UMBA Unites Upper Montclair Businesses

UMBA generates essential relationships between businesses and promotes town relations in the thriving hub of Upper Montclair.

Join UMBA to help your business stay connected in Upper Montclair.

Photo courtesy of UMBA.

The Upper Montclair Business Association (UMBA) started as a coalition of businesses to collaborate with the town. Before UMBA, there was no way to gather individual business’s perspectives and input. Its start gave the town’s individual businesses, property owners and merchants a direct means of communication and collaboration. Today, upper Montclair businesses have connected with and through UMBA for over 20 years.

It represents over 60 businesses, merchants and professionals in the Upper Montclair Village. Members of UMBA receive networking opportunities, access to their Facebook page and joint seasonal promotions to keep businesses in the loop. It hosts annual events such as Ladies Night in May, where UMBA stores and services offer complimentary consultations and samples. Members can also participate in the festivities while discovering new businesses in their area.

Jodi Dawson, co-founder of Java Love, joined UMBA when her store opened on Bellevue Avenue in 2013. Dawson appreciated the work UMBA did, and wanted to show community support for the organization. She soon realized just how much it helped the community.

“Over time, as I learned more about UMBA’s efforts, I felt it was an organization I could devote more time to in order to help those efforts,” said Dawson.

Dawson, a psychologist and certified life coach, jumped into the coffee world six years ago. Since then, she has turned Java Love Coffee Roasting Co. into a thriving three-shop business with a healthy wholesale client list and strong online presence.

“I am committed to my family, community and running my business with integrity,” stated Dawson.

Dawson is currently the President of the Board for UMBA. It runs solely through volunteer work. Therefore, the budget is made up of mostly membership dues, so individual business owners keep it running and moving forward. In turn, it gives them access to an entire community. It also partners with several local nonprofits, like the Montclair Film Festival and The Montclair Art Museum to help promote their efforts.

UMBA’s Banner Program promotes business and communication in the community by hanging vibrant signs around the Upper Montclair district. On April 8, they will host a Spring Clean Up event open to the community. Volunteers for this event are needed. Sign up by emailing Diane Etsy at

The Upper Montclair Business Association is open to any business or individual with an interest in improving Upper Montclair. To join, visit and keep up with their events at  

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