Police officer Justin DePascale didn’t like coffee and never drank it until being assigned to the Anti/Vice Squad narcotics unit working mostly evenings. Staying alert made drinking coffee a necessity, but over time, DePascale learned to appreciate the hot beverage. Now he can’t imagine life without delicious, high-quality coffee, and is bringing it to Hoboken at his new coffee bar, Hudson Coffee Company.
“It’s surprising that I went from disliking coffee to having a real passion for it now,” said DePascale. “I tasted some really bad brews during my years on the police force, so when I discovered truly good coffee, everything changed. I began to seek out specialty coffees and wanted to try different beans from around the world. I wanted to learn and understand more and became somewhat of a coffee connoisseur.”
DePascale has progressed from coffee lover and connoisseur to businessman. He recently opened Hudson Coffee Company at 1100 Maxwell Lane on the site of the former Hoboken Maxwell House coffee plant, the largest coffee processing plant in the world through the early 1990s.
Hudson Coffee is committed to preserving the rich history of the landmark “mile-square.” The industrial chic interior is a combination of its industrial past and the modern-day evolution of Maxwell Place. Nostalgic images of the old Maxwell House plant, Hudson waterfront shipyards, and more recent moments in Hoboken history adorn the walls. Some of the mounted artwork are photographs taken by DePascale, a Hoboken native whose family has deep roots in the community.
While Hudson Coffee pays homage to Maxwell House, DePascale emphasizes that the coffee is very different from the mass-produced big brand. Hudson Coffee is premium, artisanal-style coffee made from the highest-quality beans from all over the world. Hudson Coffee will also serve a selection of pastries, croissants, cookies, muffins and scones.
“We’re committed to serving first-class coffee in a friendly, comfortable environment,” said DePascale. “We’re a local establishment that also wants to be a neighborhood gathering place.” To that end, Hudson Coffee will host entertainment, open mic nights, and other events for the public.
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