Even if you don’t like coffee, there’s bound to be something for you at any coffee shop. PJ’s Coffee in Fairfield, New Jersey is no exception.
Founded in 1978, PJ’s Coffee is a Southern franchise, started in New Orleans, Louisiana and based largely on “Southern comfort” dining. The location in Fairfield is actually the first to open in New Jersey and the first to open in the Northeast entirely.
The location in Fairfield is right off of U.S. Route 46, just past Willowbrook Mall — a short, 10-minute drive down the highway from Montclair State University. The invite-only opening, mostly done for friends and family, was a huge hit. The soft opening was on Nov. 7, and the grand opening is expected to be sometime in December.
PJ’s Coffee prides itself on having menu items that aren’t similar to other chains, such as Dunkin’ or Starbucks. They have plenty of options and claim to have the best original cold brew, which is made using a special cold brew, drip process, which actually makes it less bitter than other coffees.
Even if you’re someone that doesn’t like coffee, like me, there’s still plenty to choose from. One of their claims to fame is the Granita, which is similar to Starbucks’ Frappuccinos and includes a blend of coffee, sweeteners, mix-ins and ice. They also have tons of tea options.
As for food, the choices go on and on. PJ’s Coffee has many freshly baked goods, and because the shop originally started in the South, one of their most popular food items is beignets. These are a Southern delicacy made of crispy, pillowy dough dunked in powdered sugar. If you’re looking for something different, the shop also has muffins, cinnamon rolls, breakfast sandwiches, bagels and so much more.
When I went, I asked the barista to surprise me with a drink that wasn’t coffee. As it was the friends and family opening, all purchases came with a beignet. I know I got there right on time when I saw the beignets had just been pulled out of the fryer.
The barista made me a Green Tea Mojito Tea Mixer. The drink was a very refreshing blend of mint and lime. I left extremely satisfied. And to top it off, the cup was made completely from recycled water bottles.
As for the interior design of the shop, the purple walls complement the company’s colors very nicely. There’s a lot of space to sit down and relax, too. In fact, it’s so spacious you could easily grab a table and study with friends.
Not only that, but the shop also sells merchandise: everything from T-shirts to mugs. A lot of their coffees and teas are also available to take home. Prices are relatively low as well, which makes them budget-friendly for the average college student.
If you’re looking to stop in, the menu is currently featuring winter drinks with special peppermint and gingerbread flavors. These will be available through the holiday season.
For anyone interested, the shop is also looking to hire college students. As mentioned earlier, it’s close to campus but it is also great in that it comes with flexible hours. Most importantly, you may just be able to try their new items before they hit the market.
Looking to go in and try it? They’re located at 407 U.S. Route 46, Fairfield, New Jersey. There’s something for everyone at PJ’s Coffee.