By SUSAN ERICSON
For the past 16 months, the sleepy town of Fair Haven has awakened to the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee wafting from Booskerdoo, at the corner of DeNormandie Avenue and River Road. Cars start pulling up as early as 6 a.m. as customers run in to grab a cup of French Roast or Jersey Diner.
Now, they can pick up something sweet and baked on-premises for breakfast or dessert, too.
Having made a transition from teacher to baker, Amelia Caverly – who owns the three-store chain with her husband, James – is there to start the day’s work at 4 a.m., overseeing a small baking crew in the back of the store.
The early morning coffee rush at Booskerdoo. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
“It’s great that we could fit the bakery in” at the small shop, Caverly tells PieHole. Because there was no change in use, the addition was “no struggle at all,” she said. “Fair Haven is very good to us. The mayor comes in every morning for coffee.”
Caverly has a masters degree in education and had been teaching for eight years, but realized that she “couldn’t be a good mom and a good teacher at the same time. My daughter deserved a good mom.”
With no training as a baker, she enrolled in classes at the Brookdale Community College Culinary Education Center, where she met fellow students and bakers. She also hired four alumni to work in the bakery with her.
“We’ve been working really hard to bring new recipes to the table,” Caverly says. “Carolyn [Kroeper] is experimenting with brioche right now. We’ve worked out our pies, and are starting cake decorating too. You have to fight stagnation and try new stuff.”
The menu of pies includes Classic Apple at $28, Salted Caramel Apple Crisp at $32, Can-free Pumpkin Pie in classic, at $28, and signature, which contains cream cheese, at $32. Pies may be ordered in advance in an aluminum tin or a glass pie plate for an additional fee.
For pie fillings, “we don’t use anything out of a can, ever,” she said. “It’s a different aesthetic.”
The shop also makes German apple and carrot cakes and pumpkin rolls.
Meanwhile, coffee beans are roasted in the Monmouth Beach shop under James’ watchful eye. The coffee and baked goods, of course, “go hand in hand,” said Amelia.
In addition to pies and cakes that you can order in advance, Booskerdoo has a caseful of mouthwatering scones, cookies, buns, and pie to buy by the slice and enjoy on the spot.