RESTAURANT REVIEW

Shop caters to hipsters, reviewer thrilled

SUPERIOR MERCHANDISE COMPANY BLENDS a coffee shop with a bar, and offers a unique experience for customers.

In the two weeks that I have been on campus, I have rediscovered why I love Superior Merchandise Company. Located at 147 4th Street in Troy, it ticks off all of the boxes on my list of why a shop should exist. It is a totally unique experience in Troy that everyone should visit at least once. With curated goods ranging from craft beers to beard sculpting products, SMC gives visitors a friendly and enriching shopping experience. In addition to the craft goods, high quality coffee is served behind the counter on a rotating basis, with different roasts brought in regularly. The whole atmosphere of the store is unique, and strikes me as the hipster college student’s paradise.

Walking in, the first thing my eye is drawn to is the contrasting white walls and black accents that provide a modern feel and give off a high quality vibe. When you walk in, you can spend some time perusing the curated products lining the shelves. The merchandise at SMC has its own unique feel that, despite the wide array of products, seems well-put together. The soap bars fit right in next to the stylized towels and bags.

Approaching the bar, you are greeted by friendly baristas who may be grinding coffee, preparing food, or serving craft beer. Although the food choices are limited, mainly toast and jam, everything gives off a cohesive feeling. I rarely feel limited in my options, despite the small menu. After ordering, the barista asks if you are taking that to go or to stay. At this point, I highly recommend staying, taking a minute, and looking around. Enjoy the company of the people you are with, enjoy the feel of the store. There is no Wi-Fi, and cell reception is abysmal if you are trying to do any internet-connected work. But, in my opinion, this really improves the aesthetic of the store, which seems to encourage you to slow down and appreciate where you are.

SMC regularly varies the coffee they serve, unlike many coffee places. I am not the biggest fan of the current espresso roast by itself—I feel it has more of a sweet taste compared to many other espresso roasts. However, it does make good lattes, mochas, and espresso beverages. The current iced coffee, a roast by The Coffee Collective, is extremely high quality, with a very bold flavor.

All in all, SMC gives off a unique vibe that every student at RPI should experience at least once in their college career, regardless of their tastes in coffee.

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