Jersey City resident Jason Stuart, who was a Hudson County Veteran of the Year in 2023, has embarked on a new venture. The combat medic and 14-year Army National Guard veteran has opened a Chick’nCone restaurant at 586 Newark Avenue in Journal Square. His goal is not only to serve fried chicken and waffle-inspired dishes but also to foster connections within the community through his business. Read on to learn more about Jason Stuart’s culinary journey for Chick’nCone in Jersey City, NJ.
A Veteran’s Journey to the Culinary Industry
After dedicating 14 years of his life to the Army National Guard, including serving as a combat medic, Jason Stuart dedicated his passion for serving others to a different arena — the food industry. He enlisted in the National Guard after he graduated from high school, according to Tapinto Jersey City. Jason served in the National Guard from 1995 to 2001, during his move to Jersey City in 1999. In 2006, Jason re-enlisted in the National Guard and later served overseas as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a combat medic.
Jason’s National Guard deployment ended in 2009, and he then moved to Jersey City with his wife, Janeth. Jason pursued a history teaching career after graduating from New Jersey City University (NJCU) in 2017, but faced a career shift during the COVID-19 pandemic. By that time, he and his wife had three children: Joelle, Jolene, and Jeremiah.
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Jason’s culinary journey began when Janeth improvised a chicken and waffles lunch for their middle child, 8-year-old Jolene. This creative meal sparked Jason’s idea to put chicken in a waffle cone for a more convenient lunch, eventually leading him to discover Chick’nCone.
Jason and his family instantly fell in love with the brand, so he applied to open a franchise in Jersey City and received a call from a company executive the following day.
“One of the biggest assets I was able to take with me from my military experience is to navigate challenges with resilience. In the military, you’re trained to successfully execute the mission and with the help of some great Veterans and Veteran organizations, I was able to apply the same mindset to opening Chick’nCone,” Jason said.
For Jason, Chick’nCone is more than just a restaurant — it’s a platform for community connection. His vision for the space goes beyond serving meals — he aims to create a welcoming space for locals to come together, share stories, and build lasting connections. The restaurant’s location within walking distance of the Hudson County Courthouse and Dickinson High School means that the space is buzzing all day long. By using Journal Square as the location for his Chick’nCone restaurant, Jason is contributing to the community and providing a place for residents to get together and enjoy food in a friendly atmosphere.
“As a new business in this community, we wanted to create a space with great energy and great vibes, just like the city we live in. We wanted to give the community the space to come in and listen to some great chill music or get lost gazing at the colorful mural representing Jersey City or the latest video on our branding menu board,” Jason said.
Chick’nCone is a Pennsylvania-based fast-food chain that has made a name for itself with its take on the classic combination of fried chicken and waffles. With existing locations throughout the nation, the Jersey City location is the second in the Garden State. Another Chick’nCone location is in the Bergen Town Center in Paramus. Now, thanks to Jason, it has found a home in Jersey City at 586 Newark Avenue in Journal Square.
The restaurant specializes in a portable version of the classic comfort food. The menu at Chick’nCone in Jersey City features a variety of options, including the famous Chick’nCone, crispy chicken tossed with sauce and served in a hand-rolled waffle cone, a Chick’nSandwich, Chick’nTenders, Chick’nBowl, and many sides like french fries, Caj’nCorn, Mac’nCheese, and Waffle Crunch Milkshakes for dessert. More menu items can be found on its website.
“One of the visions we had for Chick’nCone Jersey City was to partner with other local businesses to bring some of the flavors that are already here to another level. Although we haven’t been able to get that launched yet, it’s on the horizon,” Jason said.
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Jason particularly enjoys the convenience of Chick’nCone’s portable format, emphasizing its on-the-go appeal compared to traditional chicken and waffles. The waffle cones provide a more efficient dining experience: think of the experience as similar to enjoying an ice cream cone without the hassle of using a fork, knife, or napkins. However, Jason does hand out toothpicks for those who prefer a different approach.
“We live by our motto of fast, fresh, and friendly. That’s why we’ve gone to great lengths to source and prepare the tastiest, crispiest chicken, hand-roll our fresh waffle cones, and season our fries with zesty cajun spices to ensure eating at Chick’nCone is an insta-worthy experience you’ll want to share with your friends,” Jason said.
With his love and shared passion for Chick’nCone, Jason envisions a future for this venture. Someday, his goal is to open a Chick’nCone in a stadium, serving chicken cones during sporting games or other events.
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Chick’nCone is open at 586 Newark Avenue in Jersey City Monday through Friday from 11AM to 8PM and on Saturdays from 12PM to 9PM.