Union Java, established in 2023 by owner Brian Gallant, is more than just a coffee startup; it's a story of resilience, community, and a passion for crafting the perfect cup of coffee.

Gallant, a SouthCoast firefighter for the past two decades, founded Union Java out of a shared love for local coffee shops and a desire to fill the void left by the temporary closure of those shops during the pandemic.

Reflecting on the camaraderie built around grabbing a quick energy boost at local coffee shops with his colleagues, Gallant decided to harness that togetherness. As the unofficial firehouse barista, he not only brewed coffee for his fellow firefighters but also attracted attention from neighboring fire departments which couldn't resist the allure of his experimentally crafted coffee concoctions.

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"Coffee Together" became the mantra at Union Java, encapsulating the spirit of shared moments over a cup of coffee. When faced with the challenge of pandemic-related closures, Gallant took matters into his own hands and installed an espresso machine at the firehouse after the fire crew chipped in, to keep the coffee tradition alive.

Out of this commitment and love for the craft, Gallant stumbled upon his masterpiece – "The Nor'Eastah." This magical iced coffee captures the essence of New England, embodying the perfect storm of flavors to rejuvenate body and soul. Inspired by the positive reactions from those who tasted it, Brian decided to pivot Union Java into a business.

Brian Gallant
Brian Gallant

While dreaming of a brick-and-mortar shop, Gallant is hitting the streets with a mobile coffee set-up – a food truck set to roll out by the end of the year, fingers crossed. The Nor'Eastah, Gallant said, has been gaining popularity, with fresh batches whipped up weekly to meet the growing demand.

To celebrate this exciting venture, Union Java is hosting a coffee tasting and cookie pop-up event on Saturday, Feb. 10, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Black Tie Cookies, 238 Russells Mills Road in Dartmouth. Joining forces with owner Nicole Tracz, they are unveiling limited-edition chocolate toffee coffee cookies with a special Nor'Eastah frosting.

All are invited to enjoy complimentary sample tastings. Pint bottles of The Nor'Eastah will be for sale on Saturday, but can also be found at The Rescue Cafe in Fairhaven. For those seeking a dairy-free alternative, an oat milk option will also be available.

Where to Find the Best Coffee on the SouthCoast

Whether you like it hot or iced, flavored or straight up, chances are you have a favorite place for coffee. Lucky enough for us, there are a bunch of high-quality java spots to choose from. Here is a map of the best coffee shops in town, as voted by you.

Gallery Credit: Maddie Levine

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