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Coffee Talk With Jack Mazzola

The original Jack's keeps the West Village - and beyond - buzzing.

Following an enlightening trip to an organic coffee farm in the Dominican Republic, Jack Mazzola returned to New York with the mission to make, quite simply, the perfect cup of joe. He bought different roasts from a Puerto Rican importer and tried brewing them in his apartment in several French presses to properly compare flavor profiles. Turning his countertop into a kitchen-cum-laboratory, Mazzola took a cue from his Italian grandma, who mixed together all the ingredients of her tomato pasta sauce with a steady arm, and started stirring his coffee. The result: a consistently smooth, strong brew.

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A Conversation With Bureau of Trade Founder Michael Phillips Moskowitz

Michael Phillips Moskowitz

Looking to find an antique Moroccan dagger, a 1971 Royal Enfield motorbike or an adorable Dalmatian-Bulldog named Ace?

Bureau of Trade is your place.

A collection of merchandise that “men want most – whether or not they’re yet aware,” Bureau of Trade is the e-commerce brainchild of former Middle East analyst, menswear designer and editor Michael Phillips Moskowitz. Scouring online auction houses and traveling the world, Moskowitz’s refined eye searches for the exquisite, the eclectic and the elegant. These globally sourced scores become the ever-evolving selection at Bureau of Trade. Each is accompanied by a witticism and erudite conversation in lieu of pedestrian product descriptions. The combined result is an online boutique of clothes, cars and canines (and more) as unique as its creator.

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Polypropylene & Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) Cheese Grater

You’re either reading this because you wonder how exactly this product fits into our collection, or because you got excited, and were just about to make a purchase. If the latter: Our apologies, this product is not for sale at KM. We’ve fooled you, because we wanted to bring awareness to why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Plastic Cheese Grater

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Kaufmann Mercantile is Hiring

Kaufmann Mercantile Is Hiring!
We’re growing and we’re looking for people to join our team. If you enjoy what we do, get excited about high quality products, and fit one of the below job descriptions, then we’d love to hear from you. Visit our updated listings here.

Why Kaufmann Mercantile?
We’re a young and creative company located in Brooklyn, NY. We are as passionate about the people who work here as we are about the products we sell. You can learn more about what we stand for here.

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Saber Fazer

Portuguese Basket Makers, Rosa and Manuel

Rosa, Basket Maker

Alice Bernardo is the author of Saber Fazer, a documental project started in 2010, with the goal of preserving the artisanal and semi-industrial production tradition in Portugal. “I understood that a lot of the knowledge these makers held wasn’t being passed on to anyone,” Alice said, “and it was going to be lost very soon.”

Alice has been featured on her own TEDx talk for this evolving project. She took a break from her travels in Brazil to talk with me about why the stories of these makers in particular seemed so necessary to preserve. The photos here are all by Alice, with more published on her blog.

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On A Mission, Without A Discount

 

Frequent visitors to our store know that we very rarely offer discounts. Today, on Cyber Monday, the annual day of online discounts, might be a good time to explain why. We’d love to hear your thoughts at the end of this post.

Generally, I understand why discounts sound great (You: more products; us: more sales), but I don’t feel it’s the best solution for either of us in the long run. First, being against discounts doesn’t mean we’re against low prices. We regularly turn products down because we feel they’re too expensive. And we offer many items below the suggested retail price.

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KM Redesign

A good purchase can be defined in many ways, but largely it comes down to these two questions: Where did the product come from, and what is it made of?

The value we place on a product’s origin and material is why we’ve now integrated a Shop by Region and Shop by Material section into our website. These options are meant to equip you with valuable information about the product you want to buy before you buy it,  giving you knowledge about its quality, safety, environmental impact and the manufacturing conditions under which it was produced. The material and origin of a product also open up a beautiful world of art, tradition, skills, aesthetics, physics, engineering and many more.

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Brooklyn Makers

Leave a comment telling us a compelling story of a maker you know, what they make so well and why you love it, and we’ll pick a comment at random and send you our copy of Brooklyn Makers!

Brooklyn Makers

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Banana Republic Vintage Catalogues

There was a time when you could shop Banana Republic through a catalogue filled with romantic hand-illustrated drawings and flourishing annotations. When walking into a Banana Republic store was like walking onto the set of Raiders of the Lost Ark, complete with Bush jackets, Ghurka shorts and a stipple mural of an African safari. A time when adventure and fashion went hand in hand.

1987 Banana Republic Catalog

Banana Republic Gift Work Book, 1987

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Shorpy Vintage Photo Archives

November 1942. Columbia Steel at Geneva, Utah. Floodlight servicing on a new steel plantation for the war effort.

“A photograph can be kind,” Einstein said. It never changes, even as the people in it grow old and their stories change completely. You can look back on a photo of your mother or father, or the old town where you grew up, and see things as you remember them.

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