Baristanet Profile: Karlene Palmer-Mcleod

Name: Karlene Palmer- Mcleod

Where do you live? We live on Grove Street in Montclair, NJ.

When did you move here? 2017 – We moved from Hoboken, NJ after moving from Miami, FL in 2013.

Where did you grow up? England, UK. A small town near Windsor Castle is the nicest description.

How do you make a living? OR What is your everyday passion?

Prior to Covid-19, I worked in Experiential Marketing for various brands nationwide. I love live events and creating memorable experiences for consumers. My entrepreneurial spirit was ignited during our lock down, and my ‘pivot’ was to set up my own Soft Play business. Little Palms Soft Play caters to children aged 0-5 years by providing safe soft play equipment which promote gross and fine motor skills whilst at home having fun.

Coffee, tea or … ? I am probably the only British person who does not like Tea or Coffee. I enjoy herbal teas and hot Honey and Lemon to keep me warm in the cold months.

What’s your idea of a perfect weekend day?

Ohhh, a perfect weekend: Friday movie night with the family, with popcorn and ice cream, and for my boys not to fight all evening. Saturday would start with a morning workout on the track with my girlfriends, a healthy brunch in town with a fresh squeezed juice; The Corner on Grove Street has some great options. I enjoy outdoor activities such as family bike rides, where we get to explore NJ County parks and keep away from the screens. A perfect Saturday would end with Thai food and cocktails finished off with a dip in the hot tub. Sunday is always catching up with my UK family on Zoom and a lie-in would be nice for once.

What’s your favorite local restaurant? Kai Yang is a favorite of ours, but I also really enjoy take out from our local Jamaican restaurant, Cafe Mobay on Broad street in Bloomfield.

What’s on your nightstand? My night read from a British author called Candice Brathwaite, a water bottle, scented candles, and little notes that the boys write to me.

What are you listening to? I have created some quarantine playlists which have a mixture of Garage, Jungle and House music classics. I missed going to Ibiza for my 40th this year, so I have to escape in the music sometimes.

What are your current indulgences? I have a sweet tooth and we have been taking weekly trips to The Pie Store to indulge in UK chocolate and Biscuits (Cookies).

What talent you would most like to have? I would like to be able to travel to different countries very quickly: no airports, no quarantines, no drama.

What’s the worst-kept (or best-kept!) secret about Montclair?

Everyone that lives in Montclair knows that it is a gem of diversity and a mix of cultures. We choose to live here for this reason. I also love how much you can do and experience in our town, from the Jazz festival to seeing Snoop Dog at The Wellmont. We are in a progressive town, not really a secret, hence why so many are trying to move here.

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? She never gave up!

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