Hampshire Student and Alum Brew Community Connections with Woodnote Coffee Company

Kaihla Laurent F22, a current Division II student at Hampshire, is studying creative writing and poetry. Jay Diamond 15F, who concentrated on psychology and sociology at the College, has worked in social work, affordable housing, and community living initiatives since graduating from Hampshire in 2019. The two met while working as baristas at a coffee shop in Hatfield back in 2018. They shared the dream of someday running their own café and when that Hatfield coffee shop ultimately closed, they decided to take the leap and open their own business together.

Today, the two have founded Woodnote Coffee Company and currently manage and operate the business together part time. Woodnote is the result of their shared passion for coffee and community and is deeply rooted in their commitment to supporting local farmers and businesses. They use locally sourced ingredients and products and apply their years of service industry knowledge to offering up a variety of coffees and tea blends served hot or cold. 

“We believe conversation is key, and coffee is a conversation starter, a connector across communities, and a powerful tool,” says Laurent. “Our hope is to offer more moments to cultivate that connection, to bring others together over a well-crafted, intentionally made beverage.”

The Woodnote mobile coffee kiosk has quickly become a beloved fixture at the Greenfield Farmers Market, and you’ll find it this summer at various markets around Western Massachusetts. “We’d love to open a brick-and-mortar spot in Greenfield,” Laurent told the Greenfield Recorder for a recent article. “We’d love to have a coffeehouse featuring poetry, music, and art, and to invite people into a beautiful, welcoming space.”

The pair credit the College with helping them to identify and intertwine their passions. “Hampshire’s non-traditional academic approach heavily influenced the way we looked at starting Woodnote. We were given the framework for how to culminate our passions: connection and coffee,” says Laurent.

Their advice to prospective students? "Embrace the collaborative atmosphere that Hampshire offers. You would never believe the interrelation between your passions and your path until you explore it.”

To stay in the loop on Woodnote’s upcoming events and markets, follow them on Instagram.

Coffee steeping in the sunshine.