New Vegan Café: Square One Café in Schenectady

“Oh wow.” Is how Chelsea Heilmann, owner of Square One Café, describes the start of her vegan journey after spending a day watching several informative documentaries 3 years ago. She says that she just “never looked back” and after not being able to unsee what she had just seen, and “knew that it was time to make a change” to veganism. The latest step in Chelsea’s vegan journey is the newly opened Square One Café in Downtown Schenectady.

Square One Café is the result of a lifelong dream of Heilmann’s. While she admits that she never believed that her dream café would be vegan, this new adventure “just makes it that much more exciting.” Chelsea credits Happy Cappuccino’s former owner Matt Robbins for creating an “amazing atmosphere of this cozy, warm, inviting café” that after her time working as a barista she saw the opportunity and potential for what could become.

Ms. Heilmann is from Schenectady and knows first-hand the restaurant scene. Square One will soon be a “full-fledged vegan restaurant” and this is part of the change that Chelsea wants to impart to her community. Her goal is to “show the everyday people of Downtown Schenectady that vegan food can be amazing tasting, affordable and convenient.” The one menu that Chelsea is looking forward to is the Cheesy Gordita Krunch (yes, just like the Taco Bell one). A self-proclaimed lover of junk food, Chelsea is excited to “show people you can have those items you used to love and it can be done cruelty free and environmentally sustainable.”

When asked about her proudest moment so far, Chelsea remarks on how quickly she’s been able to transition from The Happy Cappuccino to Square One Café. On November 1st of last year Chelsea took over and Square One Café opened on January 6th of this year! She credits having her “heart in it” and being able to express her passion to this impressive turn-around. And for some inspiration, Chelsea says that “people will tell you you’re crazy but it’s the crazy wild dreamers that seem to make it in the business world, and we all had to start somewhere!”
Square One Café is set to open with their full menu later this month, but you can visit them now at 185 Jay Street, Schenectady.


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