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Table Talk: Coffee Break at Kava with Shaindy of Sary Wigs

Malky Lowinger

Whimsical messages along the walls tell us that “Coffee Understands” or “Coffee Doesn’t Ask Silly Questions.” Clearly, these owners get it

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

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A fter a long and exhausting drive, sometimes the only thing that works is a coffee. So it’s a good thing I’m on my way to Kava, located on Route 9 in Howell, NJ, just outside of Lakewood. Kava is the brainchild of Aaron and Sheya, two partners who were looking to offer a new concept to the kosher consumer. As the founders of Starbucks understood, most of us have a special relationship with our coffee. For better or for worse, it’s become an integral part of our lives. Thus did they create an empire based on the latte, the espresso, and the frappuccino.

Aaron and Sheya have replicated that experience to a certain degree for the kosher consumer. I walk into their warm and inviting coffee shop and am greeted by Vincent, who seems to have anticipated my needs. Within moments he presents me with a tall, shimmering cup of hazelnut ice coffee, lightly sweetened. It’s perfectly blended, refreshing, and thirst quenching. The hazelnut deepens the flavor. The aroma wakes up the senses. I’m not even here five minutes, and already the coffee has hit the spot.

The owners have succeeded in creating an atmosphere of cozy comfort here at Kava. I walk past the tables and chairs and instead I sink into one of their deliciously soft sofas. The décor is a combination of dark exposed brick, deep chocolate brown, with a large stone fireplace commanding attention at the center of the room. Whimsical messages along the walls tell us that “Coffee Understands” or Coffee Doesn’t Ask Silly Questions”. Clearly, these owners get it.

The place is busy, but not crowded during this mid-week late afternoon. Over in one corner is a young couple staring intently at a laptop. They are in no hurry to finish their lattes. A young family at another table is enjoying a late lunch together. And three women across the room seem to be having a reunion of sorts while sipping steaming cups of brew. Everyone seems comfortably relaxed and I half expect someone to start handing out fuzzy slippers to all of us.

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Vince is one of the nice surprises I find at Kava. He’s a Filipino who came to America just five years ago and currently lives in Manchester, NJ. Bright and enthusiastic, he has adapted to the Jewish cultural nuances remarkably. When I ask him what he’ll be serving us today, he says, “Have bitachon in me.” LOL to that.

I am here today to interview Shaindy, the entrepreneurial spirit behind the legendary Sary Wigs. She named her brand Sary after her own children, Shua, Avi, Ruchama, Yossi, and Shmuel. It’s a constant reminder that family comes first, even for a successful business woman who manufactures quality wigs by the hundreds.

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