The Story of Java Love Coffee Roasting Co.
Bethel, NY – Where It all Began
We opened the first Java Love on May 1, 2011, in the historic Beekman Mill in Kaunenoga Lake, New York. That first shop was about 400 square feet (it felt much smaller) with our roaster taking up much of that space. So, for the first two years, that’s where we roasted, managed production and had a little space to brew coffee and serve customers - but only about 4 customers could be in the shop at a time because there was no room.
As we began to grow it became clear we needed more room, and were lucky enough to move into a beautiful old house on the south side of the lake which had been home to the Front Porch restaurant for 18 years. As usual with us, everything was done in a very fast and energetic way – which is just a nice way of saying we didn't really think through the timing or logistics of moving an entire company one week before the 4th of July - our busiest weekend of the year!
In seven days we renovated the first floor of the house; creating a new and much larger retail and seating area, and moving the 1,200-pound roaster and all the coffee equipment in time to open our doors for July 4th.
From the beginning, this house felt like it is where we belonged. The aged wood floors, beautiful woodwork, tons of windows and the view of the lake immediately created what many now refer to as our "vibe". Over the years the house has soaked up the aromas of coffee roasting, baked goods, and every once in a while, a waft of patchouli oil - after all, we’re only a mile from the location of the 1969 Woodstock Festival (thus our Summer of '69 blend).
Bellevue Avenue, Montclair, NJ – The Beginning of Our Expansion
When we initially thought about opening a shop in Montclair, where we live and our kids go to school, we knew we would want it to be... well, literally right where it is in Upper Montclair. After stumbling into the opportunity of the storefront being available, we signed the lease and began renovations in February 2014, opening our doors in April.
It was all hands-on deck - knocking down walls, painting, salvaging old pieces left behind from past owners of the Bethel shop. When it came to the store's design, we wanted to create, or recreate, the feeling of warmth at our Bethel location. Though we knew it wouldn’t have the same vibe, we wanted it to feel welcoming and perhaps a bit fun and eclectic.
So, on a very small budget, it was time to muster up our innovation. After speaking with a designer/architect about our desired look and feel, we were introduced to industrial chic. Embracing the style, we brought a little of Bethel to Bellevue Avenue – using reclaimed wood from an old building renovation and wood found in the Bethel basement.
Working with a local artist, we created seating, service areas and walls from the reclaimed Catskill wood, the pallets our coffee is delivered on and the burlap coffee sacks our beans are shipped in. The counter is crafted from three old doors pulled from people's garbage and a shipping container salvaged after Hurricane Sandy. Our goal was (and still is) to reuse and recycle, keeping our environmental and social impact to a minimum.
Our shop has become a neighborhood staple - from soccer dads to business meetings to families grabbing a treat - you are bound to meet a neighbor or friend in our shop.
The Expansion Spreads to Church Street, Montclair, NJ
Yet again, an ideal location found us - and we created our third location on the picturesque Church Street in downtown Montclair. Wanting to create the same feeling, warmth and unique vibe of our other two shops, we again depended on reclaimed, recycled and salvaged materials.
Most weekdays you will find people in meetings, grabbing a cup of coffee with friends, or bringing their kids in for a special treat. On weekends and evenings, our space gives way to special events like as music and game nights while also being a perfect space for organizations to hold cocktail parties, coffee tastings, and workshops. Our Church Street location provides the perfect accent to the local restaurants, open patio spaces, and pedestrian shopping. Java Love is proud to be part of the Montclair Center Community.
Coffee and Ice Cream in Roscoe, NY
Love is truly serendipitous. The summer of 2017, we opened the seasonal Java Love Outpost in Trout Town USA – Roscoe, NY. Partnering with the gracious owners of the Roscoe Brewery, we took the 12'x12' log cabin on Stewart Avenue and filled it with love, coffee and ice cream! Our summer outpost is the perfect stop for folks enjoying camping and fly fishing in the area as well as for local residents and families looking for a treat and pick-me-up. With music playing outside, custom benches and umbrellas for seating, and events behind the building, the charm is enough to draw in visitors. Add an amazing cup of love and you will be hooked.
Heart and Soul
From 2011 to the present, Java Love was created and continues to be our passion and soul. Our mission and values of love, transparency, growth, and community are apparent in everything we do. We have always put an emphasis on doing good, partnering with local and state agencies for workforce development, working with local businesses and associations for Main Street projects and development, donating where we can to causes that speak to our mission, and valuing our team and customers as family. We say every day “one bean at a time”- one bean at a time to spread love.