August 29, 2018

HORSE HAVEN: “I learned to ride at Hasty Acres when I was a girl, and I rode Corky,” says Natalie Pontillo (right) owner of Hasty Acres Riding Club. “Corky, a chestnut quarter horse, is now 42 years old and retired. The kids can still groom him, however, and he will always have a home here.” Georgia Elek, Hasty Acres assistant manager, is also shown with Corky.

By Jean Stratton

Hasty Acres has been a special place for horseback riders of all levels for more than 50 years. Located at 121 Laurel Avenue in Kingston, it offers English-style riding instruction as well as the opportunity to learn about equine care.

Longtime rider and award-winning expert horsewoman Natalie Pontillo purchased Hasty Acres three years ago.

“I like being outside and active, and these horses are important to me,” she explains. “I not only learned to ride at Hasty Acres, but I also worked here. I love working with the kids and seeing them develop. It is so beneficial to them. They learn to ride and also to care for the horses, brushing and currying them.” more

August 1, 2018

FAMILY TRADITION: “I wanted to be part of the family’s legacy and the company’s legacy. It means everything. I am so proud to be here and to be able to learn from my grandfather and father, and the best people in the industry.” Andrew Siegel (right), shown with his grandfather Martin Siegel (center) and father Hank Siegel, represents the fourth generation of the Siegel family to be part of Hamilton Jewelers’ operation.

By Jean Stratton

Hamilton Jewelers is a Princeton treasure. A longtime Princeton establishment, it opened its doors here in 1986. Its history extends well beyond that date, however.

Founded in 1912 in Trenton, it was purchased by Irving Siegel in 1927. He laid the foundation on which his son Martin, and later his grandson Hank, built the thriving business that Hamilton has become today.

Irving Siegel’s commitment to excellence continued when Irving’s son Martin joined his father in 1955, bringing his own insight and business skill to broaden the merchandise assortment and open additional locations in the market. more

July 25, 2018

LOTS OF LAVENDER: “We are very encouraged, sales are four times what they were our first year. We love to sell the lavender, and see how much people enjoy it.” Brad and Beth Smith, owners of Princeton Lavender on 3741 Lawrenceville Road, are shown by an assortment of lavender plants.

By Jean Stratton

It’s not only in the gardens of Provence or the fields of the English countryside. Lavender flourishes right here in New Jersey. Its fragrant aroma, so appealing, is a favorite, not only in its natural, fresh form, but also in soaps, lotions, and in numerous dried products.

Princeton Lavender at 3741 Lawrenceville Road opened in 2016. Owners Brad and Beth Smith purchased the eight-and-a-half-acre property, previously a horse farm, three years ago. more

June 20, 2018

NATURAL WELL-BEING : “There is nothing like our wellness center in the area, with all the elements we include. Our clients like the whole range of services we offer.” Owner Silvia Fedorcikova (center) of 4 Elements Wellness in the Princeton Shopping Center is shown with staff members Kate Raynor (left) and Christine Flanagan.

By Jean Stratton

Earth, air, fire, and water! These elements are in full force at 4 Elements Wellness in the Princeton Shopping Center. This new wellness center offers an array of holistic therapeutic treatments.

“This is something I have a passion for,” explains owner Silvia Fedorcikova. “I love holistic and natural therapy. I had done research about innovative treatments, including cryotherapy, and I also learned about the upcoming industry in flotation. more

FASHION FORWARD: NIC+ZOE, the women’s boutique on Palmer Square, offers up-to-date, fun, and comfortable fashion, explains Cynthia Saffi, director of marketing. “Our clothing is made to flatter the female form. It moves with you, and it can take you from one activity to the next, from day to night.” Shown from left are store manager Sara Brosious, Cynthia Saffi, and assistant manager Jacque Keck.

By Jean Stratton

Fashion is fun at NIC+ZOE, the women’s shop at 73 Palmer Square West. Opened in November, it is one of eight stores owned by Dorian Lightbown, creative officer and designer.

Headquartered in Massachussetts, the first store was opened in 2015, after Lightbown saw a need to update and creatively coordinate women’s wardrobes. Previously, she had established a thriving online operation. Her idea was so successful that plans to launch more stores, which are named for Nicholas and Zoe, Lightbown’s children, quickly materialized. more

June 6, 2018

One-OF-A-Kind: “Village Silver has a long-standing reputation in the community. People know we have the finest one-of-a-kind merchandise that is truly unique. In addition, we offer the most attentive and helpful customer service.” Valerie White, manager of Village Silver on Witherspoon Street, is shown by a display of the store’s selection of sterling silver.

By Jean Stratton

“We have one of the largest selections of handcrafted sterling silver on the East Coast, and we have survived in the Princeton downtown for 42 years! This has been such a good location with lots of traffic and activity.”

Maria Laraia, owner of Village Silver at 39 Witherspoon Street, is justly proud of her store’s longevity. A mainstay on the Princeton shopping scene, it is known for its outstanding sterling silver and its array of jewelry created by the finest artisans. more

May 23, 2018

CREATIVE CRAFTS: “We focus on functional crafts. Almost all the items are handmade in the U.S. and are specially chosen.” Phyllis Castells, owner of Heart of the Home in New Hope, Pa., for the past 24 years, is shown beside a display of the renowned Campbell Pottery, especially admired for its beautiful shades of blue.

By Jean Stratton

Heart of the Home is filled to the brim with special touches that are a splendid treat for customers. House gifts, wedding gifts, or a special something for yourself are all on hand in a charming setting.

The shop is located at 28 East Main Street in a historic building, notes owner Phyllis Castells. “This is the oldest wood frame house in New Hope, and dates back to between 1760 to 1810. It is the New Hope Flood House, originally built by Dr. Flood. His descendants, many of whom were also physicians, lived in the house over many years.” more

TRIED AND TRUE: “You try to please your audience. We offer a little bit of everything: furniture, glassware, china, silver, jewelry, linens, and more.” Mahbubeh Stave, owner of Mahbubeh’s Antiques in Hopewell, is shown beside a table setting with vintage glassware and dishes in a springtime display.

By Jean Stratton

For those who appreciate something different, an item with a story to tell, a history, and something with quality craftsmanship and taste, Mahbubeh’s Antiques in Hopewell offers an intriguing selection. Antiques, collectibles, and vintage pieces are all on display in a welcoming, uncrowded setting.

“I enjoy the presentation,” explains owner Mahbubeh Stave. “I do all the displays myself. I don’t want the store to be too crowded, and I want customers to have a nice space to walk around and be able to look at everything.” more

May 16, 2018

NONNA AND HER “LEMMINGS”: “The Nassau Swim Club has a very attractive environment in the woods. It is very family-oriented, and there are activities all the time.” Chiara Nappi (“Nonna”), treasurer of the Nassau Swim Club, is shown with her granddaughters Nava Brenner-Witten (left) and Liliana Brenner-Witten. Both are swimmers (“lemmings”) at the club.

By Jean Stratton

Nassau Swim Club has been welcoming swimmers of all ages for 50 years. Nestled in the woods near the Institute for Advanced Study, at the tip end of Springdale Road, it is a hidden gem!

“We offer a safe and bucolic environment and constant contact with nature,” says Dr. Chiara Nappi, treasurer of the club. “In addition to the swimming, we have nature walks to the Institute and the Princeton Battlefield. We take advantage of our proximity to these places.” more

May 9, 2018

GARDENING GUIDELINES: “I’ve enjoyed meeting all the people in the Master Gardeners Program, and I have made many friends. They are wonderful people, and It has been a pleasure to help people who have questions about their gardens.” Barbara J. Bromley, Mercer County horticulturist and Rutgers Master Gardener advisor, is shown admiring an oak leaf hydrangea bush.

By Jean Stratton

How does your garden grow?

Now that we have finally stopped shoveling the snow, many of us are looking ahead to getting the garden ready and dipping into spring planting.

For best results, proper soil preparation is crucial, and for those making their gardening debut, a bit of horticultural research will be very beneficial. more

FINANCIAL SERVICES: “Our goal is to help people improve their financial situation. We focus on financial inclusion and help people at all financial levels and means.” Sam Paulicelli, CE0 (left) and Kyle Jaremko, marketing manager of Princeton Federal Credit Union, are shown outside of the new branch office at 774 Alexander Road.

By Jean Stratton

Not everyone may know the benefits and services a credit union can provide. It is like — yet different from — a bank. Indeed, not every financial institution is the same.

For example, take a look at Princeton Federal Credit Union. It has a long history of financial excellence, and it is unique in several areas, notes CEO Sam Paulicelli. more

May 2, 2018

FLOORS AND MORE: “White and gray are favored in cabinet colors today, and also blueberry has become very popular. It has a warm, traditional look.” Christina Hughes (left), operations manager of Regent Flooring Kitchen & Bath and Kelli Long, kitchen and bath designer are shown in front of a handsome blueberry cabinet and with polished granite countertops in Regent’s spacious new showroom.

By Jean Stratton

Once upon a time, independently-owned family businesses were prominently present on the retail landscape. Unfortunately, that is no longer the norm, and it makes Regent Flooring Kitchen & Bath all the more special. It is a tribute to the outstanding reputation, knowledge, and skill of this company that it is one of a selected number of such businesses still going strong, and in addition, is now celebrating its 55th anniversary. more

April 25, 2018

ECLECTIC ENTERTAINMENT: “It’s not enough to give people a cultural experience, you need to give them a place where they want to be. People are eager to have that experience, to come together, and meet others.” Sara Scully, executive director of Hopewell Theater, is shown in the first floor of the newly renovated theater.

By Jean Stratton

The curtain has gone up once again at the Hopewell Theater. Newly renovated, it reopened last September, and offers a revised eclectic entertainment format, including live music, first-run independent films, multi-media events, talks with performers, and dine-in opportunities.

Located at 5 South Greenwood Avenue in Hopewell, the theater has a long and varied history, dating to 1880. Originally known as Columbia Hall, it served as a community center with a lyceum-style theater, and hosted lectures, performers, and films on its second floor until 1939. The first floor was used for community groups, the fire department, and Borough Council meetings. more

April 4, 2018

NIGHT LIGHTS: “Photography has a universal way of connecting people. Photography opens up your world,” believe Alan Kesselhaut and Barbara Cuneo, owners of Princeton Photo Workshop. They are shown in a night shot at Sydney Harbor in Australia. (Photo by Alex Kesselaar)

By Jean Stratton

“Everyone may have a camera, but not everyone knows how to see,” explains Alan Kesselhaut. “A famous photographer once said, ‘The pictures are out there. We have to learn how to see them.’”

Adds Barbara Cuneo, “A good photographer has to notice.”

They should know!

Owners of Princeton Photo Workshop, Kesselhaut and Cuneo opened their firm in 2013, after a successful career in the construction business. more

PLEASING THE PALATE: “We wanted to offer the best food at affordable prices. We specialize in unique grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade soups, all with our original recipes, developed over the years.” Nadir Gillani (left) and Karim “Mike” Sopariwalla, owners of the Eatery@Princeton, look forward to welcoming customers to their new restaurant.

By Jean Stratton

Nothing tastes better on a cold day than homemade soup and a tasty grilled cheese sandwich.

Now, a new restaurant in town provides both, and a lot more too!

Eatery@Princeton opened in January at 180 Nassau Street, the former location of Cox’s Market, that long-time Princeton mainstay. more

March 28, 2018

SMALL BITES, BIG SMILES: “I thought Princeton would be a great opportunity for a Greek restaurant. There’s nothing like us here, and I’m so encouraged. Business is great, and people love what we’re doing.” Tony Kanterakis, owner of Local Greek, is shown in his new restaurant on Leigh Avenue.

By Jean Stratton

Local Greek, the new restaurant at 44 Leigh Avenue, is off to a great start. Customers are lining up to try the special Greek dishes, and they are coming in all day and into the evening.

“Breakfast is very popular. In fact, it’s actually even busier than dinner right now,” says owner Tony Kanterakis. “People love the Greek-style breakfast, especially the free range eggs in the pan, we serve every day.” more

COMPASSIONATE CARE: “I feel I am able to be there when people need you the most. It is important for someone to be there for them at this difficult time. A compassionate nature is a must for a funeral director.” Christopher Merlino, funeral director of Hopewell Memorial Home, is shown in the chapel of the newly renovated facility.

By Jean Stratton 

It is no doubt the most difficult time for most people. Making the arrangements for a loved one’s burial or cremation and all the accompanying details is an emotionally stressful experience.

Being able to rely on compassionate support and knowledgeable assistance can help to ease what is often an unbearable situation. more

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