Highlands coffee shop expands to offer local produce, dairy products

A Monmouth County coffee shop is taking its business to the next level because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Valerie Browning owns Water Witch Coffee in Highlands.
“A lot of people considered it to be a cultural hub within the community,” she says.
But with the pandemic putting a strain on her business, Browning said that it was time to expand.
“I had figured out this need and seen the long-term effects. Not knowing how long COVID would be affecting our communities and our society, I decided to expand into a fresh market,” she says.
Water Witch Coffee expanded to offering bread, meat and dairy products form local farms and other companies. But Browning says that the expansion brought some new challenges.
“You have to change your procedures, whole new training program,” she says.
But it also led to some pleasant changes.
“Our menu is expanding greatly because we have all this fresh produce,” Browning says.
Water Witch Coffee still hosts art galleries. Live concerts, which used to take place inside the shop, now happen outside to comply with social distancing and capacity limits.