chef and wine guru: brian engel


Brian was born and raised in Ohio and arrived in NYC in the early eighties to pursue his dream of cooking professionally. He worked for many years in restaurants, hotels, corporate food service and catering.


Then the wine bug bit him and Brian transitioned to retail wine sales, working in a couple of prominent upper Manhattan wine shops. But the kitchen kept calling his name. He’s excited, energized and challenged to return to his first love of food as part of the Moss Café team.

pastry chef: alejandro benarducci

You know all those amazing pastries you get at Moss? That's thanks to THIS guy. Bio on its way.

sous chef and pizza man: renzo campos

Renzo is too busy making amazing pizza to write a bio. 

line cook and all around good guy: josue herrera

It has been said that in the line up of good people, Josue is second only to Fred Rogers. For real. 

beverage manager: tess watts

Though Tess grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, she considers herself a true New Yorker at heart after 5 years of living in the city. She comes to Moss Cafe with almost ten years of front of house experience in restaurants and cafes. Through Moss, she's found a passion for learning about coffee and a desire to leave a lasting, positive impact on the environment. When not at Moss, you can probably find her exploring Brooklyn for the best cup of coffee, advocating for the environment, reading a good book, and stopping strangers on the street to pet their dogs.

mashgiach, pickler and pasta maker:

david schaum

David Schaum (affectionately known to his friends as just "Schaum") has been the mashgiach of Moss Cafe since April 2016. His love affair with food began early  in life during Sunday lunches with his bubbe as they picked smoked whitefish off the bone. Since then, he has expanded his expertise and is known in his adopted community of the Upper West Side as a maven of challah and pickles. David has a degree in the violin and viola from the Manhattan School of Music and when he is not at Moss Cafe, can be found playing chamber music with his friends or haggling at the Union Sq. Greensmarket.

general manager: ben alpern

Ben joins our team after having recently moved from Jerusalem, Israel where he had been living with his wife and kids, working as a tour guide. He has been working in restaurants and hotels for decades in both the front and back of the house. His love for food began while working as a line cook in high school but his real passion now is reserved for baking sourdough bread for his friends and family regularly. 

owner: emily weisberg


Emily grew up in a small town in Wisconsin where she started writing recipes and drinking coffee at the ripe old age of 7. She got her start working in restaurants when she was 14 and has hardly stopped since. She learned Spanish, got interested in coffee growing in Latin America, went to college, shopped at the farmer's market every week, ate at some amazing restaurants, lived and worked in Peru for a while and eventually got married in Jerusalem, Israel where she and her husband, Alex, lived for three years. They came back to the U.S. with a toddler and an even stronger desire to build a diverse community around food.  Enter: Moss Café.  Emily, her husband and their two little ones live in Riverdale and can probably be found at the café. If they’re not there, they’re hopefully sleeping.