When Byron W. Brown learned that Hillary Clinton wanted to stop for coffee, he knew just where to go – the shop where he and his wife go after church on Sundays.
Minutes after the Democratic presidential front-runner closed out her speech at the Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum, she and the Buffalo mayor were inside Golden Cup Coffee Company at 883 Jefferson Ave., clutching cups of “Buffalo Roast,” owner Larry Stitts’ personal blend.
“I knew this would be a great place,” Brown told a reporter.
It was a relaxing moment for them. Or it might have been had there not been a herd of reporters and photographers jostling for space and a presidential candidate with a busy schedule and votes to gather.
“I’d be honored to have your support in the primary,” she told a patron.
Clinton talked to a handful of the customers who assembled there in the hour or so between the moment Stitts learned the candidate would arrive and her convoy wheeled into his parking lot.
Clinton talked with Dawn Sanders-Garrett about the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, which has a Great Lakes Regional Conference for 1,200 members going on in Buffalo.
Clinton then chatted with Jasmine Westbrook, who is pursuing a master’s degree in social work from the University at Buffalo and is communications chairwoman for the Buffalo Urban League’s Young Professionals.
“Hopefully, you will stay here in Buffalo,” Clinton told Westbrook.
Westbrook, a Buffalo native, agreed she would.
The candidate moved on to Duncan E. Kirkwood, the local advocacy manager for the Northeast Charter School Network.
There were pictures with all of them.
“One more for my Snapchat,” Kirkwood asked.
“The Snapchat generation,” the candidate remarked.
“I thought it was really impressive that she would come to the real part of the City of Buffalo,” Kirkwood said, referring to the East Side. “It wasn’t just a stop-through for a picture. She talked to people. She tried the product.”
Clinton and Brown moved on to collect their coffees from Stitts and his wife, Jacqueline Stover-Stitts, who opened the business in 2010 in a small, well-tended plaza that included a hair salon and a car wash around back. At the time, Stitts was said to be one of the first African- Americans to own and operate a coffee roastery in Western New York.
After the candidate, the mayor, the aides and the reporters moved on to their next stop, Stitts was asked what the visit meant to him.
He beamed, spread his arms wide and declared, as if it should be obvious.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” he said.