#Baonanas Aims for Early Summer Debut on Monticello Avenue

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Opening this summer: #Baonanas, 181 Monticello Avenue, Jersey City. Photo courtesy Lloyd Ortuoste.

A permanent home for one of Jersey City’s prominent roaming businesses is currently under construction, and a waterfront spot sure to please banana pudding fans should be opening inside a new food market within the next few weeks.

Homegrown dessert makers #Baonanas have been operating in fairly nomadic fashion since launching in 2015. The business, a play on bananas and the Chinese word for baby, was created by couple Trisha Villanueva and Lloyd Ortuoste. They’ve been selling their banana pudding varieties like cream n’ cookies, French toast, matcha, s’mores, lychee, and Nutella walnut ever since as a catering business with pick-up points available for customers at several Jersey City restaurants.

#Baonanas has a lot in the works right now, as they’ll be returning to festivals and fairs throughout the area like Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg for the summer season. But up first for #Baonanas is their upcoming outpost inside of Harborside’s District Kitchen market. They’ve been delayed in launching a bit like much of the market, but they plan to open later this month.

Customers at the District Kitchen location can look forward to many of #Baonanas varieties served in either cups or flavored waffle cones from Brooklyn’s The Konery, which are individually hand made and include flavors like birthday cake, toasted coconut, dark chocolate, and cinnamon brown sugar. Toppings for the desserts include everything from Nilla Wafer crumble to macaroons, organic sprinkles, fruit varieties, and cheesecake bites.

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#Baonanas in a Konery cone topped with a macaroon. Photo via #Baonanas website.

Their next endeavor has co-owner Lloyd particularly excited and it should be hitting the West Side neighborhood in the early part of this summer. “I was born and raised on West Side Avenue and currently live in Greenville, so we wanted to bring something unique to a wonderful neighborhood that was a bit closer to home,” he said.

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Storefront with original Breyers sign at 181 Monticello Avenue, Jersey City. Photo courtesy Lloyd Ortuoste.

Their official storefront, announced somewhat cryptically last year, will be located at 181 Monticello Avenue, an appropriate historic location for a dessert shop to open. In the early 1900s, the property was a Breyers Ice Cream scoop shop and Ortuoste says he and Trisha fell in love with the building almost immediately. “Opening a storefront was never in our plans, but seeing this gorgeous space, it was too good to not take advantage of such a lovely opportunity,” Lloyd said.

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Interior. Photo courtesy Lloyd Ortuoste.

When launched, the Monticello Avenue outpost will serve between nine to twelve flavors of #Baonanas and looks to introduce fair trade coffees and teas, specialty drinks, and other baked goods over the summer launch. They hope to open their West Side space before early June.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Love that building! Glad they kept the old sign and great that a dessert spot is coming in which fits the building. Amazing watching Monticello slowly becoming a commercial corridor again after being desolate for decades! Would love to see the old Monticello Theater at the corner of Monticello and Communipaw to come back to use!

  2. Yes. Totally agree! Been waiting for this for years… My neighborhood coming alive… I’ve wondered what this will be. Perfect spot for this! I’ll be there first day they open. #cantwait

  3. Great to see another business like this opening on Monticello Ave. Right across from Snapdragon, too. Seems like a perfect location.

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