By Rachel Shuster
With a name like that, no wonder Jumpin Juice and Java, located at 335 Chandler Street in Worcester, is a growing success. The young franchise has only 16 stores to date, but the one recently opened in Worcester in July sets itself apart from the rest. The second store to open in the New England district, the Worcester store is following in the successful footsteps of the first store, located in Gardner. Joshua Van Dyke and Andrew Ericson own the rights to the New England stores, and their vision of making this a place that offers more than your neighborhood coffee shop is coming to fruition with a hard working staff, excellent customer service, and a drive to live up to a former Worcester icon.
The Worcester location is managed by two Worcester State College seniors, Anthony Archebault and Jack Wilson. Wilson says that “Our goal is to be different. We really care about the customer and their experience here. We want you to come back. We don’t want to be just another store; we want to be a part of the community.”
So if you haven’t guessed by now, the Jumpin Juice and Java Worcester location is where the former Tatnuck Bookseller and Sons used to be. The Worcester staple still holds a special place in the hearts of the Worcester community, and although it is gone, the people of Jumpin Juice and Java want to live up to its legacy. “We are doing our best to fill the void,” Wilson says. “There is a high standard to live up to, we just want to be the new ‘Tatnuck’ for you.” In fact, the wooden beams and brick walls in the store are originals from Tatnuck: “We wanted to make sure to keep a piece of Tatnuck,” Wilson says.
What makes the Worcester store in particular so unique compared to other Jumpin Juice and Java stores? A LOT! Firstly, “Only in the New England stores will you get food, too, besides the beverages,” Wilson says. Also, the menus to take home are made by a Worcesterite. “Only the Worcester store has this menu, which is pretty cool,” Wilson states. “Also, usually stores will be a little place, but our store has so many different areas.”
Wilson does not exaggerate about the amount of space. The store, which has free Wi-Fi, holds up to 100 people and is decorated with a plasma flat screen TV in the middle of the main seating area, soft, golden colored walls, low lighting, booths, tables that seat 2-4 people, high stools, and three huge sky lights. There’s plenty of open space to eventually fill with art from local artists, and you’ll hear calming music in the background.
Besides the main seating area, the JJ&J also has a reading area that is sectioned off from the rest of the store and has several tables and chairs where people can relax, read, study, or even play chess with a board that one of the customers donated to the store! “We have also had people rent this space out for baby showers, birthday parties, etc.” After a good read, check out the conference room, which holds up to 15 people. “You can rent this out too for meetings, parties, etc.”
Then, there is my personal favorite area in the store, which has four plush, tan leather couches, a dark brown hardwood floor, a fireplace with a chimney made of real stone, and what looks to be the side of a house with a window and siding painted a soft grey. “People come and switch the furniture around, make it their own. We encourage that. We want people to come here and feel at home,” Wilson says.
OK, so besides the incredibly welcoming atmosphere, what about the food and beverage?! Start your day off with a variety of breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos, bagels and baked goods. On the menu for lunch are signature wraps including a Grilled Tuscany Chicken wrap. Make your own sandwich or wrap with your choice of components. Get a hot pressed Panini sandwich ~ make your own or choose from the menu which includes the Piegga Fresca made up of melted mozzarella, sliced tomato, and fresh basil on garlic and parsley piegga bread served with a side of balsamic vinaigrette. “Every month we have a different special and the employees even get to make one up of their own for each month!” Wilson states. WAIT! JJ&A does catering too!
Try the salads, including Summer Lovin’ that’s made up of fresh strawberries, pineapple and mandarin oranges over a spring mix of greens topped off with almonds and a side of mango pineapple vinaigrette. Or check out the soups, including chicken noodle, and soup specials! Make it a combo and get your choice of half a sandwich, small soup or small salad.
Onto the beverages! Indulge in the extensive java menu that includes snickers, razmataz and almond joy java. Check out the java alternatives which include chai tea and Italian soda, or go for the java smoothies. Any java can be made iced, hot or frozen! Don’t forget the fresh fruit smoothies ~ they’re all made with real fruit and non-fat frozen yogurt.
Besides great food and beverage, Jumpin Java and Juice also has events and entertainment. The store is the home of the Poet’s Asylum, which runs every Sunday night from 6pm-9pm. Tuesday nights are dedicated to the Worcester Scrabble club, acoustic/cover bands play frequently, and definitely check out regulars The Jennifer Lee band.
Jumpin Juice and Java aims to please. With so many options and an outstanding atmosphere and staff, they seem to be doing just that. In fact it may just make you “jump” for joy. See you there!
JJ&J’s hours are Monday-Friday 7am-9pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am-9pm. For more info call 508-926-8800 or visit www.jumpinjuiceandjava.com.