Mrs Mo's Shopping Local Guide: Grover's Mill Coffee

On the evening of October 30, 1938, Orson Welles led a radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds” expecting to provide light Halloween entertainment. What resulted, was a nation paralyzed by fear and members of a small NJ town planning a revolt against Martians.

The effect of the broadcast, which embarrassed the residents of Grover’s Mill (now part of West Windsor), became part of American folklore, spawning books and movies on the subject and most recently a coffee shop.

Grover’s Mill Coffee, started by husband-wife team Mickey DeFranco(right) and Franc Gambatese, is part community gathering place, part museum, paying homage to the legendary broadcast which Gambatese has been fascinated with since his childhood.

But it’s more than just a place to marvel at Gambatese’s impressive collection of movie posters, publicity shots of Wells and historic photos of Grover’s Mill residents, it’s a place to gather and drink good coffee.

Inspired by the community aspect of cafés in Spain, DeFranco and Gambatese wanted to recreate that idea in West Windsor where residents could enjoy nice conversation among friends and colleagues without the distraction of schedules or responsibilities.

“We want to be everyone’s 3rd place,” said DeFranco. “You have your home, you have work and your have your 3rd place and that’s Grover’s Mill Coffee. There’s nothing else like us in town.”

On any given day, you’re likely to find a group of moms chatting, local officials taking a break or members of local bands practicing for their evening performance which the coffee shop has a series of including singles nights, open-mikes and day time “conversation cafes.” One afternoon, Maddy was lucky enough to get a serenade of “Fools Rush In” performed by local band Concerned Citizens of Yesteryear, who is the coffee shop’s designated house band(see the video below).

Playing on the Martian theme, Grover’s Mill sells bagged coffee like Orson’s Espresso and Rocket Fuel but there are over 20 roasts available. Beyond coffee drinks are teas, coffee accessories and custom baskets and labels, all of which are available at their website, And why have coffee alone when you can serve it up with biscotti, slice of gourmet cake or a healthy wrap or soup.

Grover’s Mill Coffee is located in the McCaffrey’s Shopping Center in West Windsor and is only about a 5-minute drive from the “Martian Landing Site” monument at Van Nest Park, which is near the Grover’s Mill Pond.

Strange but true New Jersey history, which resulted in out-of-this-world coffee. Pun intended.

1 comment:

kasandria said...

Happy Friday to you! Enjoyed reading your blog. Keep up the good work!

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs