Barrister Coffee House and Ridge Sweet Shoppe are opening in Basking Ridge
Barrister Coffee House and Ridge Sweet Shoppe are opening in Basking Ridge
Gianna Galesi

Basking Ridge welcomes new small businesses

Local entrepreneurs have recently opened small businesses in Basking Ridge, bringing back the small-town charm.
The charming exterior of the Barrister Coffee House in Basking Ridge
Barrister Coffee House

The recently opened Barrister Coffee House has already begun an inspiring legacy beyond just selling coffee. 


Owners Adam and Megan Bisaccia opened the doors of their coffee roastery on October 16, 2023. Located in downtown Basking Ridge, all of the coffee served is roasted on-site. 


Having been born and raised in Basking Ridge, it was the ideal location for Adam to open the roastery alongside his wife. 


“Naturally, it was the perfect location to “give back.” In fact, we capitalize the ‘R’ at the end of Barrister in our logo (BarristeR) as a nod to the B and R in Basking Ridge,” Megan noted. 


In designing the interior, the two drew inspiration from the colors of Ridge High School, shining light on Adam’s alma mater.


With all coffee beans being roasted on-site, they come from a variety of locations including Burundi, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, and Colombia.


“In addition to being able to purchase bagged coffee, you can pull up a seat at our coffee bar and order anything from espresso to a honey cinnamon cappuccino,” Megan noted. 


Adam and Megan have turned the small space into an instantly inviting and must-visit location. Customers are greeted with care and given a remarkable experience. 


As for naming their coffee house, Adam and Megan chose “Barrister” being that it is an old English term for an advocate. In addition to serving carefully crafted coffee, “Barrister Coffee House is a social enterprise, focusing on helping to improve access to education for those facing educational challenges and disadvantages,” Megan explained. 


With Adam and Megan both being attorneys by trade and having a deep passion for helping others, the roastery follows the motto, “A Great Cup for the Greater Good.” 

Before creating their business, the two had already led extraordinary careers. Megan noted that they both “have extensive roots in helping others and wanted to use the coffee roastery to do the same.”


As the head roaster, Adam has been trained in several locations across the country, including Stowe, VT, Seattle WA, and Minneapolis, MN. Prior to opening Barrister, Adam “served as a Professor and Legal Studies Chair at community colleges throughout New Jersey, where he regularly encountered students facing educational disadvantages.”

The inspiring work of this duo does not stop there. Megan is a former immigration attorney, for both the federal government and private practice.


To continue their work in advocacy, 100% of profits made from their roasting company, Barrister Coffee Roasters, are donated to local and verifiable causes. They also work closely with the Work Based Learning Comprehensive Behavior Analytic Program at Ridge High School.


Megan further explained that “Barrister utilizes its space to connect our neighbors, spotlight community initiatives, and provide a platform for those with similar visions of helping others learn and achieve.


Barrister has also donated to the following organizations and more: The Marine Raider Foundation in honor of Captain Stanford H. Shaw, III; Raritan Valley Community College Food Pantry; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal and Northern New Jersey; Good Grief; Barrister. and Wee Little Arts’ Artist of the Month Series; Cedar Hill Elementary School PTO and the Ridge Baseball Club. 


Unique to your ordinary coffee shop, customers leave with more than just a carefully curated cup of coffee. They leave having contributed to Adam and Megan’s mission of providing everyone with the education that they deserve


Having only been open for nearly 4 months Adam and Megan have brought forth a community work aim to help others, and share a love for coffee. 

The charming exterior of the Barrister Coffee House in Basking Ridge (Ava Highland)
The new logo for the Ridge Sweet Shoppe, featuring a bag of waffles
Ridge Sweet Shoppe

The streets of the Bernardsville and Basking Ridge area are lined with banks, delis, boutiques, hair salons, and fast food chain favorites, yet local entrepreneur Caitlin Cunningham knew something was missing—a bakery. By the end of February, it is her hope to officially open the doors to the public for a bakery of her very own: Ridge Sweet Shoppe. The shop will house an array of delicious treats from waffles, crepes, cookies, and cupcakes to boba tea, coffee, and other refreshments.


Originally from Pennington NJ, Caitlin’s family has lived in the area for quite some time. Her grandfather in particular, a “serial entrepreneur” to

whom she attributes her work ethic, lived in Far Hills, so Ridge felt much like a “childhood home” to Caitlin. It was in 2007 when she was able to truly grasp her potential as a businesswoman, being one of four graduating seniors and aspiring business owners awarded the Pennington Business & Professionals Association Scholarship. “It’s crazy to look back years later,” Caitlin expresses, “who knew that I would actually eventually get a storefront.”


She began baking and selling cakes in 2012, a passion kindled by her grandmother who always preferred making her food from scratch. “I think that was her love language,” Caitlin says. After spending so much time in the kitchen alongside her grandmother, Caitlin developed an interest in baking as well as an appreciation for quality food. 


“That’s where I think I stand out from a lot of other places,” the entrepreneur reveals, “You want something wholesome…it just tastes better.” This is why Caitlin is adamant when it comes to quality control, pledging to keep the baked goods on her menu freshly homemade. “I’ll be back there [in the kitchen] with flour, vanilla, milk, and egg,” says Caitlin, “And I will hand-mix it myself.” 


With this emphasis on quality, Caitlin recognized a need in the Ridge community for a non-corporate bake shop. “I feel that small towns need the basics,” she voices, “I couldn’t believe that there was nothing in the area. That’s why I know I hit the nail on the head.”


Around the same time she began selling cakes, Caitlin partnered up with a student who was aiming to obtain her master’s degree. For a project, the student was searching for someone interested in potentially opening a business in the future—it was Caitlin who answered this call. 


“So this dream has been in the works since 2012,” she says, “Even though I was the 2007 scholarship recipient, I always wanted to have a place of my own.” By February of 2013, the two had drafted an entire business plan for Caitlin’s bake shop, complete with five and ten-year goals. 

Her favorite part of the process has been seeing people approach her storefront in curiosity, asking what’s going on. “Just seeing the community wanting something like this—they show that there is an interest and a need for it,” Caitlin exclaims, “so I am more driven by that community support.” 


Her strong community values and desire to “give back” will thrive at the core of her business, intending to make her goods free to police officers and members of the fire department, as well as offering a 10% discount to students with ID. She also wishes to hire students, expressing that “small businesses in these towns are so important, especially when you are employing those in the community.”

The new logo for the Ridge Sweet Shoppe, featuring a bag of waffles (Caitlin Cunningham)
Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Crimson Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *