Welcome to Founders Cafe

We Hope You’re Hungry!

Founders Cafe is a trendy cafe, tea and coffeehouse located in The Academy Building in downtown Rochester serving up award-winning micro roast coffees, freshly baked goods, handmade soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and paninis. We only use the freshest ingredients and artisan baked breads. We also offer both vegetarian and vegan options as well as some gluten free choices as well. With great food made-from-scratch, organic, fair-traded coffees and teas, and a hip friendly vibe (yes, we have WIFI), we’re a perfect escape from the office, a stop for passerbys, or out-of-town visitors. In addition to our extensive menu, we also offer catering services, delivery, creative specials theme weeks and a weather-permitting outdoor patio. To show our support of local businesses, Founders Cafe outsources all of our bread from Baker Street Bakery.

Menu Catering Specials


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About Us

Although the Founders Cafe was opened over eight years ago, the current owner, Michael Ellman “re-founded” the cafe in 2016. Making and serving food to family, friends, guests, and customers has been a part of his DNA and an expression of love to Michael and his family. His parents owned a Carvel franchise in Brooklyn and his grandparents owned a luncheonette on the ground floor of the apartment his family lived in. Michael has over 30 years of managerial experience in the hospitality industry throughout his professional career. Now it’s his turn to express his love to the hungry people of Rochester by providing them with a consistent, organic and delicious experience. Request to be added to our email list by contacting us at 585-770-1721!



Frequently Asked Questions



Yes, you can make a reservation by picking a date, time, and party size.
Yes, Founders Cafe has outdoor seating.
We maintain a 4.5 rating on Yelp and 4.7 star rating on Google!
5 miles. (We will deliver further for larger orders.)
There are metered spaces out front on S. Fitzhugh and on Broad St. and covered outdoor lots within a block.
There is no such thing as a free lunch!