, Foundry 42
“People have been so supportive in this community,” Boone said. “I had someone show up last week and give me baked goods.”
He knows it is a show of appreciation for putting in the time and energy to improve the city’s downtown, and he’s excited to be a part of it.
He has gotten to know some other owners who have recently purchased Front Street buildings with plans to open new businesses, and like them, he sees the value of the area and his business increasing with each revitalized storefront. In the last five months, two other buildings on Front Street have sold, and a third is in the process of being sold.
“I call it the ‘reJervination,” Boone said. “We’re all very stoked.”
I call it the ‘reJervination. We’re all very stoked.
— Cooper Boone, Owner, Foundry 42
Already his furniture is practically selling itself. Without any marketing or even a website, he has 15 orders for Foundry 42 furniture waiting for him.
The business has been a large personal investment though, with only a low interest loan from the city for the facade, but Boone sees it as an investment in the future, and one that is well worth it.
“We believe in this town,” he said. “We just do.”
CELEBRATIONS ISSUE: DOWN ON THE FARM
Location, location, location. Emily and Adam hop the pond to get married on an idyllic farmhouse.
When Londoners Emily Hudd and Adam Kalita were planning their nuptials, they didn’t want a traditional wedding. “We wanted our wedding to be a retreat for a small group of friends,” says Hudd. They never thought that they would get married in upstate New York, let alone on a farm. Emily searched the web and found wedding designer and chef Cooper Boone. In January of 2013, Emily and Adam picked up from London and traveled to the States. The minute they saw the farm it was cemented. “Every little detail of our May weekend was perfect,” says Hudd. “Cooper and his team love to entertain, host and cook and it made for a relaxed and stress free farm wedding. It was far more beautiful than it appeared in pictures. It’s a magical place.” Maybe it was the red barn, but the beauty of their surroundings took them further than their imaginations could ever have taken them. Adam and Emily love the city and it is where they first got to know each other 9 years ago, but this was a destination wedding like no other. Far away from the familiar in the UK, the rural backdrop allowed everyone to relax and have a good time. Cooper welcomed them to come with friends and enjoy a memorable feast that seemed to just appear from his massive kitchen, as he created a magical event in the barn. “We love to host weddings at the Farmhouse,“ says Cooper Boone. “With our restored rustic barn, any wedding will be unique and memorable,” he added. Helping make it memorable was photography by Michael Bloom. The bride and groom felt so special, in that the location was a house and not an impersonal cookie-cutter hotel venue. Cooper and his team made them feel truly blessed.