LITTLE FALLS, NJ - Once upon a time, Rhonda and Jon Mallek dreamed of opening up their very own "not-so average" coffee shop. Twelve years later The Fine Grind Coffee Bar keeps on thriving and growing.
The Malleks have taken pride in staying true to their commitment over the years of giving their patrons quality coffee and eclectic dishes, and providing a venue for artists, community support and a fun meeting place. Their Little Falls shop, located at 101 Newark Pompton Turnpike, has been a staple of the community for well over a decade now. Another store was recently opened in Wayne, located at 239 Berdan Avenue. They have plans for a third location coming up soon in Paramus at the Garden State Plaza Mall.
An anniversary celebration was held at the Little Falls location last Saturday. On hand was Little Falls Mayor James Damiano, as well as many of the shop's fans, who have frequented their establishment for years.
The festivities offered live music, and cake for everyone who stopped by. There were give-a-ways consisting of handmade soap made from The Fine Grind's coffee grinds, with two designed specialty scents - vanilla/cinnamon and peppermint/mocha.
"Everybody who came in received one," Rhonda said. "It was really nice to see all the people come by to support us. It was really, really great."
According to Rhonda, The Fine Grind's story began when its doors first opened on Main Street, across from Our Lady of the Holy Angels Church in June 2005. After a brief stint on Paterson Avenue, the business finally settled in the convenient location on Route 23 south, where it has successfully remained and flourished ever since.
Rhonda, a former events planner, and her husband Jon, a former musician turned computer tech manager, both had a love for coffee and wanted to bring back some old fashioned charm and hospitality, which has gone missing from so many establishments today.
The business has had its share of ups and downs through the years but it has successfully taken on Goliath by winning the competition from local coffee franchises. Where many businesses have come and gone, The Fine Grind has been a popular fixture. Patrons say the shop feels more like their home away from home because of the warm, friendly atmosphere.
According to Rhonda, besides offering high quality coffee and dishes, one of their specialty creations that have kept customers happy is the popular frozen hot chocolate or "Fro-Ho," which has been a steadfast favorite over the years and was trademarked by the Malleks. They also have provide entertainment offerings, by providing a platform for local talent, including singers, musicians, photographers, painters, authors, and upstart businesses.
Additionally, the Malleks have established several partnerships in the community over the years, such as the nearby local special needs high school, The Banyan School, where they've supported many internships and work related programs for its students.
Rhonda added that one of The Fine Grind's goals from the beginning has been to be community-minded.
"Patrons come far and wide to see us because of that connection we have with people," she noted.
The Malleks are looking forward to their newest store opening planned for Paramus.
"We opened up our newest location in Wayne in February of this year and we're excited about our newest location at the Garden State Plaza very soon," she added.
The Fine Grind Coffee Bar continues to live on happily ever after.