Did you know Red Bank, New Jersey was named the Third Best Small Town in America by Smithsonian Magazine?
Participants, from left to right, Jordanna Drazin of Magnificent Temptations, Amy Littleson of Amy Believes in Pink, Kaycee Dawson of Daily Dose of Dawson, Carrie Strongwater Drazin of It’s Droolworthy, Michele Lanfrank , Amy Byrnes of A my name is Amy, Sonya Cashner of More. (not pictured: Rachel Brudner of The Perky Foodie, Katie Kane of Like Lillian, Melissa Beveridge of mbeewell.) Please make sure to stop by these blogs, as well!
Did you know Red Bank, New Jersey was named the Third Best Small Town in America by Smithsonian Magazine? It’s up there with Taos, NM. That’s a pretty big deal. On Saturday, June 6th, seven other bloggers and I hit the town of Red Bank, for the purpose of discovering and reporting back to you the great retail in this special town. My spots were Rook Coffee (of course!), Poor Cat Jewelry and Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. First, we all gathered at my house to get to know one another and enjoy some incredible almond and chocolate croissants generously given to us by Antoinette Boulangerie. The day started out, you guessed it, totally droolworthy.
Rook Coffee, our first stop, was established in 2010. Rook is a specialty coffee shop in New Jersey with 8 locations. They are known for their “exceptional product and over-the-top customer service.” That sums up my coffee experience at Rook perfectly. I am hooked on their New Orlean’s Style iced-coffee (sipping some right now, as I type this), and my husband loves their Honduras hot coffee. The picture below is in their Red Bank location and I have never seen it empty like this picture. That little space which is approximately 10″X 8′ is always filled with people. Come check out Rook, if you can get in the door. Who knows, you might even end up becoming a regular. P.S. Maxim named Rook’s regular Iced Coffee one of the 7 BEST in the United States. Yup. You read that right. TOP. SEVEN. IN. THE. UNITED STATES. If you’re a coffee drinker, and I have a feeling many of you are, you need to try Rook Coffee. Their iced coffee alone is worth the trip.
Our next stop was Poor Cat Designs. Poor Cat’s international fan base includes Bon Jovi, Hillary Swank, Stella McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Allison Williams and the entire cast of Girls. Poor Cat also has fans in England, Japan, Australia, Canada and Dominican Republic. The majority of Poor Cat’s designs are chunky charms that are 24K gold, 18K yellow, white or pink gold, or sterling silver. The charms are worn on different shades of leather string, gold or silver chains, or colorful fabric. To me, their jewelry is this generation’s charm bracelets or necklaces. There are hundreds of charms with endless customization possibilities. 20 or 30 charms were easily calling my name! I particularly loved the Mermaid, the chunky initials and the Love bracelet. It reminds me of an I.D. bracelet I had back in the *cough* 70’s. The selection is so crazy beautiful and the charm selection is crazy huge – making a decision could take all day. If you are just discovering Poor Cat and decide to visit their Red Bank store (there is also one in Hoboken, NJ), make sure you can plan to spend some time there. I’m sure there are charms calling your name, too!
Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash (a.k.a. that Kevin Smith store, a.k.a. the comic book store), could be the coolest store in Red Bank. Of course, that’s subject to opinion. I grew up reading comic books, so when we walked into Jay and Silent Bob’s, our last stop on the blogger crawl, it gave me an intense feeling of nostalgia. This store reminds me of simpler times. The old days. And comic books are part of the good ole days for me. Kevin Smith: writer, director, producer and actor of many great New Jersey-centric films, claims that he owes his career to comic books. Smith sold his entire comic book collection to finance his low-budget debut film “Clerks” to the original comic book shop in Red Bank, Comicology. A few years later, after Smith’s success, he was able to buy back Comicology, moved the store to Broad St. and renamed it Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. The store is lined with walls of comic books and memorabilia from all of Kevin Smith’s movies and the AMC show Comic Book Men. The employees were incredibly knowledgable and entertaining about the merchandise, regaling us with their favorites. Of course there is an expansive inventory of the most popular comics: Batman, Spiderman and The Avengers. Take a step back in time and visit Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash.
Please visit the other bloggers who participated: Magnificent Temptations, Amy Believes in Pink, Daily Dose of Dawson, The Perky Foodie, mbeewell, More by Sonya Cashner, A My Name is Amy and Like Lillian.
All photos by Caroline Keating Photography (except two provided by Poor Cat)