It makes sense that baristas are often plugged into the most interesting things in any community. Alli Kennedy of Asbury Park Roastery (803 Second Ave., and inside Convention Hall in Asbury Park) shared some thoughts with us about life in and around Asbury Park. 

Perfect local bar?


Most relaxing night out?

Any night that involves being near the ocean.


Favorite Jersey Shore building/architecture?

Convention Hall

Your ideal breakfast or lunch spot on a day off?

Chat and Nibble (blueberry pancakes).


Best Jersey Shore pizza?

Very specifically, Porta’s arugula pizza paired with an order of olives and a Bloody Mary while sitting outside early on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Best place to see art?



Favorite grocery store/market or other local shop?

My favorite local shop is Carla Gizzi in Convention Hall because there is always a message there that will change my day in some positive, significant way. Sometimes when you are waiting for a sign, you actually need to see it on a sign.

What books or magazines are you currently reading?

Roast magazine, Eat to Live


Favorite music to play at work?

Whatever it is, odds are it is something you can dance to.

Bike or Car?



What would make Asbury even more livable?


Any coffee mentor/s?

I try learn about the coffee experience from everyone who is willing to share. Everyone has something to bring to the ‘coffee’ table. There are many knowledgeable, passionate people in the industry that I follow, but I have not had the good fortune of developing a personal mentoring relationship with a seasoned coffee master…yet.

Most preposterous customer request?



If you could tell your customers one thing about coffee that you wish they knew, what would it be?

All of the potential of a coffee bean is determined at the farm and the effort required to grow good coffee cannot be overstated. Everyone else involved in the process, including me as the roaster and possibly you as the brewer, can only realize that potential or diminish it. Respect the first step in the process (farming) by respecting the last step in the process (brewing).

What’s the best tip for making coffee at home?

I am torn between using quality water and using enough quality coffee.

What projects are keeping you busy when not making coffee?

Tending to the tiny coffee farm.

David Spelman is an artistic director, curator, music producer and Ocean Grove resident. He enjoys cycling, yoga, coffee, and generally encouraging creative dialogue across disciplines and barstools.

Photos by Nick Keifer

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