Just Love Coffee opens first NJ cafe in Matawan, with more planned

MATAWAN – Just Love Coffee Café, a Tennessee-based specialty coffee company, has opened its first location in New Jersey.

Franchisee Scott Lentini, a 40-year veteran of the food industry who previously oversaw six McDonald’s locations, opened his first cafe at 273 Broad St. in Matawan. Another is planned for Route 36 in Long Branch.

Just Love Coffee started about 11 years ago in Tennessee after founder Rob Webb and his wife Emily adopted two children from Ethiopia. He started Just Love Coffee Roasters to raise money to help parents with the high costs of adoption.

Building on his success and noticing the growth of specialty coffees in the Nashville area, Webb opened his first cafe. It began franchising in 2018. Now Just Love Café has 27 locations open with a total of 40 planned by the first quarter of 2023, said Kevin Bauerle, vice president of business development at Just Love Coffee Café.

Lunch is served at Just Love Coffee Cafe on Broad Street in Matawan on Wednesday, August 17, 2022. The coffee chain has 27 locations nationwide, with this location being the first in New Jersey.

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“It’s about culture and community,” Bauerle told What’s Going There. “The heart of the brand is community. Our core values ​​are to be authentic, to be excellent and to be a catalyst for love.”

Lentini began looking for another franchise after his father sold his McDonald’s business. He looked at places like Chick-fil-A and Duck Donuts before finding Just Love Coffee Café. “I immediately fell in love with the brand,” he said. “It’s for me. It’s my calling.”

Just Love Coffee Café offers coffee from freshly roasted, organically grown beans. “All of our coffee is very, very, very fresh straight from the roaster,” Lentini said.

The cafe also offers an extensive menu of fresh produce, including omelettes, wraps, salads, soups, and waffles, as well as coffee and tea drinks.

Matawan Cafe is the chain’s first in the Northeastern United States.

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Just Love Coffee Cafe franchisee Scott Lentini (center) is pictured with his sons Tory (left) and Nick at his new store on Broad Street in Matawan on Wednesday August 17, 2022. The coffee chain has 27 locations nationwide , this location being the first in New Jersey.

Lentini was a match for Just Love Coffee, Bauerle said. “We are really looking for owners who want to be involved and part of their community,” he said. “Our model as a brand has been to find franchisees and operators who align with our core values ​​and will serve the community well.”

The cafe has leased a 2,447 square foot location at Broad Street Plaza, at the corner of Route 34 and Broad Street, according to owner Edgewood Properties in Piscataway. It is part of a mixed-use development with Edge at Matawan, a 130-unit rental community.

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“Scott came to us with a wealth of experience in the food industry,” said Joseph Morris, executive vice president of Edgewood Properties in Piscataway. “We also liked the concept for this building, especially because beyond coffee, they offer a good variety of breakfast, which we believe is a very important factor for our residents.”

David P. Willis, an award-winning business writer, has covered business and consumer news at the Asbury Park Press for more than 20 years. He writes APP.com’s What’s Going There column and can be reached at [email protected] Join his What’s Going There page on Facebook for updates.

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