Froth on Franklin - Drinking Coffee in What Feels Like Home
Drinking coffee never felt more at home than at Froth on Franklin. The owners and the employees are the friendliest, most Jersey City people I know. They still have the Jersey City edge and I am sure say “Whadoyawant” to their JC native customers, but when you walk in, they smile and make sure you find the exact treat you desire.
Froth on Franklin is a family affair owned by Al and Maria Ciminata, a husband-wife duo. The Ciminatas have always wanted to open a restaurant because both of their families have owned and worked in the restaurant business. Al explains, “My father was a chef that worked in many Jersey city establishments, one of them being the famed Ducky's on Newark Ave. My wife's extended family has been in the restaurant business for decades owning and operating very successful restaurants, therefore our decision came naturally to us.”
They are also huge foodies and wanted to share their joy and love for food with other people. So instead of retiring they decided to open a cafe in their hometown. They both grew up in Jersey City, Al on St. Paul's Ave. and then later to Central Avenue. “We're both home grown and have always had a desire to own a small business and we chose Jersey city because our roots lay here. Even though Jersey city is the largest city in New Jersey, it still has that hometown feel and every neighborhood has its own identity. We knew our decision to open up a small coffee house where we both grew up was an easy one,” said Al.
They make sure that everything they sell is from the area: Kobrick’s Coffee, a fourth generation Jersey City staple, Tisserie Bakery in Union City, Balthazar’s as we know it in New York City, but the bakery is in Englewood, NJ, and Tea Pigs, which is located in Brooklyn. Choosing local product was so important to Al as he wanted to make sure he was sharing his Jersey City with others. This was evident when he went with Kobrick’s coffee as his coffee wholesaler. Kobrick’s is widely known for their cafe in New York City, but their roastery is located near the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City and they have been around for 100 years. They have been revamping their wholesale business and work with a number of local businesses including Square One.
Downtown Jersey City, Hoboken, and New York City boasts cafes and coffee shops along any street. We have great coffee in the Heights from the original meeting spot ModCup to Choc-O-Pain Bakery and then the delicious cup from Tropicana or Rizzo’s Bakery, but nothing beats a cafe where you can sit and chat, put on your headphones and plug away, or meet new friends at your local coffee spot. “Providing a comfortable and cozy environment which we believe really doesn't exist in the immediate area, along with looking forward to being very community focused Space. We hope to work with and promote local artists and hopefully serve some of the best coffee and baked goods in the area. This is what we feel will set us apart,” said Al.
The response from the community has been amazing. Facebook groups blew up when it was discovered that a new coffee shop was opening. When the owners redid the front and put in the gorgeous bay windows (which I think were originally there and then removed), we all wanted to know who was going to buy/rent it. I walk in to say hi every time I am on my way back from Central Ave. There is always a regular chatting with the Al, multiple people are on their computers doing work, and a meeting is happening.
We love the Froth on Franklin’s philosophy: A great cup of coffee is what brings community together and invites a great conversation.