Baristanet Profile: Raj Amin

Where do you live? Montclair Ave – the crazy Halloween street. We didn’t know before we bought the house, but we love Halloween so we get pretty into it.

When did you move there? Summer of 2015.

Where did you grow up? Hyde Park, NY. It’s in the Mid-Hudson Valley, along the Hudson River and close to the Catskills. Famous for FDR’s house and the Culinary Institute of America.

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

I have a small advisory group called Teem Ventures, where we build new digital products with corporations and startups. I’m passionate about mental health and launched a company with a friend who is a clinical psychologist and scientist  – our first app is for stress reduction called Personal Zen. In Montclair, I serve on the Mayor’s Covid Recovery Taskforce to help small businesses in Montclair get through these tough times. Check out where we’ll be posting monthly deals offered by local businesses, to encourage locals to support our local businesses often.

Coffee, tea or … ? Coffee. Black with a sprinkle of sugar. Usually beans at home (shout out to Paper Plane which is great!) or I stop by for a pick up from Local on Watchung Plaza.

What’s your idea of a perfect weekend day?

Grabbing subs from Sparo’s, driving to a state park with a lake, taking out my kayak and fishing for a couple hours. Then coming back to some marinated ribeyes from Rosario’s, grilling them out back, and hanging with family and local friends.

What’s your favorite local restaurant?

Tough one! Mish Mish – the Chicken Shawarma platter is amazing, and I substitute the hummus with smoked eggplant. For volume though it’s Dai Kichi pretty much every Friday for Sushi and Movie night for my family.

What’s on your nightstand? My phone. I read articles on my phone before bed.

What are you listening to? Khruangbin lately to relax. Run the Jewels to get amped up. Classic rock for kid-friendly driving when we head out for a ski trip.

What are your current indulgences? Fancy homemade cocktails. My capabilities and ingredients have grown a lot during the pandemic. Homemade rosemary simple syrup kinda made the summer for me.

What talent you would most like to have? Being able to play soulful blues riffs on the guitar or shred a rock solo like Eddie Van Halen. Have been trying to hone the skill but not making nearly enough progress.

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

We keep babysitters very busy here. When Snoop showed up at the Wellmont, and when the the 80s vs 90s rock battle came to town, I saw so many local parents there having a blast. Montclair likes to party!

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral?

He did his part to make the world a better place, and helped a lot of people get a leg up in life. Now as he requested – the bar is open!

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