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OQ Coffee Opens Doors of New Coffee Bar

OQ Coffee started off in the kitchen of Elijah's Promise, and has moved their operation to a new space in Highland Park.

A local company has taken the next step in expanding their coffee bean business by opening a shop for people to come and experience new kinds of coffee.

OQ Coffee (OQ standing for Old Queens, named for the historic Rutgers University campus) started out as a small operation roasting beans in the kitchen of Elijah's Promise.

Now, owner Ben Schellack is roasting beans and brewing cup of free trade, organic and unusual coffees in the company's brand new coffee house in Highland Park.

The shop is celebrating its grand opening today, Saturday, Dec. 15, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The 900 sq. foot shop boasts a selection of coffees, espresso and loose-leaf teas and tables and chairs for sitting and sipping. Burlap sacks of beans, a piano, and the company's roaster, which at quick glance resembles a locomotive, fill out the room.

One wall is also used to showcase local artists, and the music of local music acts can be heard playing.

Schellack also has a long, high-topped table at which he plans to host coffee tasting events on weekends featuring different types of beans brewed different ways.

OQ Coffee gets its beans from a variety of farms in Latin America, Asia and Africa,  through fair trade arrangements.

Schellack said that the espresso beans are roasted within about two weeks of shipping or brewing them, in order to offer the best-tasting coffee possible.

He does not take lightly the work put in by farmers in growing the beans, Schellack said.

"It's kind of a waste of their effort (to mistreat the product)," he said.

Especially since a good espresso, Schellack said, is a thing of beauty.

"It's kind of like a magnifying glass for the coffee," he said.

Schellack says the coffee varieties to be offered depend on the season, and the farm on which they are sourced for.

In the shop, they are priced between $2.75 and $6 per cup, depending on the style of the drink, he said.

In addition to the coffee shop, OQ Coffee sells its beans through the company website, and at several farmers markets and small shops and cafes throughout New Jersey.

In New Brunswick, OQ Coffee beans or brewed coffees are available at the George Street Co-op, the Souper Van, and the Rutgers Gardens Farmer's Market, according to the OQ Coffee website.

The Harvest Moon Brewery and Cafe offers "coffee beers" brewed using OQ's beans as well, according to the website.

OQ Coffee Coffee Shop and Roastery is located at 13 S. Third Ave., Suite 3, in Highland Park.

The shop is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The store is closed on Sunday.

For more information, visit http://oqcoffee.com.

Rick December 15, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Good luck in your new business.Just a heads up to customers,be aware of your surroundings due to the fact that this is a high crime area.Try not to go alone, go in groups.
Joe December 15, 2012 at 08:05 PM
By no stretch of the imagination is that a high crime area.
wendy December 16, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Dominic are you crazy? This is one of the safest areas in NJ. Why try to ruin this lovely business?
Rick December 16, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Take a look at a crime map of New Brunswick .There were four or five murders just in the last six months.I have forgotten how many assaults and robberies all of which happened within a few blocks of this location.I would rather be honest so people know to be aware.
Phil December 17, 2012 at 02:47 PM
If you knew anything about the area New Brunswick is Not just a few blocks from this location in Highland Park. The area you are speaking of is way over the bridge and even on the other side of down town New Brunswick, at least two miles from the new shop. Highland Park is extremely safe area and it is a walking town. You shouldn't comment on something you have no knowledge of.
Diane December 17, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Uh Dominic, I live in Highland Park and it's the safest place ANYWHERE. New Brunswick and Highland Park are two entirely different worlds. Come visit and you'll see.
Ashley December 18, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Highland Park is extremely safe and the store is in a great location ... anyone could walk around the downtown and feels safe - a great police force and great community.

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