ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – The kids might not be able to play with the miniature coffee grinder that’s been popular with in-store visitors, but there are specials and unique Christmas gifts galore behind those doors at Fair Mountain Coffee Roasters.
For a couple who started out in the business on Wall Street trading the most exotic and sought after coffee beans in the world, it takes more than a Covid shutdown to spoil their business.
“We’re here for all our customers,” a cheery Barbara DiBeneditto called from behind the counter. “We’ve passed all the state health standards and tests, and we’re open for business.”
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The only change, she laughed, is “now we bring it out to the curb for each one of you, just as we’ve always done for our Sea Streak and other after hours customers who stop for their orders after closing hours.”
The coffee store, whose address is 171 First Avenue, but which does business on the W. Garfield avenue side of the building, is owned by DiBeneditto and her husband, Greg Lewis, a couple who met while she was working in the importing office and he was a messenger carrying all varieties of coffee bean samples to importers and agents. Together they learned the business from ground up, or more accurately, from coffee pit up, he rising to work on the trading floor and familiarizing himself with every bean and every region that grows coffee. Eventually they traveled to most of the countries within the coffee belt surrounding the equator expanding their own knowledge and love of America’s favorite beverage. Once they decided to leave the rush of the city, they opened the shop in this community where coffee is king and the shop owners treat its history, flavor, aroma and place of locality as fine wine or coffee connoisseurs.
With Covid dampening everyone’s spirits, it’s the aroma of freshly ground coffee that can perk you up without even entering the store. The couple offer all varieties of fine coffee beans, either ground or whole, and have a two pound coffee sampler that appears to be the store’s most popular holiday gift this season. That’s four half pound containers of their most popular coffees either ground or whole.
But visitors to the store in the past, or the website today, know the gift giving ideas are not limited to coffee, as enticing as that is. And the owners are eager and able to offer up gift packages that include coffees, along with jams, both sweet and spicey, bread mixes of too many varieties to mention, some local honeys and gifts made from honey, and even a holiday special jam, a “Very Merry Chocolate Cherry” where even saying the name is fun.
The bread mixes are unusual in that they’re easily made at home with a single ingredient….carbonated water if you like, or, a bottle of beer or ale to try something a bit different. They’re not called “Soberdough” bread mixes for nothing, and they come in varieties from fruits and pestos, to wheats and herbs.
Since the shop owners also ship orders, it’s easy to order online or by phone, pay by credit card, and they’ll ship your order to the address of your choice. Christmas shopping couldn’t be easier…and yes, they’ll include the gift card as well!