Coffee Corral boasts coffee roasted on-site in Red Bank’s up-and- coming west side.
Coffee Corral takes coffee seriously, and it’s found its niche in people who know a good cup of the real deal.
E. Knopp/Staff Writer
Located on Red Bank’s west side, Coffee Corral prides itself on coffees roasted on site, with almost fifteen different single- origin coffees, New Orleans style, Cold Brew, and organic roasts, as well as organic teas, and protein and fruit smoothies.
Coffee Corral’s owner, Russ Crosson, had an unconventional start in the coffee trade.
A general contractor for 30 years, with his original office being the building that is now Coffee Corral, Crosson realized that the downturn of the economy in 2008 meant a declining construction industry.
After three years of bidding with no work, Crosson decided to reinvent himself.
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Courtlyn Crosson, co-owner of Coffee Corral, as well as head of PR, Marketing, and Wholesale Director for Coffee Corral, told JerseyShoreVibe that many people told her father, who is also her boss, that there was a need for a good coffee shop in the neighborhood.
“While deciding what to do next, everyone said the west side of Red Bank needed good coffee,” Crosson said. “Russ went out west and spent over a year learning to roast and about coffee as more than a drink, but as an art.”
Russ, along with his daughter, Courtlyn, and wife, Donna, opened Coffee Corall in 2012 as a specialty coffee roaster and shop, offering a wide range of single- origin coffees, espresso, espresso-based drinks, and pastries fresh from Brooklyn.
Crosson said that initially, people said that the shop had opened on the wrong side of the tracks. But growth, along with the opening of hip new businesses in the neighborhood, has proved them all wrong.
“Initially, there was a pushback from the public on being located on what some called ‘the wrong side of town,’” Crosson said. “But since the Crosson’s owned the then-vacant property, it was a simple decision to open on the corner of Dr. James Parker Blvd. and Shrewsbury Ave. Since opening, the growth of the west side has been an exciting part of Coffee Corral’s growth. With other businesses like Kitch Organic and B2 Bistro opening nearby, the energy towards the West Side has not only increased, but become a part of what separates Coffee Corral from being any other coffee shop in a downtown setting.”
Coffee is slowly becoming more than just a simple cup of caffeine to many, Crosson said, and nobody understands and embraces that better the team at Coffee Corral.
“Here the baristas are extensively trained and therefore knowledgeable on each coffee, helping to enhance every customer’s visit,” she said. “They focus on not only perfecting pour-overs for each of their 15 single origin coffees, but on the customer’s overall experience, from start to finish.”
This includes a quick text-to-order option, a “Cheers”-like pre-paid account option (where everyone knows your name…), a wide variety of healthy--and not-so healthy--snack options to grab with a coffee, a friendly barista at the bar, and most importantly, a fantastically- crafted cup of coffee.
“Anyone can sell good coffee,” Crosson said. “We want every customer to have a great cup of coffee, with an even better experience. We have competition, so if we don’t give a great experience with every cup, coffee might not be the only reason for people to venture off their beaten path.”
Some of Coffee Corral’s coffee selections include Sumatra Takengon, Brazil Cerrado, Java Taman Dadar, and Colombian Santa Barbara Estate Excelso.
Protein smoothie options include “Green Monkey,” a blend of spinach, kale, chard, avocado, apple, ginger, Greek yogurt, and almond milk. Then there is Bali’s Beach Bum, a blend of orange, banana, ginger, mint, and Greek yogurt, and Double-U-D-40, a unique mix of blueberries, banana, spinach, graham cracker, vanilla, and almond milk.
Coffee Corral’s niche market, according to Crosson, includes anyone who wants an experience beyond the norm. “With roasting being done in the store itself daily, customers are immediately pulled into a passionate and exciting environment that surpasses that of most places,” she said.
While the main focus is coffee, Coffee Corral offers a variety of specialty products from other local business, including organic cold- pressed juices, kombucha, and gluten-free pastries, as well as a menu of protein smoothies, egg sandwiches, and soups.
In 2014, Crosson focused on bringing new items to the menu, offering options to customers who wanted more than coffee during their stop.
As a woman on the go herself but still wanting healthy options, Crosson set out to create protein smoothies and snacks that she would make for herself.
“We don’t want customers to have to make a second stop,” Crosson said. “We’re in a convenient location for commuters, but if you have to make two stops, we’re not so convenient anymore.”
In the eyes of this father-daughter team, Coffee Corral is still in its early stages, said Crosson.
“We wanted to perfect one location before branching out,” Crosson said. “This was new for both of us. However, expansion is in the very near future, both at this location and within New Jersey.”
Coffee Corral said that it has found its identity and niche, and the team sees an exciting year ahead of them, starting with a second location intended to open in April, 2017.
“We have a great team working with us that believes in Coffee Corral as much as we do, and that makes for a great combination, and coffee,” Crosson said.
Besides their brick-and-mortar location, Coffee Corral also offers wholesale, and has an online store.
Coffee Corral is located at 177 Dr. James Parker Blvd. in Red Bank. They can be reached at 732-741-2326 or at coffeecorral.net.