Elitist Coffee is a new shop that has recently opened in the South Orange village. Just a short walk from Seton Hall University, Shauna Arnette, who owns the business along with her mother, said that they aim to give the South Orange community an inviting place to come to every day.
Originally from New York City, Arnette explained that there was always something to do in every corner. But in her new suburban New Jersey town, she always felt like they had to go outside of South Orange to find somewhere to eat or a place to hang out with friends.
“We love the community, but we couldn’t find a place like that here,” Arnette said. “So we figured, why not bring South Orange a place to hang out in, or to just study or do work in?”
Arnette said that Elitist Coffee wants to engage with more Seton Hall students, and she encouraged students to hang out for as long as they would like.
“We want an open network,” Arnette said. “We want it to be a cool hangout spot for the Seton Hall students, and a place where you don’t feel like you can only stay for 10 minutes and have to leave after you get your coffee.”
Arnette encouraged students to see the shop as a place to relax, get work done, catch up with friends and even as a place for organizations to host their meetings.
Arnette mentioned that she is interested in hosting events to get SHU students into the coffee shop and unwind, such as game nights, karaoke nights and even open mic nights.
Alyssa Futa, a sophomore diplomacy and international relations major, said, “I think it’s nice that they want to do events because it will encourage students to go into the village more often.”
While the only employees of the coffee shop are the co-owning mother-daughter duo, Arnette said in the future they would eventually look to expand and hire more baristas, especially Seton Hall students.
Andrew Proctor, a senior broadcasting and visual media major, said he believes the coffee shop lives up to its name with its welcoming interior.
“It was a really nice place. The environment is very relaxed with good music and service,” Proctor said. Proctor recommended the hot chocolate with a shot of coffee and a danish on the side.
Arnette said that what sets them apart from other locations is that they strive to create a comfy environment, and that competition isn’t a bad thing.
“People are different from each other and want different things,” Arnette added. “The point of having establishments in a town is to give variety to people that live there.”
Yet while echoing the adage of individuality, Arnette said that Elitist Coffee strives to bring in only the best coffee beans in order to create a coffee experience their customers’ taste buds haven’t experienced before.
“On one hand, you could look at it as, ‘oh, there’s your competition,’”
Arnette said. “But on the other hand, we’re all in this town together.”
Elise Kerim can be reached at email@example.com.