Laughing Man Coffee & Tea

I’m just back from the launch of Laughing Man Coffee & Tea, a new brand started by Barry Steingard and his son David—both of whom are longtime Tribecans—and actor Hugh Jackman. The part that’s most relevant to Tribecans: Laughing Man will be opening a café at 184 Duane (right), the itty-bitty storefront that’s next to Nili Lotan. “We’re shooting for Monday,” said David Steingard, who’s pictured at the end of this post. (I’ve actually known about the whole thing since June, but I agreed not to spoil Laughing Man’s splashy introduction, which, given Jackman’s involvement, included many television crews. I only point this out to prove that I can keep a secret.)

The idea came about after Jackman visited Ethiopia and befriended a coffee farmer named Dukale. When he returned, he broached the idea of a partnership to the Steingards, family friends who were planning a re-entry into the coffee business. What makes Laughing Man different from, say, Starbucks, is this (from the website): “By using our resources to find, incubate and support companies and products that believe in the ALL BE HAPPY vision, we can do our part to create jobs, support the entrepreneurial spirt and encourage the ingenuity that is essential to community health. Second, through the successful incubation of companies and products Laughing Man Worldwide gives 100% of the profits it receives from those ventures to charity.” (“All be happy!” is the company’s motto, and it also sells hot chocolate.)

The café on Duane is maybe 200 square feet, but there might end up being benches outside, and Laughing Man may offer seating in the storefront next door. It’s currently the brand’s headquarters, but the Steingards are talking to a prospective tenant about the possibility of putting seating inside.

The launch was at ABC Kitchen; look for me in the crowd footage that’s sure to air on “Access Hollywood” or whatever—I’m the guy standing against the wall. I’m terrible at those kinds of parties, and to what is sure to be my mom’s everlasting dismay, I didn’t speak to Jackman. I can tell her this, though: He’s not at all short.

UPDATE: The café is scheduled to open Monday, Oct. 24.

10 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing the news of our exciting launch this morning! As longtime Tribecans, we’re looking forward to contributing some great coffee, tea, and chocolate products to the community!

  2. Welcome to the block!!
    My wonderful staff and clients are sure to keep your lines long and your laughter quotient high! Looking forward to popping over on day 1.

    Alycea Ungaro
    Real Pilates, NYC

  3. I’m really happy when I hear of ventures like this. It isn’t just for the sake of personal profit, but to help those that really do need support and a helping hand. I hope this business goes from strength to strength.

  4. I want to know when I can purchase your coffee? I love good coffee, living in Virginia I depend on the internet.

  5. Where can I buy the laughing man coffee? I live in San Antonio, Texas

  6. I want to order this coffee but not threw the computer, do you have a address or phone no.? Thanks

  7. @Arleigh, Debbie, and Robin: I’d suggest contacting Laughing Man directly, through Facebook (facebook.com/livelaughingman) or Twitter (twitter.com/livelaughingman).

  8. I love a good cup of coffee and I’m always looking for something new. I noticed on your website that you sell single flavors. Please think about putting together a sampler so that we can try out several at a time before ordering by the pound.
    Well wishes for you and your business !

  9. where can we purchase Laughing Man coffee in the US? or
    do we have to get it online. I would LOVE! to contribute to a good cause.

  10. What a wonderful way to give back and to help pay it forward. Also I hear it is great coffee. Plan on letting this be one of my ways to share the Laughter and a good cup of coffee.