James and I met at Rutgers University in 2003 and became fast friends. At the time James was a media studies major and I was majoring in Classics and Philosophy. After graduation James and I took different paths, he on to graduate school in Communications and Information Science at Rutgers while working for Johnson & Johnson, and I a New York City Teaching Fellow, earning my Masters of Science in Education from Fordham while teaching in the Bronx. Our lives were truly on very different paths, until we reconnected for a New Year’s celebration in 2008. It was that night that James and I (after a couple of non-alcoholic beers) admitted our longstanding love for each other and decided that we were should get married. Still, the idea of owning a coffee roastery on the Jersey Shore was just a thought in the corner of James's mind. He had actually never been a fan of coffee until around that time when he had that one fateful, delicious cup and said to himself, “Holy crap this is good!” After we were married in 2010, James began writing a business plan for a coffee roastery that embodied some core values...freshness and friendliness. Still skeptical, I continued teaching in New Jersey while James labored away at building our first roastery in Monmouth Beach. I became pregnant in 2012, only about a year after opening our first location. That fall, while on maternity leave, Superstorm Sandy decimated much of the Shore. The bakery who supplied the shop was wiped out and we began searching for an alternative supplier. One day, an exasperated James came home and asked if I could make some pies for she shop. James remembered that while we were first dating, his mom taught me how to make a pie. In fact she said in most loving and maternal way, “If you’re going to be serious with James you have to learn to make a good pie.” I took what little experience I had and started there, with pie. From there James asked me to start making more and more products until we knew our second location should include a bakery. We realized if Booskerdoo was going to offer not only the best coffee but also superior baked goods, it would no longer be Booskerdoo Coffee, it would have to be Booskerdoo Coffee and Baking Company. In a sense we celebrate two anniversaries, 2011 when we opened our first location, and 2013, when we opened the bakery.
While it may seem strange that a former ad man and classics teacher would open a place like Booskerdoo, we tend to disagree. While James generates the larger vision and takes risks for a business that can grow, I am often logical and pragmatic about the many aspects of running a multi-dimensional business. Our strengths may be very different, but like any good partnership, it’s what makes us thrive.
Since then, we’ve grown to multiple locations, serving dozens of wholesale clients. Though our reach has expanded, our principles remain the same...great coffee, great pastries, great people.