A Brave New Java Love
by Sarah Morffi, Barista and Manager Extraordinaire
Wow. What a time to be alive! NONE of us have lived through anything like this, and we’re still going through it. Covid-19 hit seemingly out of nowhere, although we all felt it coming, and at the end of March everybody’s “normal” lives ended. Schools shut, businesses big and small shut, and we all did the right thing by staying in. A LOT of us have suffered financially and/or mentally ((uncertainty is a killer)). So it made perfect sense when parks and businesses started reopening, that everyone was eager to get right back to their “normal” lives. Normalcy is all anyone craves ((ask any angst ridden teenager)). However we are still quite far from the lives we lived before Covid-19. It’s really important to remember as everything reopens in this new environment, that businesses will NOT be operating the same exact way as before Covid-19. They simply can’t. The best any of us can do is be patient, and adapt to the new changes Covid-19 brought along with it. Maybe one day “normal” will come back, but we certainly shouldn’t rush it along if it means unsafe conditions and undoing all the hard work we’ve already done.
Before Java Love reopened it’s doors, the very first question we asked ourselves was, “What environment can we create that is safe for both us and customers so that we can serve the community?” Believe it or not, our Phase 1 did NOT include cafe drinks. We used the vendors we already had connections with, selected staple grocery needs for the home, and offered groceries ((of all things!)) along with our usual Java Love coffee beans. I can’t tell you how great it felt to be back in the cafe, helping the community in an entirely different, but much needed way.
As we got our feet back in the groove of drink making ((for ourselves)), we decided to add staple drinks back to the menu. So when you were picking up your grocery order with us, you could also get a taste of the good old days ((while safely socially distancing)). It was so heartwarming to see everyone do a double-take at our open doors, and come back around to ask if they could just grab a drink, since we were back. We heard you. And we listened. The answer is Yes! You can! But we’ve changed a few things to make serving the community drinks both safe and necessary.
We all agreed in order to reopen a safe, brave, new Java Love, we had to eliminate AS MANY points of contact as possible. Since there are way too many points in shops to keep track of and sanitize after each touch, we decided no one is allowed in the cafes, except for working employees. This alone knocked out most points of contact.
We even found a simple solution to eliminate a major point of contact that seemed impossible to get rid of: Transactions! Passing cash and personal credit cards between hands was something we did not feel comfortable doing behind the counter. So Java Love linked up with ChowNow for contactless ordering and payments. Making all payments virtual keeps customers and employees safe!
What are the other cool benefits of ChowNow pre-ordering, you ask? Let me fill you in ((‘cause I personally think it is the bee’s knees)). The best part: NO WAITING IN ANY LINE. You’re home ((or out)), you definitely have your smart phone on you, and hopefully a credit card. First, you can do one of three things: 1. Head to our Instagram @doyoujavalove and click “Order Food.” 2. Head to www.javaloveroasters.com and click “Shop Pick Up.” OR 3. Text JAVALOVE to 33733. Second, you must select the correct Java Love cafe that you want to pick-up from ((there’s two in Montclair, so check that address line!)). After that, you have ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD to select exactly what you want to order ((with our modifiers)) and exactly what time you’d like to come pick it up. No waiting in a line to order or have your drink made, and ZERO guilt if a line forms while you order! It’s great! Oh yeah, and did I mention that contactless payment?! ChowNow has helped us safely take orders and payments, while adding a very relaxed and non-rushed element to the cafe service experience.
We also thought ahead a little, and decided setting a minimum for orders would be one way to preemptively deter a crowd from forming ((and we are happy to report it works!)). The $5 minimum set STILL allows you to order just a cup of coffee or just a bar drink... Just scroll down to the bottom of our ordering Menu, select “Donations,” and donate a dollar or two to the Hudson County Food Bank, bringing your total up to our reasonable $5 minimum.
Yes, we kept some staple needs available to the community, such as eggs, milk, non-dairy milk ((OAT MILK BABY!)), orange juice, bulk size Java Love drinks ((so you can hoard up at home)), even industrial size toilet paper rolls! And our 12 oz bags of coffee? We upped that to a FULL POUND! Now EVERY body automatically gets our Jar Refill Discount, without doing a single thing! Which makes stocking up on coffee at home that much easier.
We’ve often been asked, “When will things return to normal?” That seems to be the only question hanging over everyone’s head. For now, this IS the “new normal.” Meaning, our top priority is safety. Taking every precaution necessary. But with a little change and adaption on your part and ours, we can continue to do what we love and resume our lives, while being conscious of the safety of our community. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we enter this new phase of our business: a Brave New Java Love.