Hamilton Park will soon be abuzz with something new: Hoboken favorite The Hive will open a Jersey City location in Spring 2024. The Hive, located at 1000 Park Avenue in Hoboken, is known for its creative coffee drinks, cinnamon rolls, and kid-friendly play space. The Hoboken Girl got the exclusive scoop from the team behind The Hive, Kristin Karotkin and Catherine Willhoit. Read on to learn more about The Hive’s expansion to Jersey City.
About The Hive
Kristin Karotkin and Catherine Willhoit opened The Hive in November 2020 with the goal of fostering community. The concept for The Hive sparked from Kristin and Catherine’s experiences as moms. They wanted to create a space that catered to both children and their parents.
“While I was on maternity leave, I became so lonely when I was first home with my newborn and attended a few new moms groups to try and connect with others in a similar stage of life,” Catherine says. “It was at one of these groups I worked up the nerve to ask if anyone would want to grab a glass of wine and was lucky to create strong friendships with a few of the women there, including Kristin. We were both on very different corporate career tracks but over the course of many happy hours (with babies in tow), we started daydreaming about a place we could go with our kids that felt like a place where we would want to hang out.”
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“Somewhere that’s not a bar, a place that’s incredibly clean, and one that’s got something to hold our interests, too. We’d been to so many indoor playgrounds and wanted to create a space that had a little something for us mamas, too,” Catherine adds. After a year of daydreaming together about what that potential space would actually look and be like, Kristin and Catherine took the leap and left their former careers behind for a new, unprecedented venture.
“We’re a coffee and retail shop that’s committed to serving incredible coffee and homemade treats, selling the newest and best in beauty and wellness products, and fostering community throughout Hoboken,” Kristin said. As a female-owned business itself, The Hive highlights other female and Black-owned businesses on its shelves.
The Hive quickly became a popular destination for neighbors of all ages, drawing crowds with its creative seasonal coffee drinks, delicious baked goods, and special events. The Hive added limited batches of cinnamon rolls on Saturdays starting in January 2022, which draw crowds even on the coldest days.
Kristin and Catherine tell HG that they’re looking forward to the next chapter of The Hive. “Our new shop is under construction right now and located on Jersey Ave in the Harsimus Cove section of Jersey City, which is just off of Hamilton Park. We’re unsure when we’ll open, but think it’ll be within the next five months if all goes well with the build-out and inspections,” Catherine said.
HG: Why Jersey City/Hamilton Park?
Catherine: I live near Hamilton Park and have dreamed, since moving here five years ago, of adding a Hive to this beautiful, historic part of Jersey City. There’s a lot that reminds me of where we are in uptown Hoboken – tall, old trees; lots of beautiful buildings and homes; gorgeous parks – but it’s got its own, distinct charm and beat.
Kristin: Cat and I dreamed for years about opening a space there, but bided our time so we could find the right place. That’s the thing about The Hive: we want our shop to feel part of a neighborhood, not just another storefront, so we wait to find the right shop, rather than sign the first lease we can get.
HG: What will be the same as Hoboken, what will be different?
Kristin: Our menu will be the same across both shops, the warm hospitality will be the same levels as they are in Hoboken, and we’ll have a playspace, which is slightly smaller than our current one. We’ve also had a ton of fun with the space’s design, which will have a lot of similar elements – that concrete-look floor, pale pinks and whites throughout, lots of muted wood tones – but we’re having a little fun with the bar design and mixing it up a bit with a new look.
HG: Cinnies on weekends only still?
Catherine: Yes! That’s our plan for Saturdays and Sundays, but we hope to eventually serve specialty flavors on Friday mornings, as we’ve been doing in Hoboken. We’re going to take it slowly when we first launch then ramp up as word gets out about us.
HG: Any other fun additions/vendors?
Catherine: The biggest addition, compared to our first shop, will be the backyard in Jersey City! We have a beautiful space at the rear of the new shop, which will serve as our outdoor seating area. We also plan to continue supporting the vendors we have now – Boomerang Bites, Babka Bailout, For Cup Sakes seasonal cookies, etc. – and hosting pop-ups throughout the year with local businesses and makers. Our goal is to make this shop (and maybe future locations!) feel as consistent as the other, so it always feels familiar when you cross our threshold.
HG: What is your hope for the location?
Kristin: We hope we can make our positive, loving mark on the Jersey City community as we have here in Hoboken in the past three years. Our entire purpose in launching The Hive in 2020 was to make each customer’s day a little bit better and brighter, and I think (and hope?) we’ve managed that so far.