Baristanet Profile: Zane Keyes

Name: Zane

Where do you live? Montclair, NJ, emphasis on hometown. I’m a Black small business owner who went to school here.

When did you move there? At 10 years old

Where did you grow up? South End border of Montclair and Orange

How do you make a living? OR What is your everyday passion? My everyday passion is my career, I am the owner of Key Cuts on Glenridge Avenue. I service everyone in men’s hair grooming to make a living. I keep it a passion by creating a safe space within my establishment, particularly for people of color. We have a strong and important stamp on this town and how it became the number one sought after “diverse” suburb.

Coffee, tea or … ? Tea. We order four hot teas from Jackie’s Grillette in Upper Montclair. We love them.

What’s your idea of a perfect weekend day? Saturday is a half day, so we work until 2pm. If the weather permits, I know I want to eat outside with my Frenchie puppy Oreo, our shop mascot. I usually take him to Cafe Giotto or The Corner, both amazing restaurants owned by my man Jeff.

What’s your favorite local restaurant? Crocketts Fish Fry. I grew up on it.

What’s on your nightstand? A humidifier and doggy treats.

What are you listening to? Dom Kennedy, “Still Grind’n”

What are your current indulgences? Ice cream from Absolute Zero in Montclair on Bloomfield Ave.

What talent you would most like to have? To know when Bitcoin is going to make me rich.

What’s the worst-kept (or best-kept!) secret about Montclair? The children of the creative people of color that moved here back in the day when it was affordable. These generations shaped the culture of this town, created spaces where we were represented. When I was young and moved here, it was the first of 4 schools I had a Black principal and Black assistant principal in my school. My guidance counselor as well, rest in peace to Didier White. I love and miss him everyday,

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? I hope they say I never turned down helping someone, and I held my morals. I hope they say I acted on what I said I was going to do.

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