Letter: Can Lulu Bring Greenberry's Back?

Morristown transplant pines for place where she, and her dog, felt at home.

To the Editor:

I’m crying in the middle of in Morristown. A bit over four years ago without knowing a soul, I moved here rather unexpectedly. I knew after being told that the town had a coffee shop, which allows dogs, that it was the place for me. I’m a teacher who goes there often with an armload of essays and my Wheaton Terrier, Lulu. She even has a pink Greenberry’s t-shirt, which the owner, Jason, ordered especially for her years ago. It’s hot pink with the Greenberry’s logo that fits her as a Jersey muscle shirt ought to—tight across the back.

“She’s our mascot,” he had said. “We’ll hang a photo of her on the wall.” I meant to snap a picture but somehow there was always more time. It was too hot out for a t-shirt or too cold and called for a sweater.

Then on Jan. 10, my dog walker, Ashley Cook, texted me midday: “”

“I’m so sad, my dog’s favorite place in the world is going out of business.” I announced to my next class of freshmen as I moped into my classroom. Sure, I’ve heard of people bemoaning the demise of mom & pop hardware stores, and I remember when the dreaded “Wal-Mart” moved into my small hometown in Louisiana. It took less than a year for the Cajun family stores with signs like “Broussard’s Fishing Tackle” to disappear from the landscape. That was sad but nothing like when “Bad Big Brother” moved in across the Green. Ever since I saw the fateful signage, I’ve been dreading what I hoped was not inevitable.

“We should sign a petition,” I texted Ashley back. “Hold a fundraiser.”

And so, I wanted to say on behalf of all our four-legged best friends, please find another space and come back.

Greenberry’s continuously displayed the work of local artists as well as being the sight of pet adoptions; they’ve collected coats for the local homeless and these are only the community-helping projects that I happened to have witnessed while enjoying a caramel apple cider. I’ve come to learn that Jason was always, as Ashley Cook said, “willing, dog friendly, supported everything Morristown and gave character to a downtown overwhelmed with big chains.”

I always enjoyed stopping in for a Commuter (hold the avocado). But as for Lulu, the second she gets her paws on the Green, a great force of will begins to pull her toward Greenberry’s where treats await her on the counter. I’m sure that she and many other Morristown pups will be pulling across the Green and standing, paw raised, ready to shake in front of an empty storefront.

Greenberry’s is as a part of Morristown as its gallant portrait of George Washington crossing the Delaware. Maybe it’s as my fiancé said—a sad product of gentrification when the great "S" moves into town.

Morristown is Shangri-La, I always tell people. Imagine a town where you can bring your dog into the coffee shop and be greeted with a “Hi, Lu!” followed by a treat. Sure, I suppose I could tie Lulu onto the fence of that other joint. Tie her up while I sit in the warmth or the air-conditioning, but I’d rather give up coffee altogether and being a transplant from Louisiana with chicory in her veins—that is a mighty large statement.

Please help the effort to bring Greenberry’s back by emailing me: Alisha Davlin at adavlin1@yahoo.com or Ashley Cook at ckashly@aol.com.

–Alisha Davlin, Morristown

Raegan Huston January 11, 2012 at 04:44 PM
I am a 4-legged Greenberry's fan. I love going with Mommy when she gets her "happy fix." I know Lulu and Alisha in person (or would it be in dog?) so I am doing to be in touch with them as soon as my paws get a little rest from typing this comment. I, too, hope that Greenberry's will relocate and remain in Morristown for many years to come because they have a very devoted army of 2-legged AND 4-legged fans! In any case, we wish the Greenberry's Team much luck in whatever they pursue!
PJ Sanders January 11, 2012 at 04:52 PM
I hope that Greenberry's can find another location. I will patronize it for sure.
Stephanie Ingino January 11, 2012 at 08:07 PM
I felt devasated by the news. I was also sobbing yesterday with my friend, the Manager, Lyndsay...I could not look at her without bursting out in tears! And...I have pics of LuLu and her cousin Eddie on my phone! Stephanie Ingino
Jonathan M. Kelly January 11, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Can we please stop hyperbolizing this whole situation? No, Greenberry's is not as big a part of Morristown as Washington's statue. There's a bit more history behind Washington's connection to the town than dog sweaters. Second, the "Great S" predates Greenberry's in Morristown. However, most recent transplants are unaware of this. Starbucks has had that location for awhile, and was only able to reopen after the town underwent some pretty drastic changes. Finally, if Greenberry's was as impressive as some people seem to believe, competition wouldn't have been a problem. Sometimes, a better product pushes weaker products off the market. Vox populi, vox dei.
Charlie Chicago January 12, 2012 at 12:56 AM
@Jonathan M. Kelly I agree with Jonathan, we must protect Washington's statue!!! Who knows if some big business might come in and put up their own statue, maybe even a bigger Washington statue! How can we stop this from happening? I also agree with his second point...if Greenberry's was as good as Starbucks, why don't they have over 12,000 stores in the US, huh? Why isn't Greenberry's pulling in over 10 billion dollars a year? I'll tell you why, it's because small businesses are lame...that's why they are "small." It's obviously because they are no good. Otherwise they'd be big, get it? High five, double Vox populi, vox dei.
Casey Vreeland January 12, 2012 at 04:03 AM
knowing that Greenberry's was a big part of Morristown is what allowed the store to become a home for many people and animals. being a bartisa at Greenberry's where people come in a look to see the many people who were the heart and soul that make Greenberry's such a hit. we did not get run out of business by Starbucks, but by the leasing people, the government (which makes it almost impossible for small business to make it in the economy). Secondly we are a franchise not a corporation like Starbucks, which i believed was what allows us to make sure our customers happy.
Casey Vreeland January 12, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Thank you for your support for greenberry's workers, it was customers like you who made my day when you walked into the store for your coffee and the four-legged friends, that brought a smile to my face, waiting for the treat we so often gave them, and more because who could say no to the puppy eyes, even the old dogs had it. lol thank you
Charlie Chicago January 12, 2012 at 05:23 AM
@casey. Would you mind explaining the connection between the leasing people and the government? @the man. To answer your question, you are reading patch. You are commenting on a failed coffee shop (for better or worse)
Nicole January 12, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I'll sign whatever might help keep Greenberry's here. And one for a big political action that I care about too. I'm interested in local politics and local businesses too. That's what makes us civic-minded and Patch covers both well. And that's what makes living in a town like Morristown great.
Jamie January 12, 2012 at 01:50 PM
I loved Greenberry's, it was a great local coffee shop that featured artists and musicians from the area. If there is a petition or something let me know and I'll sign it!
Motown Gentleman January 12, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Having frequented Greenberry's for some time, as well as SmartWorld, C'est Cheese, and Starbucks...I can only say that its a wonder one of these places hadn't closed by now. Morristown just simply can't support this many coffee places. Restaurants and bars people will drive from up to 10-15 miles away to enjoy...but coffee shops? It absolutely was the market that closed this place down...leasing company thinks they can get more money from someone else, then they probably can...that's the market. And as for government interfering with small business, you don't complain...you do things the way America has always done things...hide some of that income!
Motown Gentleman January 12, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Oh and by the way, location! Is it any coincidence that now four out of the six store fronts on the east side of the Green are empty? Liberty Travel building has been vacant years now, Jackson Hewitt has not been there for just as long, and now Greenberry's. Its like a death sentence to open up anything on that strip, probably because of parking issues. And I forgot to include two Dunkin Donuts locations in town that further saturate the market. Its sad it had to be Greenberry's, but it really was inevitable.
Rachel Piper January 13, 2012 at 03:10 PM
"Morristown is Shangri-La"? Hardly. Morristown is a jumble of stores that tend to go out of business within a few short years unless they're corporately owned. This leads to a lack of "mom-and-pop" stores as they should be - Greenberry's wasn't mom-and-pop, it was an imitation Starbucks that had slightly more local charm than Starbucks, but it was transient. It's just how the town works. There is not a central enough culture to affect and sustain the area to have the true, local businesses that we all really desire.
Jacquelyn Braun January 19, 2012 at 06:17 PM
We were sadden by Greenberry's closing as well .... always a friendly staff and good food ! Greenberry's even hosted our dog rescue groups adoption day in Novemember ... hopefull Jason and staff will open in a new location ! Best of luck, Jackie and the gang at 911 Dog Rescue


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