LIVINGSTON, NJ - Simon’s Livingston Mall has announced the addition of Ground Connection, which offers small-batch micro roasted specialty coffees from Toby’s Estate in Brooklyn and Steven Smith Full Leaf and Herbal Teas. The kiosk is located on the Food Court next to Cinnabon and is open during the mall’s regular operating hours.

Aside from providing coffee, the shop offers specially-sourced milk and flavorings with the lattes and cappuccinos using milk from Battenkill Valley Creamery in upstate New York. In addition, the shop also serves cold brews on tap including iced coffee, iced teas and fresh lemonade. The menu features flatbread pizzas, hearty sandwiches, signature salads and fresh baked goodies. The sandwich breads come from Central Bakery in Hackensack and Ground Connection also offers salads and other foods from local suppliers.

The coffee shop is the brainchild of Hillside-based Mascott, the company that brought the first Smashburger and Noodles & Co. restaurants to Bergen and Passaic counties. The company opened the first Ground Connection at The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack and plans to open two more locations in NJ, with one planned for Jersey City.

Scott Gillman, CEO of the Mascott Corp., said he is trying to bring the coffee connoisseur experience found at some of the hot big-city artisanal coffee chains such as Blue Bottle Coffee, Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Intelligentsia Coffee to the suburbs, with prices and an atmosphere friendlier to suburban shoppers, according to