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Cushman Market and Café: brewing coffee for over 100 years

To an outsider, the little blue shack next to the railroad on Pine Street in North Amherst seems like just another local general store. But to anyone that has given this place a chance, it is a rustic little market and café, serving some of the best egg sandwiches in Amherst.

Cushman Market and Café is one of the most unique and homey places to grab a coffee and a sandwich in Amherst. Their décor and location scream “hipster” to any newcomer, but Cushman has a long history that dates back over 100 years.

George Cogswell purchased the land that Cushman Market is located on back in 1892. Cogswell initially built a grocery store in that space, and ever since then it has remained a market. Originally, at the end of the 19th century, the Cushman Village area was a busy and industrial location in the city of North Amherst.

Over the years, the Cushman Village area has changed to fit the needs of current residents. What was once a booming and industrial area of North Amherst is now primarily residential, with Cushman Market as one of the last standing reminders of the past. Though it has changed owners over the years, Cushman Market still has the same country store feel that it had over a century ago.

Cushman Market was closed for two years starting in 2003 after nearly facing a mandatory re-zoning. It has since then been bought by new owners, Pete Sylvan and Rebecca Schwartz. Sylvan and Schwartz both still own Cushman Market, and have thus far successfully been running both the café and the market.

Cushman Market is small but stocked with both essential groceries and uncommon brands of food, along with some interesting trinkets to browse. They also sell a unique selection of beer and wine. But the real draw to Cushman Market is the café in the back.

The market has several entrances, but for direct access to the café, you can use the back door. From the second you open the door to the Cushman café, you are instantly greeted with the smell of freshly brewed coffee and the sounds of calming coffeehouse tunes.

The café is small but quaint, and has plenty of seating both inside and outside. Cushman offers a calm place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or get some homework done, with its rural wood undertones and earthy vibes.

In addition to the inviting atmosphere, Cushman offers a menu with a wide array of drinks. They have over a dozen types of tea, and several different blends of coffee, along with the option to have your coffee prepared in a variety of different ways.

Cushman also has a large menu featuring plenty of breakfast and lunch options. They pride themselves on their dish called the “HOBO,” which they refer to as an “ultimate bowl of goodness.” The HOBO is a bowl of roasted potatoes covered in a variety of toppings, depending on the option you choose.

Their omelets and egg scrambles are also popular and cheap options. But some of their finest creations rest in their egg sandwich combinations, for a grand total of only about $5. They have a variety delicious egg sandwiches, with everything from pesto, goat cheese and tomato, to avocado, pepper jack and chipotle sauce.

So next time you’re in the mood to get away from mainstream Amherst without going too far, give Cushman Market a try. Their atmosphere, local feel and food and drink are certainly worth a trip.

Cushman Market and Café is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. They are located at 491 Pine Street in North Amherst, and have plenty of parking in the back and across the street.

Jessica Chaiken can be reached at jchaiken@umass.edu.

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