After a debilitating car accident left Elyissia Wassung’s mother, Barbara, unable to commute to work, she stayed busy in the kitchen, devising her own homemade chocolates. Nine-year-old Elyissia would then load her mother’s sweets into a shopping cart and sell them door-to-door around the neighborhood, learning entrepreneurial skills that would last a lifetime. After leaving a telecom job as an adult, Elyissia returned to selling chocolates by founding 2 Chicks with Chocolate (the other chick being her mom), teaming up with master chocolatier Patrick Coston and lead chocolatier Stephanie Vazquez. The dessert innovators create diverse flavors, such as spiced pear and caramel ganache, s’mores, and hazelnut praline, from scratch with spices and sea salt. Customers can also create their own bars online without venturing into the store, building on a selection of chocolate bases and toppings that range from pistachios to gummy bears. The store also hosts chocolate classes and enlivens parties with chocolate fountains and chocolate tastings.
Though it only recently opened its doors, Blue Sky Cafe has already carved out a niche as a neighborhood hangout. The laid-back eatery doesn't rely on juice mixes and canned veggies?instead, it creates juices brimming with carrots, apples, oranges, and beets, and dresses its wraps and sandwiches with vegetables fresh from the ground or plucked directly from lettuce trees. The cafe uses freshly baked bread, brews coffee on site, and even caters to events, including meetings and graduations.
Rockn' Joe Coffeehouse and Bistro fills diners' mouths with fresh-brewed coffee and deli fare, ears with classic rock, and eyes with walls covered in rock 'n' roll memorabilia, including electric guitars, vintage posters, and framed albums. Bellies can be treated to treats such as the oven-roasted turkey, brie, and tomato sandwich ($7.95), smoked-salmon-and-goat-cheese salad ($9.95), or the croissant french toast ($5.95). Rockn' Joe also has a coffee bar stocked with top-shelf lattes, hot teas, and coffee.
Chupitos NJ has all the elements of a traditional club: DJs and live music, screenings of major sporting events, and colorful cocktails. But it also manages to give off a distinct cultural vibe thanks to its Colombian roots. The lounge's menu supplies visitors the energy to participate in all of the entertainment opportunities with classic dishes including shrimp ceviches and steak empanadas, as well as fusion entrees such as Colombian pizza with chorizo and corn. The Latin influence is also prevalent on the cocktail list with strawberry caipirinhas and mojitos.
Whether visiting for a full meal or just a cookie and some laptop time, visitors to The Rack are greeted by three things: friendly staffers, the smell of coffee, and a plush, eclectic assortment of cozily mismatched sofas and pillows. Here, the ambiance commands just as much attention as the food. As sunlight streams in through street-facing windows, baristas whip foamy espressos, balance gooey slices of cherry pie atop utensils, and press sandwiches into savory paninis. Breakfast offerings include grits, biscuits, and veggie sausage, while lunch leans toward mango-topped Jerk Smoke'n Bird paninis, salads, and wings. All of this can be enjoyed with iced coffee, fruit smoothies, or protein shakes.
NY Bagel Cafe & Deli's kitchen bakes its bagels fresh every day, fueling a savory expansion to locations across seven states. At the Newark site, a glass case displays doughy circles infused with ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes and blueberries. Patrons can opt to decorate their bagels or the eatery's pumpkin-colored walls with cream-cheese spreads flavored with scallions, bacon, and strawberries. In addition, deli sandwiches enfold Boar's Head–brand meats and cheeses in italian bread, wraps, or rolls.