Words by Marléna Ahearn
Photos by Julia Merrell
Getting work done isn’t always so easy—especially if you freelance or work for yourself. There is so much to distract you: endless Instagram refreshes, needy pets, an untidy room. Fortunately, there are plenty of inspiring spaces to get out and work here in Rochester, NY. Check out these seven inspiring work-from-home-away-from-home spots!
Revolution Studio + Wellness Bar
“I’m really passionate about inclusive spaces with missions to help assist in the healing of our community. Revolution Studio + Wellness Bar is one of those spaces, putting community and inclusion at the heart of everything they do. Revolution is a gorgeous space to work, with plenty of seating both comfy, for those moments you just want to read a book, and bar/table seating for when you need to focus. They've got a coffee shop feel but offer an incredible list of juices, smoothies, local kombucha, AND coffee if you need an extra kick. Not only can you veg out with a smoothie or work hard with a shot of espresso, when the work is done you can take a pay-what-you-can yoga class with me, or another one of the amazing yoga teachers on staff.” – Martissa Williams, Nekkid by Martissa Williams
Libraries offer (free!) quiet spaces to get into your workflow. Lucky for us, we have plenty of options to choose from.
“I love libraries! The physical space of a library is quite magical and inspiring when I'm researching, writing, or crafting classes. Just consider all the brilliant thoughts and insights that manifest in the endless pages of words and images contained within the walls of libraries. We're lucky to have so many great ones in the Rochester area. As a historian, I often require access to printed books to really dive deep into my research. And while it is incredible that there are so many sources available online in this digital age, there’s nothing quite like the feel of a well-worn text or the first-edition print of new scholarship. Within the city, I particularly appreciate the beautiful University of Rochester Rush Rhees Library, as well as the downtown Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County. Both have great resources and quiet spaces to work. – Maya Rook, historian, artist, writer, and teacher behind History Happy Hour
“I frequent both the Pittsford Library and the Henrietta Library. I love them both because I can always rely on having a private workspace that is reasonably quiet. As a mom of two young girls, the sounds of little ones playing is essentially just white noise to me at this point! The libraries are great working spaces because I can sip my coffee without fear of overstaying my welcome at a restaurant, and it feels less "busy" to me than a coffee shop (I tend to be easily distracted).” – Emily Pelkowski, career coach at Thrive Career Coaching
Coffee shops are pretty standard work places. The coffee smells and the quiet chatter make a perfect backdrop for zoning into a pile of work. But, not all cafés are created equal.
Starry Nites Cafe
“Not only does Starry Nites have great coffee (my go to is their dark roast with a splash of cream), but the atmosphere is amazing. My favorite artist in Vincent Van Gogh, so the fact that there is Van Gogh paintings everywhere really seals the deal. They also have plenty of food options in case I need a snack while I’m getting work done, either something small like a cookie or a soup and sandwich. It’s never too loud or too quiet, just the right noise level for me to get a lot of work done. My favorite place to sit is in the armchairs next to the window, eating chocolate dipped biscotti.” – Kari Swenson, owner of Kari Elizabeth Design
“I mostly work from home as I have a workshop and packing station downstairs and a little studio set up in our guest room, but when I can get out, I enjoy it. My most frequent office-away-from-home is the JCC café. It’s perfect because it’s full of sunlight, and I can drop my kids off for two full hours and work in peace. When you’re a business owner and a full-time mom, you have to get creative!” – Anna Vos, owner of Owl Post Lettering
“My favorite place to work is at Boulder Coffee—there’s almost always seating free, there are a lot of people working and meeting there, the staff is nice, and just in general it’s a good chill place to work.” – Cara Livermore, Chickpea Magazine
Fuego Coffee Roasters
“Fuego, Fuego, Fuego! We love their new space and inviting atmosphere. Although we have an office and two venues to work in, we sometimes prefer to work off-site in order to get a change of scenery and some fresh air. We have fallen in love with Fuego and have made it our second office. It’s an additional perk that they have delicious coffee and create drinks that you never want to end. Depending on what we have on tap for our work day, we choose between a couch or a table as our temporary office. It’s quiet enough to allow you to focus but has the low buzz of movement and coffee-making that adds a relaxing touch. If you stop in and see one of our team members working there, come up and say hello! We’d love to meet you.” – Agathi Georgiou, Owner of Arbor Venues & Agathi & Company