February 28, 2018

BEST BARBECUE: “Barbecue is so popular because it tastes good — it’s true American cooking. When it’s done the right way, slow-cooked with hard wood logs, it tenderizes, flavors, and adds a unique property you can’t get anywhere else.” “Smoke Chef Jeff” McKay (center), owner of Hambone Opera in the Trenton Farmers Market, is shown with staff members Amber Tomlinson (left) and Christine Brennan.

By Jean Stratton

“It tastes great, it smells great, and it’s fun to eat!”

This observation was recently made by a young visitor to Hambone Opera at 960 Spruce Street in the Trenton Farmers Market.

Opened in 2013, it has become a favorite of barbecue fans all over the area.

“People come in and tell me there’s no barbecue like mine,” reports owner “Smoke Chef Jeff” McKay. “It’s my ingredients. I use nothing but cherry wood logs in an offset fire box. Slow cooking is the key. more

February 7, 2018

By Jean Stratton

The opportunity to look one’s best at any age is becoming increasingly available. Today, there is no need to go “undercover” or “retire into the shadows” at a “certain age” when so many facial treatments offer very positive rejuvenating results. Whether one opts for a minimum “nip and tuck,” a full makeover lift, or one of the non-invasive treatments, a new look is waiting for you! more

January 24, 2018

SUCCESS STORY: Owners Jalil Fatollahi (left) and Maryam Mohammadi are proud to celebrate the second anniversary of Princeton Rug Gallery in Princeton. For many people, an Oriental rug is a very special addition to their home. It epitomizes tradition, quality, and beauty. Princeton Rug Gallery has a wonderful selection from all over the world.

By Jean Stratton

After two successful years at 830 State Road, Princeton Rug Gallery remains THE place for high quality Oriental rugs. Owners Jalil Fatollahi and Maryam Mohammadi are delighted that customers have discovered the superior workmanship and beauty of these special carpets.

“We are proud to be doing well when other businesses are closing in such numbers,” says Maryam Mohammadi. “Customers know they can count on our service, quality product, and our knowledge. While we are relatively new to Princeton, we are not new to rugs! We have 40 years experience in the rug business.” more

January 3, 2018

SMOOTH SLIDING: “ShelfGenie is most commonly used in the kitchen and pantry, although it is also helpful in a variety of other spaces. We can work within any size and style kitchen, including older ones. Our philosophy is to maximize the available space and make it more convenient.” Benjamin R. Rozenblat, owner of the ShelfGenie Glide-Out Shelving System franchise in central New Jersey, is shown beside a display of the varied products.

By Jean Stratton

Benjamin R. Rozenblat is a big fan of the ShelfGenie Glide-Out Shelving System. He is so convinced of the value of this product that in 2010 he opened his own franchise serving central New Jersey.

After a career as a mechanical engineer, he decided he wanted a change, and opening a franchise turned out to be a new adventure.  more

December 13, 2017

QUALITY CARE: “I have a broad area of practice. I do it all, and I love the diversity. With dermatology, we do a lot of procedures in the office. I can see the problem and then treat it properly. We see all kinds of patients — all ages, men, women, children, even babies.” David Nieves, MD, makes sure that all his patients receive quality care and attention.

By Jean Stratton

Too much sun is definitely not your friend, says dermatologist Dr. David Nieves.

“I want people to know there is no such thing as a healthy tan. It damages the skin. The best skin maintenance is to stay out of the sun. If not, take protective measures: wear sunscreen — at least 30 SPF or greater. Wear a hat, sit under an umbrella. Avoid unnecessary exposure.” more

December 6, 2017

HOLIDAY MAGIC: Kale’s Nursery & Landscape Service offers moments of magic at its annual Christmas Shop. “We look forward to inviting everyone to come and see our holiday specialties,” says owner and president Douglas W. Kale. He is shown by a display of handmade, decorated single-face balsam wreaths. Kale’s offers an array of handmade bows and other holiday decorations.

By Jean Stratton

Once upon a time, family businesses dotted the Princeton shopping scene, but now, with the changes in shopping habits, including the arrival of chain stores in town  and online shopping, these independently-owned businesses are slipping away. more

November 1, 2017

FACE OFF: Two 11- and 12-year-old PeeWee ice hockey players face off against each other during a practice at the Lisa McGraw Ice Rink at Princeton Day School. They are now part of the newly merged Lawrence Nassau Hockey Association.

By Jean Stratton

Team play, skill instruction, sportsmanship, and competition are all part of the newly formed Lawrence Nassau Hockey Association.

Established in the spring of 2017, the association is a merger of the former Lawrence Hockey Association and Nassau Hockey Association, both youth ice hockey programs with a long history in the area. more

October 4, 2017

QUALITY AND CONVENIENCE: “People are often more interested in renting today. They prefer not to have the upkeep and maintenance of owning a home.” Lou Carnevale (right), co-owner of The Residences At Carnevale Plaza, and Linda Fahmie, project manager, are very proud of this new opportunity for quality living in an inviting in-town Princeton location.

By Jean Stratton

Tired of cutting the grass, raking the leaves, and shoveling the snow? All the home repairs, continued maintenance — and all the rest? All these responsibilities of home ownership can be a burden as time goes by, and many people are looking into rental opportunities.

As one tenant who is enjoying the benefits of renting put it: “Just pick up the phone, and someone comes to take care of the problem. How nice is that!” more

September 20, 2017

FORM AND FUNCTION: “Plastic surgery is the most creative aspect of medicine,” explains Arthur W. Perry, MD, FACS. “It is the only discipline that is creative, looks at the entire body, and can improve function and appearance.”

“She was not unattractive, but she was not quite pretty, either. The subtle arrangement of bones and flesh that comprise the human face had conspired to make her ordinary.” —Daniel Silva, The Heist

By Jean Stratton

Plastic surgeon Arthur W. Perry, MD, FACS has the skills to help such a person described above to improve her appearance if she wishes. He can help her to look her best, to achieve the most appropriate image that is uniquely hers. more

September 6, 2017

POSITIVE PARTNERSHIPS: “Artis was brought about by people who had worked in the memory care field for a long time. We got together, and shared ideas. Our philosophy is ‘Positive Partnerships the Artis Way.’” Mary Underwood, vice president of memory care services for Artis Senior Living, left, is shown with the Artis team, including Amy De Preker, vice president of sales and marketing, second from left.

By Jean Stratton

Dementia is an equal opportunity condition. It can strike anyone. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, how rich, or how famous one is.”

Mary Underwood, vice president of memory care services for Artis Senior Living, points out that the company focuses on personalized memory care for patients facing different levels of dementia. She looks forward to the latest Artis residential community, which will open in Princeton Junction in late 2017. more

August 9, 2017

WEEKEND GETAWAY: “We want people to have an experience here, and think of us on many levels. They can stay overnight at the Inn, dine in Royal T’s restaurant, or come for a special event. This is a great place for rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, family reunions, and retreats.” Owners Kris Tomasulo, left, and Joseph Grande look forward to introducing many more visitors to The Mansion Inn and Royal T’s at The Mansion restaurant in New Hope.

If you’re looking forward to a break in your routine, a visit to New Hope, Pa., is always an inviting change of scene. Located right on the river, it offers a variety of dining, shopping, and theater opportunities in a very scenic and historic setting. more

August 2, 2017

TEAM WORK: “The issue in aging is that everyone is an individual, and the issues are different for every family. The family dynamics are different, and the fragmented healthcare system is very challenging. We are the single point of contact, the quarterback who can help people find what they need.” Joanna Gordon Martin, founder and CEO of Theia Senior Solutions (back row, far right), is shown with the company’s team of experts.

If indeed, as studies indicate, 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day and will continue to do so for at least the next decade, the implications for the health care system, for seniors and spouses with health problems, and for adult children of aging parents are very challenging. more

July 5, 2017

ALL-SEASON TRACTORS: Belle Mead Garage owners Christopher “Kip” Higgins (right) and Roy “Murph” Higgins (seated), and new partner Chris Carnevale are proud of their new selection of Massey Ferguson tractors. They are shown with their popular and versatile Model 1739E, which offers a front loader for digging and features on the rear for a mower, rake, scraper, rotary tiller, post hole digger, and so on.

Summer is here for sure, and what better time to zip down the open road in a new convertible, mini van, SUV, or special sedan? Whether it’s a brand new model just off the assembly line or a carefully-tended, pre-owned choice, area dealers have a full range of vehicles in all styles, sizes, colors, and price ranges.

Perhaps a Mercedes-Benz is in your future. Have you always wished to have one of these high-end expertly designed and manufactured automobiles in your driveway? Now you can! more

HEALTHY CHOICES: “We spent a lot of time looking for the right place, and we felt at home in Princeton. There is diversity here, and well-educated people, who are intelligent about self-care. We felt they would understand our pharmacy.” JoAnn Issenman (right), Barry Perzow (center), and Chris Castagna (left) are owners of the new Santé Integrative Pharmacy. They look forward to introducing customers to their unique integrative concept.

The new Santé Integrative Pharmacy at 200 Nassau Street has created a stir of interest among increasing numbers of curious customers. While many people are familiar with the integrative concept, it is a new idea for many others.

“The idea of an integrative pharmacy began about 10 years ago,” explains JoAnn Issenman, owner with Barry Perzow and pharmacist Chris Castagna. “It offers choices of different modalities, including traditional, homeopathic, and herbal solutions. We are a full-service prescription and compounding pharmacy, offering traditional and natural healthy living solutions.” more

By Doug Wallack

Three months after its opening in downtown Hopewell, Basilico Trattoria is going strong. In an area rich with Italian restaurants of all stripes, co-owners Kari LaSpisa and Joe Trani have aimed to carve out a niche for themselves as purveyors of authentic Neapolitan cuisine. “The concept we have here is fresh food, made to order, by an Italian chef,” Ms. LaSpisa explains, “not several people in the kitchen — like a line cook set-up — it’s one chef cooking your food for you, to order.”  more

June 21, 2017

QUALITY AND SERVICE: “We are the only ones in the area who sell high-end previously-owned cars and also service them.” Tom Foster (right), owner of Hopewell Motors, and service manager Dave Leary are proud of their outstanding selection of high-quality automobiles and their expert service. They are shown next to a top quality Mercedes-Benz, one of their specialties.

Tom Foster loves his job!

“I like this so much that it’s easy to come to work every day. I enjoy every aspect of the business. I’m proud of our cars, and I like getting to know the customers. Many have become good friends.”

When the boss enjoys coming to work this much, it sets the tone for all the employees and the customers as well.

This is an important reason why so many people are certain that Hopewell Motors will provide them with the best car for their needs, along with the proper maintenance service. In addition, the friendly atmosphere is a big attraction for many customers. more

June 14, 2017

GREAT GARDENS: “We are set apart because we grow our own bedding plants, annuals, and perennials, and we have thirteen greenhouses. This is unusual today. And importantly, we are family-owned and operated.” Sarah Conte is the third generation to be part of Mazur Nursery in Lawrence Township, and her son Michael represents the fourth generation.

A family-owned and operated business for 85 years is almost unheard of in today’s world of quick turnovers, rapidly changing landscapes, and the “here today, gone tomorrow” mentality.

An exception is Mazur Nursery, still going strong at 265 Bakers Basin Road in Lawrence Township. Established in 1932 by George Mazur, it has become one of the area’s foremost garden centers. more

June 7, 2017

FUNCTION, FORM, AND FLAIR: “We provide kitchens and bathrooms both for new houses and renovations. An updated kitchen or bathroom are also very helpful if you plan to sell the house. The kitchen and bathroom are the best return on an investment if you are selling the house” says Kate Furman, COO of Princeton Home Center, who is standing by a transitional style kitchen display featuring walnut cabinets, subway-style backsplash, and “Lattice” polished quartz countertops.

“If you can dream it, they can make it!”

Kate Furman, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Princeton Home Center, is referring to the amazing advances in kitchen and bathroom design today. The choices in cabinets, countertops, organizing systems, flooring, and hardware are so plentiful and attractive that almost any need or taste can be accommodated. more

GOURMET SPECIALTIES: “I think of us as a European market, with specialties that include hard-to-find epicurean products. We have so many choices, and we are especially known for our cheeses from around the world, chocolate from all over, and our baguettes freshly baked all day. In addition, we have a great staff. We challenge ourselves to do better every day,” says Bill Lettier, co-owner of Bon Appetit (left). He is shown (from left) with his co-owner and wife Marta, and staff members JoAnn, manager Jose, Cristain, and Gio.

Everyone loves Bon Appetit! A true Princeton treasure, it is located in the Princeton Shopping Center and it just keeps getting better and better!

Opened in 1967 by Carl and Virginia Andersen, it featured a cosmopolitan flavor from the beginning. Mr. Andersen was from Denmark, and Mrs. Andersen’s parents were Spanish and German. The Andersens emphasized products from around the world. more

May 31, 2017

KIDS IN THE KITCHEN: Slicing, dicing, and mixing, under the encouraging guidance of HomeFront staff member Miss Tammi, are the focus of these boys, enjoying a class at HomeFront’s Teaching Kitchen. After their careful preparation and cooking, they are proud to eat and share what they have created.

Good health starts in the kitchen. Not at the local fast food establishment, or with a quick candy bar, bag of potato chips, or soda — as tempting and convenient as those options may be.

Sound nutrition and inexpensive meals are the foundation of HomeFront’s Teaching Kitchen program, which offers culinary classes for children, mothers, fathers, and grandparents. Emphasizing heathy ingredients and convenient low-budget meals, the classes not only help the participants with cooking skills, but also foster a true enjoyment of the creativity of cooking.


May 24, 2017

NEW BEGINNINGS: Every season is delightful at Blue Raccoon, but spring, with its focus on hope, new beginnings, and transformation, is especially welcome at this iconic home, gifts, and design store in Lambertville. Owner and creative designer Nelson Zayas (left) and manager Cindy Philo are shown in front of a series of handcrafted items, made in the U.S.A., from the store’s wonderfully eclectic selection.

Approaching 25 years in business, Blue Raccoon Home Furnishings remains a delightful emporium to visit. Whether one is in a mood to browse or to buy, the shopping experience at this charming store is always a pleasure. And few customers leave empty-handed! more

April 12, 2017

DANCE DEFINITIONS: “We are offering high level, quality dance training which also provides creativity, choreography, and improvisation as part of the training.” Former professional dancer Dawn Cargiulo Berman (right), owner of The Pennington Studio, enjoys teaching Limon style dance techniques to student Madison Parker during Modern dance class.

Dawn Cargiulo, former professional dancer and owner of The Pennington Studio for Dance and the Creative Arts, has introduced an exciting new concept for dance and the arts. Combining both, she brings unique opportunities for exploration in creativity for all ages.

Opened in the Straube Center, 114 Straube Center Boulevard in Pennington, the studio offers a new direction, and emphasizes the interwoven aspect of all the arts. more

ASIAN SPECIALTIES: “We are set apart by our presentation, special recipes, fresh ingredients, consistency, and friendly service. We look forward to serving you. Aja means ‘welcome’ in Hindi,” says Cindy Lim, manager of AJA Asian Cuisine & Lounge. Shown in the entry way of the restaurant is a striking image of a dragon, significant in Chinese culture, as it symbolizes “good luck, power, and nobility,” says Ms. Lim.

AJA Asian Cuisine & Lounge, the new restaurant at 1736 Route 206 in Skillman, is looking forward to a long stay. The location has previously been home to several restaurants, which for various reasons, closed their doors after relatively brief duration. more

April 5, 2017

DELICIOUS AUTHENTICITY: “We are set apart by the authenticity of our food including our own recipes. We make everything from scratch, including desserts.” John Rajoo (right) and Gipson George are the owners of the new Chennai Chimney Indian restaurant, located at 19 Chambers Street.

One of the most popular Indian restaurants in the area opened in Princeton last August. Chennai Chimney at 19 Chambers Street has attracted a big following that continues to grow as more customers discover the distinctive flavors of its Southern Indian cuisine. more

March 15, 2017

MORTGAGE SPECIALIST: “I help people buy homes and refinance their existing homes. Based on the last few decades, this is still historically a very good time to buy a home, while the interest rates are still low for mortgages.” Joe Hage, Chase Private Client Mortgage Banker, looks forward to helping more people with their biggest financial decision — purchasing a home.

“Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything, Scarlet, for it’s the only thing in the world that lasts.”

Gerald O’Hara’s statement to his daughter Scarlet about their plantation Tara in Gone With the Wind still resonates today. more