For the second time in a month, D'Amico Foods is dealing with city inspectors over smell complaints from some nosy neighbor. In February, after 63 years of roasting on Court Street, the D'Amico family was confronted with the first formal complaints over their coffee roasting aromas. Last week there was another call to 311 over the smell of roasting beans, prompting another visit from a DEP inspector. The city has not issued a summons, and though the D'Amicos feel pretty confident they won't be fined, they're still worried. "What can we do?" Frank D'Amico tells us, "Without roasting we're out of business."
For the finicky neighborhood's sensitive noses, there's some good news: Unrelated to the 311 complaints, the owners are talking about moving most of their roasting operation to a still-undecided place in Red Hook. They still plan to do small batches at the store on Court Street, but mainly to keep the tradition alive.
Their supporters—and they have quite a few—have suggested making t-shirts, even setting up a collection jar on the counter to preemptively raise money for the DEP summons fine. Ironically, the odor that's caused all the trouble has also proven to be great advertising for D'Amico's. On Monday, one patron—a teamster working on Kill Your Darlings—parked up at D'Amico during break. He smelled the coffee from the street, he said, and it was the reason he came inside.