Photo By Rick Snizik
Story By Randy Gross – firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to Crumberland! A magical place where coffee is a conduit to cheerful conversation, and, despite the “crumb” part of its name, rarely a crumb remains on plates after customers finish the divine scones, muffins, and slices of peanut butter pie hand-crafted by co-owner Laurel Weiser, a licensed pastry chef.
BCB – or Brew Crumberland’s Best – a not-so-hidden gem on Bridge Street in New Cumberland, is a popular drive-thru stop for both West and East Shore workers on the go, and a welcoming “dine-inside” place for either breakfast or lunch, especially since the cozy eatery became even cozier following a Covid-prompted expansion. For those who haven’t had the time to partake of the latter experience, it comes highly recommended. After all, that may be the only way to meet Laurel, her brother (and co-owner) Wade Weiser, and the featured barista for March, shift manager Victoria Laird.
Laird, born and raised in Lemoyne, is passionate about many things: music (she is an accomplished musician); photography (she snaps the pics for BCB’s website and social media); and, of course, the coffees and coffee drinks she serves up as part of a large team of baristas (currently 16 strong!) at Brew Crumberland’s Best, where she has been happily employed for the past five years.
Before coming to BCB, Laird was pursuing a degree in audio engineering while simultaneously pondering giving that up for a different kind of career. “I was sort of moving into wanting to own my own coffee shop,” she relates, “but knowing that I’m not good with the business type of thing and the money aspect, I was sort of like ‘I don’t think that’s going to work out for me.’ So, I thought I’ll get in a coffee shop and see how much I like it, and if I want to keep pursing that.”
‘Like’ would turn out to be an understatement. “When I was here, I loved it,” she exclaims, “and I was doing what I wanted to do, which was just to mainly work with people, work with coffee, and train people, and help people learn … I was doing everything I wanted to, and so I never left.”
In addition to her positive interactions with customers and fellow employees, Laird also gets to exercise her creative muscles, by helping to create both special and seasonal drinks. “I’ve come up with some good ones,” she says proudly. “I recently just got into that.” Though the March drink menu wasn’t set at press time, it’s expected to include at least one favorite from last year: the Nutty Irishman, featuring a tasty combination of Irish Cream and hazelnut.
Crumberland isn’t just a “magical” place for the finest coffees and pastries. Apparently, it’s also a romantic place: Wade and Victoria are engaged and anxiously awaiting to officially tie the knot this June. Stop by for a hot cup of java and something sweet or savory (a “don’t miss” item is the cheddar and bacon scone!), and while you’re there say “congrats” to the loving couple!
Words of advice to home coffee brewers:
I would say, never get too comfortable with one blend of coffee. Everyone has their favorite, but it’s always nice to try different ones! There is so much good coffee in this world, you just might find a new favorite.
Is there anything – or anyone – that inspires you as a Barista?
Honestly, my main inspiration as a barista comes from our customers at BCB. Everyone is facing a different kind of day, with their own unique battles and triumphs. Getting to help jump start their day with a smile and a cup of coffee is so rewarding to me, and hopefully brings a smile to them as well!
Favorite coffee or blend of coffee:
I typically lean towards dark roasts like Nicaraguan if we’re talking about good coffee, but nothing beats a mug of crappy diner coffee at 1:00am.
Recommendations of two or three kinds of coffee to try:
I float around with my interests when it comes to my morning caffeine intake. Our cold brew with sweet cream, a plain latte with cinnamon, or a nice cup of black coffee are usually my top picks. I tend to go for drinks that aren’t too sweet, so if you’re like me, try them out!
Favorite coffee-fusion drink to mix:
For me, any type of espresso-based drink is fun to make. I like making drinks with multiple steps, especially when people are creative with their orders!
Most commonly ordered drinks during your shift(s):
The most popular drink that’s ordered during my shifts is always a regular sized house coffee, either black or with cream and sugar. Outside of brewed coffee, we also sell a ton of seasonal drinks. Our seasonal drinks are all based off the time of year, or holiday themed, and they change monthly. They sell quick!
Philosophy on coffee brewing and/or the enjoyment of coffee:
Coffee is cool because it can adapt to fit whatever you need it to. If you’re like me, you have many different experiences when you drink coffee. Whether I’m rushing out the door and my thermos is spilling on me as I get in my car, or I’m enjoying a nice early morning, sipping it while watching the sun rise, coffee is always there for me. It is great for catching up with a friend at a local shop, keeping me going on a late work night, or surprising a loved one with a pick-me-up. Coffee fits any situation, and whoever I need to be at that time.
Is Barista your day job? If not, what else do you do for a living?
At the moment, I spend about half of my work week as a barista, and the other half remodeling homes. My fiancé’s dad owns his own contracting business, and I love working with him as much as I can outside of managing Brew Crumberland’s Best.
During a typical week, what days/shifts can you be found at Brew Crumberland’s Best?
Typically, you can find me opening the shop. I love to help with the morning rushes!
Your signature (or favorite) coffee drink:
My favorite coffee drink: Grind fresh beans, brew coffee, drink black coffee. It’s really that easy!
Editor’s note: because coffee has become as – if not more – popular than alcoholic beverages, Harrisburg Magazine decided several months ago to accept nominations for both worthy bartenders and baristas
Caramello (16 oz)
2 Shots of Espresso*
8 Ounces of Steamed Milk
4 Pumps of Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce
Top with Home-made Whipped Cream
*BCB uses a special blend Espresso created in conjunction with Elementary Coffee Co. in Harrisburg.