Chicken and waffles, BLTs, breakfast sandwiches, and of course – coffee and cornbread. In Upper Montclair, Monique and Monica are the founders of Coffee and Cornbread, a local gem serving up traditional comfort food with a variety of vegan options. Comfort food with a conscience – keep reading for more about the menu and inspiration behind Coffee and Cornbread.
Meet the Owners
Born and raised in the Bronx, Monique Hudson and Monica Semley are sisters and the masterminds behind the Coffee and Cornbread brand. The duo moved to New Jersey 15 years ago and founded Coffee and Cornbread in 2017 with a specific mission.
“It really was a step out on faith,” as Monica describes how the two got their start in the restaurant business. “I think at the time it was a mixture of Monique’s passion for cooking and us believing that we could provide a different type of breakfast experience due to our backgrounds working in the hospitality industry.”
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When Monica and Monique started to feed their families non-GMO and organic food, they noticed that it was hard to order breakfast out with these restrictions. That’s when they decided to open Coffee and Cornbread, with a commitment to provide non-GMO, organic, and vegan options to the community. “We felt the breakfast space needed a facelift”, Monica mentions. And that’s what you’ll find at Coffee and Cornbread – an elevated breakfast experience.
Both breakfast and lunch are served at Coffee and Cornbread. Diners can even get a classic New Jersey Bacon, Egg, and Cheese fix at this Montclair spot.
On the menu is a go-to for vegans at breakfast: the Vegan Sausage and Cheese Sandwich that’s a *chef’s kiss*. Some other must-try menu items: the Fish (or Shrimp)and Grits, Chicken and Waffles, Vegan Pancakes, and so much more.
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But of course, visitors can’t leave Coffee and Cornbread without trying the (drumroll) coffee and cornbread! The fresh-baked cornbread is absolutely heavenly, both the traditional and vegan options.
In April of last year, Coffee and Cornbread underwent a major renovation — and though those two months of closure were tough for us hungry locals, it was totally worth it. The new space is cozy with tons of tables and chairs throughout the space, and a stunning mural on the back wall depicting a Montclair train, painted by local artist George Ossay. You can follow + support George’s art page here.
It’s pretty quiet in there, so a great work-from-home option, but not too quiet if you’re looking to catch up with a friend over, you guessed it, some coffee and cornbread.
To keep up with Coffee and Cornbread, follow the shop on Instagram.