Baristanet Profile: Barbara Lemley

Name: Barbara Lemley

Where do you live? Verona, just six minutes from my office In Montclair.

When did you move there? Just last June, amidst the pandemic. Thankful to Leslie Kunkin at West of Hudson for her guidance and patience during such a crazy time.

Where did you grow up? Grew up close by in Passaic Park, but Montclair was like my second home.

How do you make a living? I own a branding and design agency in Montclair, Identity In Design. Located in Brassworks on Grove, giving a shout out to our landlord and the team at Bravitas Group for their extraordinary communication and support this past year.

Coffee, tea or … ? Sunrise Coffee (black from Jola Coffee in North Caldwell). Sunset Tea (with tons of lemon and honey).

What’s your idea of a perfect weekend day?  Since I spend most days in Montclair, I do try and venture out of town on the weekend. Latest hang is La Serra Gardens in Totowa. Lisa Marie and Elio (of Walnut Street’s Piccola Cucina 98) have created so much magic there.

What’s your favorite local restaurant? Sadly, one of my favorites didn’t make it through the pandemic. That said, with hundreds to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one. Always trying to support as many as possible.

What’s on your nightstand? 

Yikes – it’s a royal mess! Ethan Kross’ “Chatter” is on top of a very large pile of books. A blown-glass fish that I got with my Mom and sister in Grand Cayman. A pair of blanc de chine birds from my old shop. A crucifix. Oh, and Alexa, next to an old wind up alarm clock. Go figure. 

What are you listening to? 

Besides the Chatter in my head? I’d love to say some fab music, but have become a little obsessed with podcasts. In addition to Montclair’s own Podclair, l am listening to Chris Christensen’s Amateur Traveler and Brian Alfred’s Sound and Vision at the moment.

What are your current indulgences? Dark chocolate sea salt caramels from Sweet Home Montclair that I pick-up at Paul Giordano’s shop, White Rabbit Black Heart on Glenridge Avenue.

What talent you would most like to have? Play the piano like a pro. Took lessons when I was a kid and always wanted to pick it back up again.

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

The private gardens at Van Vleck House & Gardens. On the block between Upper and North Mountains, Claremont and Van Vleck – it is a glorious oasis right in the middle of town. Open to the public daily, they offer education programs, special events or just a moment of solace when needed.

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? Barbara always had the best intentions. 


Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.