July 17, 2019

FAMILY TRADITION: “We’re set apart by our service, quality products, and long history. Customers know they can rely on our extensive knowledge of the products.” The father and sons team at Gasior’s Furniture & Interior Design includes, from left, Todd, Dick (Dad), and Gregory. They are shown by a Hancock & Moore Austin leather tilt-back chair.

Not many furniture stores are found in a school house. That, however, is the unique setting of Gasior’s Furniture & Interior Design at 2152 Route 206 South in Belle Mead.

Opened in 1918, the Harlingen School accommodated kindergarten through 12th grade until 1972. Six years later, Gasior’s moved in.

“It was a good location for us,” explains founder and owner Richard (Dick) Gasior. “My wife, Donna, and I lived in West Windsor, and we had seen the school house. It provided a lot of nice space.”

The opening of Gasior’s was a continuation of Donna Gasior’s family history, continues Dick Gasior. “My father-in-law had a furniture store in northern New Jersey, and Donna had grown up in the business. We decided to start a venture of our own, and we thought being near Princeton was a plus for the store.” more

July 3, 2019

TEAM WORK: “All our dishes are made from scratch, hand-done, and are fresh every day. Each day, we offer a different menu — simple, nourishing, and well-balanced.” The team at the new The Blue Bears Special Meals restaurant is pictured from left: Chef Anne-Renee Rice-Soumeillant, Michael O’Brien, Chef Eric Wimmer, Megan Cloyes, and Emmanuel Yver.

By Jean Stratton

memorable dining experience awaits visitors to the new The Blue Bears Special Meals restaurant in the Princeton Shopping Center.

Just opened in mid-May, it is already attracting enthusiastic diners for breakfast, lunch, and takeout.

Not only does it offer an intriguing menu — often with an international flavor — but its underlying concept of encouraging and enabling young adults facing intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to find opportunities for learning and meaningful work sets it apart as a unique dining establishment.

Founders Eric (president and chef) and Marie (vice president, outreach) Wimmer and Antoine (chairman) and Gaud (vice president) Yver wanted to start a new business that would be significant in a number of ways. They decided on a nonprofit restaurant, explains Eric Wimmer. more

June 12, 2019

VISUAL SPLENDOR: “Gardening can be a stress release. It provides exercise, fresh air, and you are creating something beautiful now and beautiful over time. Even if it’s on a small scale — just a terrace or window box, it will enhance the space. It’s therapeutic, it’s fun, and you’re creating beauty.” Carol Thomas, owner of Green Haven Garden Center in Hamilton, is shown amid a colorful display of knockout roses.

By Jean Stratton

A gorgeous display of floral splendor awaits visitors to Green Haven Garden Center.

Located at 1181 Hughes Drive in Hamilton, Green Haven is a complete gardening resource. Not only does it offer a full range of plants, shrubs, and selected trees, including unusual varieties, it also provides workshops to help customers learn how to make the most of their gardens.

As owner Carol Thomas points out, “We don’t necessarily focus on the product, but on the person. We ask what the customers want, where they will plant it, etc. If they are new to the area or from another country, they may not know what grows well here. We help guide the customer with help and advice.”

Like the garden center, Thomas’ background is filled with fascinating variety. Not only does she have a background in horticulture and landscape architecture, having studied at Rutgers, she also has a master’s degree in language arts, and taught at the Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart.

 more

June 5, 2019

QUALITY AND SERVICE: “The tractors have brought us new customers and a whole different business opportunity. We’re enjoying this new adventure, and offering the best service for all our customers is always our priority.” Belle Mead Garage owners (from left) Kip Higgins and Chris Carnevale, and former owner Roy (Murph) Higgins, are shown by the Massey Ferguson GC sub-compact tractor. The most popular seller, it is very versatile, and not only cuts grass, but can include the addition of a back hoe and front loader, among many other features.

By Jean Stratton

A lot of changes have occurred since Leroy Higgins opened Belle Mead Garage in 1927. The location at Route 206 and Station Square in Belle Mead was then surrounded by farmland, and Higgins first lived in the attic of the original building. No SUVs, minivans, or Jeeps were in evidence in those days, nor were seat belts and airbags. There was not even a glimpse on the American horizon of Hondas, Toyotas, or Kias.

The longtime family business, now owned by Higgins’ grandson, Christopher (Kip) Higgins and Chris Carnevale, has built an outstanding reputation and is known for exceptional customer loyalty. As one longtime customer put it: “Their word is their bond, and a handshake is their guarantee of dealings that are honorable throughout. They are outstanding people.”

Three generations of Higgins men have seen to it that their reputation has remained intact through all the ups and downs of the automobile industry.

 more

May 22, 2019

HEALING TOUCH: “People come in for many reasons — assorted aches and pains, including headaches and backaches, also allergies, sinus problems, female hormonal issues, etc. Seventy percent of my practice is lymphatics, and 30 percent advanced technique massage, such as shiatsu.” Licensed massage therapist Jennifer Ruiz, LMT, is the owner of Amala Lymphatic & Massage Therapy in Lawrenceville.

By Jean Stratton

The common denominator for all my clients is that they are feeling challenged somewhere in their health,” explains licensed massage therapist Jennifer Ruiz, LMT, owner of Amala Lymphatic & Massage Therapy at 134 Franklin Corner Road in Lawrenceville.

“I use massage to guide the body to a place where it can self-heal, and keep the body in a healthy state.”

A 2001 graduate of The Swedish Institute of Health Sciences in New York City and recipient of a Forbes 5-Star Award for Excellency, Ruiz uses a multidimensional approach that integrates Eastern and Western philosophy and modalities. She was first licensed in New York, and she practiced in Manhattan for 13 years.

“Each state has its own requirements,” she points out. “In New York, you must get a license, and this entails a year and a half of full-time training to get the degree, and then passing the state exam to obtain the license. more

CREATIVE CONCEPTS: “The biggest part of the business is my creative design. All the pieces are one-of-a-kind, and I especially enjoy taking the client’s vision and bringing it to life with my creations.” Jewelry designer and goldsmith Robin Hepburn is shown at work, hammering a bracelet in the workshop of her Orion Jewelry Studio in Pennington.

By Jean Stratton

People like jewelry because it often represents a feeling or memory, something to commemorate. Perhaps a milestone event, a wedding, anniversary, or birthday.”

It can also be an heirloom passed down in the family that has special meaning. Or it can be a brand-new piece that is especially beautiful.”

Robin Hepburn, jewelry designer and goldsmith, and owner of Orion Jewelry Studio in Pennington, certainly knows about her subject. She is an expert in the field, and is about to celebrate her 30th year of business in Pennington. Now located in the Shoppes At Pennington, 21 Route 31 North, her studio is both her showcase and her workplace. more

May 15, 2019

COMPASSIONATE CARE: “Our focus is non-surgical orthopedics. and interventional pain management. The first step is the treatment of any problem is an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis. This begins with a full history of the problem, and extends to physical examination and sometimes imaging and other studies. An important point is that pain is not an inevitable bi-product of a chronic condition, injury, or aging.” Grant Cooper, MD, fourth from left, co-director of Princeton Spine & Joint Center, is shown with fellow physicians, from left, Marco Funiciello, DO; Jason Kirkbride, MD; Zinovy Meyler, DO; Ana Bracilovic, MD; Zachary Perlman, DO; and Scott Curtis, DO. In the background are the Center’s staff members.

By Jean Stratton

Oh, my aching back!”

As well as knees, shoulders, necks, hip, hands, and feet — and all those other parts that can hurt. Whether the result of injuries, over-exertion on the tennis or basketball court, soccer field, ski trails, or chronic conditions, pain, especially constant pain, can be disruptive to one’s daily life. In worst cases, it is all-consuming, interfering with attention to work, family, and overall lifestyle.

Alleviating musculoskeletal pain through non-surgical treatment is the specialty of Princeton Spine & Joint Center. Established in 2008 by Dr. Grant Cooper and his wife and colleague, Dr. Ana Bracilovic, the Center now has two offices, located at 601 Ewing Street and 256 Bunn Drive.

A summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, Dr. Cooper attended UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and completed his residency in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell in New York. He completed a fellowship in spine and musculoskeletal rehabilitation medicine at the Spine Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. more

April 24, 2019

PLEASURE FOR THE PALATE: “Our products are unique because of the quality of our ingredients and our attention to detail. As soon as customers taste them, they like our products right away. They taste great!” Naomi Mobed, owner of Le Bon Magot, is shown with an array of her company’s special preserves, spice blends, condiments, pickled items, and chutneys.

By Jean Stratton

Ready to take a culinary tour through the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia?

You can tempt your taste buds with Le Bon Magot’s preserves, chutneys, condiments, spice blends, and more, all filled with the unique flavors and spice blends from these faraway places.

Established in 2015, Le Bon Magot is the Lawrenceville-based culinary endeavor of Naomi Mobed. Her unusual background has given her a singular insight into the development of this special company.

Born in Karachi, reared in Tehran, she lived in Hong Kong, and was educated in Princeton, Boston, and London. Working in New York, Paris, Dubai, Muscat, and Johannesburg, she wanted to share the myriad tastes and cultures of these diverse regions. more

FARM FRESH: “We are a certified organic farm. In accordance with organic certification regulations, we use no antibiotics, hormones, or GMO feeds with our animals. Our other products have no chemicals or chemical fertilizers. We don’t know of any other organic establishment as diversified as ours. We have all the major food groups.” John Place (left) COO and co-founder of Profeta Farms, is shown with CEO and co-founder Paul Profeta.

By Jean Stratton

A visit to Profeta Farms Organic Farm and Farm Market in some ways is a journey back in time. A time when produce was grown in soil, free of dangerous chemicals and pesticides; grass-fed cattle were allowed to feed in various pastures; free-range chickens and healthy pigs were provided with freedom in their natural surroundings; and baked goods were made from scratch with the healthiest ingredients.

Profeta Farms, located at 803 Route 202 in Readington (just north of Flemington), was founded in 2012, and its Farm Market opened in April 2019.

Profeta’s mission statement points out that the farm “strives to create a diverse food system that promotes healthy soil, plants, animals, and people. We were founded with the goal of creating a farm that not only adheres to but goes above and beyond the standards of USDA organic certification.

“Our mission is to improve the health of our community by growing a variety of foods using common sense organic farming practices, resulting in nutrient-dense foods, and to provide high quality foods to the community through a single local, organic responsible source.” more

April 17, 2019

MOVING ON: “I’ve had many wonderful and loyal clients over the years. It has been a great experience, and although Chelsea Crimpers is closed, I still plan to work at what I enjoy doing.” Bob Lovuolo, longtime owner of Chelsea Crimpers hair salon, is proud of his years at the salon, and looks forward to some time off while still being involved in the hair industry.

By Jean Stratton

For more than 45 years, Chelsea Crimpers on Spring Street helped scores of customers look their best. Whether a special style, cut, or color change was needed, owner Bob Lovuolo and his staff could be counted on to provide expert service.

After so many years, Lovuolo decided to close Chelsea Crimpers and take a semi-retirement. “I had an opportunity to sell the building,” he says, “and after all these years, it seemed like a good time to make a change. I still plan to keep my hand in however, and I will be affiliated with the EYStaats & Company Haircutters at 10 Moore Street. I’ll be available for my clients at least two days a week, on Tuesday and Thursday.”

His longtime associate and stylist Armida Bella will also join him at EYStaats. more

April 10, 2019

FAMILY TIES: “Ours is a real family business. It has included my grandfather, my dad and uncle, my brother and me, my son, and also two nephews. We have all been part of establishing and continuing A. Pennacchi & Sons Masonry Restoration Company, which is now 72 years old.” Paul Pennacchi (right), owner and president of the Hamilton-based company, is shown with his son Paul Jr.

By Jean Stratton

A family business today stands out as unique. In times past, independently-owned and operated family businesses were seen throughout Princeton and the area, but now, such establishments have become rarities on the business landscape.

That A. Pennacchi & Sons Masonry Restoration Company has stood the test of time since its beginning in 1947 is a tribute to the determination and hard work of its founders and current owners and employees. more

FROM WET TO DRY: “The B.Q. Basement Systems crews work in residential, commercial, and industrial settings, and handle jobs of all sizes. The crew members featured here have 60 combined years with the company,” says B.Q. Marketing Manager Margaret McGonigle. “Also, our 15 estimators provide a thorough free inspection and estimate.”

By Jean Stratton

Is it time to dry out?

Are there lingering puddles and even wading pool-type conditions in your basement after a strong and steady rain?

Have small creatures found an inviting home in the cellar? Various insects, and even mice, who may stop by for a drink in a puddle?

That damp basement may not only invite unwelcome visitors and be un-sightly, it can cause a host of problems, including serious health issues, such as asthma and allergies. Mold on the walls and unpleasant musty odors emanating from excess humidity are just some of the challenges that exist in many basements in Princeton and the surrounding area. Since much of Princeton is located in wetland conditions, this is an ongoing problem. more

April 3, 2019

LASTING LANDSCAPES: “If you are thinking of a new landscape design, it is good to start planning early. Most people like to see plants and flowers in the spring. It’s good to get started now.” Joan M. Daviau, founder and owner of Greenscapes Lawn & Landscape Services, enjoys helping people get their gardens ready.

By Jean Stratton

Greenscapes Lawn & Landscape Services is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and Joan M. Daviau, founder and owner, emphasizes that the Flemington-based company’s mission statement is as important today as it was at the company’s beginning in 1999. Innovative design, expert installation, and imaginative care are key.

“Our mission is to provide our clients with high quality landscape services that focus on the long-term development and preservation of their properties balanced with an enhancement of outdoor living spaces now,” says Daviau,

In addition, she points out, “Our values are to conduct business and perform all work with professionalism, respect, and thoughtfulness.”

This philosophy guides her company today as it has guided her in her previous career as a teacher and later human resources executive for Johnson & Johnson and other companies. more

CARE AND CONCERN: “The scope of my oral surgery practice is extensive. It includes dental implants, surgical placement, restoration, tooth replacement, and surgical extraction. I always do my best for my patients’ well-being,” says Dr. Yuan (Cathy) Hung DDS, FAAOMS. Her practice, Prospect Oral Surgery Center, is located in Monroe Township.

By Jean Stratton

In times past, it was not unusual for individuals to rarely visit a dentist. A toothache or related problem could prompt a dental appointment, but there were certainly no six-month scheduled visits that are commonplace today, and flossing was rarely on anyone’s agenda.

Such poor dental hygiene could result in the loss of many, most, or even all of one’s teeth at relatively young ages. Even today, there are still individuals who, for various reasons, do not see a dentist regularly, and therefore are often subject to a variety of problems.

According to reports from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 69 percent of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth, and 26 percent of adults ages 74 and older have lost all of their permanent teeth.

Nowadays, treatment is available to address many serious dental conditions. Oral (mouth) surgery and maxillofacial (face and jaw) surgery, in particular, can help correct a number of very serious problems. more

March 13, 2019

IMAGE EXPERTISE: “We have a niche. No one else in the area is just like us. We’re full service, offering new and used cameras, rentals, trade-in, restoration, repair, film processing, and knowledgeable advice.” The staff at New Jersey Camera & One Hour Photo in the Lawrence Shopping Center is proud of their long history of service and quality products. Shown, from left, are manager Eric Kramer and owners Bennie Williams, Doug Masin, and Leon Treskunov.

By Jean Stratton

The changes in photography have been almost unimaginable. Film transitioning to digital; Kodak — an icon of the industry — almost gone.

Who could believe 20 years ago that the general public would regularly snap pictures with their phones? Who heard of a smartphone? The sheer speed of the changes is both amazing and unsettling.

Face-to-Face

Nevertheless, even in the age of instant turnaround and non-stop action, some things remain. Knowledgeable, reliable service, high quality products, and helpful face-to-face interaction are still welcome in our world, and in business transactions.

New Jersey Camera & One Hour Photo offers such an experience for its customers. Located in the Lawrence Shopping Center at 2495 Brunswick Pike for the past year, it has served the area in various other locations for many years. more

February 20, 2019

BEST FRIENDS: “I have invested in my dream. When people walk in here, they are a guest in my home. I welcome them to my casa, my home. We build our clientele by performance, and I take no one for granted.” Gennaro Costabile, owner of Casa Gennaro in Kingston, is proud to share the business with his legal partner and grandson, 5-year-old Jax.

By Jean Stratton

It’s not just about the food, but about the customers’ well-being. When they leave, we want them to feel like they can’t wait to come back!”

Gennaro Costabile, owner of the new Casa Gennaro restaurant at 4585 Route 27 (Main Street) in Kingston, works very hard to ensure that visitors to his restaurant are treated to a special dining experience — in all ways.

And indeed, they are. Many customers come every week, and it is Gennaro’s great pleasure to spend time with them. “I will serve them, and I enjoy being with my guests and talking with them,” he explains.

Gennaro has a long history in the restaurant business and a successful story to tell. A native of Italy, he came to the U.S. in 1983 after meeting his American wife-to-be in Venice, where he was working at a hotel. more

February 13, 2019

BEACHFRONT LUXURY: “Asbury Park Ocean Club is the first product of its kind in this market — not only in Asbury Park, but all of the Jersey coast,” says Jodi Stasse, Corcoran Sunshine senior managing director, who is leading sales for the new Asbury Ocean Club. Shown is one of the spacious light-filled living rooms at this new club, which features unobstructed ocean views.

By Jean Stratton

An exciting new beachfront opportunity for luxurious living will open in Asbury Park in June. Asbury Ocean Club is a collection of residential homes, a beach club, a boutique hotel, and a wide-ranging selection of amenities, all located at 1101 Ocean Avenue in Asbury Park.

The property, developed by iStar and designed by Handel Architects and Anda Andrei Design, rises 17 stories above the ocean, offering an uninterrupted sweep of ocean views. more

February 6, 2019

 

HERE TO STAY: “To survive in business today, you have to adapt and offer convenience for people. We provide the convenience of an in-town establishment, where customers can stop in and quickly get what they need — cards, office and school supplies, printer cartridges, pens, FedEx shipping, etc. And of course, we also offer our commercial online business.” John Roberto, left, and Andrew Mangone, co-owners of Hinkson’s, The Office Store, look forward to the store’s 100th anniversary under the Hinkson’s name.

By Jean Stratton

Hinkson’s, The Office Store at 28 Spring Street, is not only a Princeton favorite, but it has become a tradition for many shoppers. Independently owned, it is one of the town’s few remaining genuine family businesses.

Co-owners (and cousins) John Roberto and Andrew Mangone actually grew up in the store. Roberto’s father, the late Bert Roberto, purchased Hinkson’s in 1960 from then owner Harold M. Hinkson. A much smaller operation in those days, the shop offered newspapers, greeting cards, and a small selection of writing supplies.

As time passed, the merchandise greatly expanded, and the store became an essential resource in town.

It has a long and storied history in Princeton, and is now about to mark its 100th anniversary under the Hinkson’s name. more

January 23, 2019

FINANCIAL FUTURE: “We enjoy helping people. We really do care about our clients, and we help them prepare to be financially successful. We take our responsibility as advocates for our clients very seriously.” Michael G. (right) and Andrew E. Petrone are advisors with Petrone Associates, Inc., the company founded by their father, Thomas Petrone.

By Jean Stratton

Financial peace of mind cannot be overestimated. Volatility in the stock market, the government shut down, job insecurity — these are just some of the current challenges causing economic anxiety and uncertainty among many people today.

Whether it’s worry over the next paycheck, finding college funds for the kids, or confronting retirement needs, people are seeking ways to find financial security and establish a safety net. more

January 9, 2019

HEALING TOUCH: “We care a lot about our guests, and we want to help them relax. We make them feel welcome and comfortable, and give them a great relaxation experience to make their day a little better.” Ellen Kogan, owner of Tranquility Den in the Princeton Shopping Center, looks forward to introducing more people to the healing benefits of massage.

By Jean Stratton

This was one of the nicest massage experiences I ever had. Everything about it was wonderful, including the relaxing atmosphere and the experienced, friendly massage therapist.”

This recent comment came from a Princeton resident after a visit to Tranquility Den, the new massage spa in the Princeton Shopping Center.

It is only one of a series of rave reviews that have been bestowed upon the new establishment since its opening in October.

“We are pleased and encouraged that so many people love the spa,” says owner Ellen Kogan. “We always try to go above and beyond for our guests. Even though we are new, we already have many regulars, and I think that’s a testament to the quality experience we offer.” more

January 2, 2019

ICONIC LOOK: “Our jackets are quality throughout. They can all be customized, with a different lining design and color, for each person. It is a very individual, one-of-a-kind look.” Earl F. Bayer, founder of Forever Love Custom Heirloom Jackets and American Icon Jackets, is wearing one of his popular, high quality, motorcycle-style leather jackets.

By Jean Stratton

You don’t have to be an icon to wear an American Icon Jacket!

Indeed, these high quality leather jackets are available to all individuals who appreciate special, customized luxury apparel.

Founded by Earl F. Bayer in 2017 in Neshanic Station, his company Forever Love Custom Heirloom Jackets and American Iconic Jackets focuses on creativity, high standards, and customer satisfaction.

“‘Forever Love’ is our trademark, and these personalized jackets can be heirlooms, filled with love and luxury, passed down to another generation,” he says. more

December 19, 2018

HOLIDAY LOOK: “We take a lot of time with our clients to consult about their style and what they are looking for. And not just with our new clients — but with everyone. We have a talented, knowledgeable staff, completely trained in every aspect of hair and skin care.” Larissa Leary, managing partner and advanced education director of La Jolie Salon & Spa, looks forward to introducing even more clients to the salon’s many services, and to helping them get ready for the next holiday party.

By Jean Stratton

La Jolie Salon & Spa is ready and waiting to give you the perfect look for an upcoming holiday party or event. Whether it is for a new cut or color, special updo, facial, or makeup application, the talented staff at this longtime salon can ensure that you will look your best.

In addition, gift card opportunities are available for all services and products, at all prices, and are a wonderful holiday remembrance. It can be a very thoughtful way to remember someone on your list and introduce them to the benefits available at this all-purpose salon. more

December 12, 2018

FASHION FORWARD: “We focus on quality, style, versatility, wearability, and the right price. We offer boutique lines not found in department stores,” says Jill Wargo, owner of Highbar Boutique on Palmer Square. “What I have in the store is something I would wear, buy, want to receive, or give as a gift.” Shown is one of the store’s holiday window displays.

By Jean Stratton

What is your fashion style? Your best look? Your signature color?

A visit to Highbar Boutique, the charming women’s boutique at 7 Palmer Square West, will both help you underscore your established style, or if you need advice for a new look, assist you in discovering your best fashion focus. more

December 5, 2018

ONE-STOP SHOPPING: “We have adapted to the times. We see what the customers want and see that we do it right. Service is more important than the price. Everyone who comes into the store is treated equally. There is respect for everyone.” Marty Resnick, co-owner of the Flemington Department Store, is shown on the second floor, overlooking the vast array of merchandise at the signature store.

By Jean Stratton

As the holidays approach, time is both important — and limited. One-stop shopping is appealing and helpful to busy shoppers as they try to navigate through those long Christmas lists.

A visit to the ww Department Store can ease a lot of that shopping anxiety. Customers will find an enormous selection — from furniture and flooring to mattresses to outerwear, as well as workwear, shoes, boots, gloves, hats, scarves, backpacks — and much, much more.

Located at 151 Route 31 in Flemington, the store has been family-owned for 60 years and has a fascinating history.

Jacob and Sara Resnick, parents of the current owners Marty and Ted Resnick, arrived in the U.S. in 1946. Survivors of the World War II onslaught (Sara endured a lengthy period in a concentration camp), they first went to Brooklyn, N.Y., and then joined other Jewish refugees who had left Europe and formed a partnership in a chicken and egg farm. They settled in the Flemington area. more

November 7, 2018

ON THE MOVE: “I wanted to leave a legacy for Dad and my family, and this was the right time to make the move. We have the construction project going on at our Spring Street building, and we found this great Alexander Road location.” Robbie Nelson (center), owner of Nelson Glass & Aluminum and daughter of its founder, the late Bob Nelson, is shown with officer manager Joanne McGettigan (left) and longtime former office manager Alice Kent (right).

Your son just threw a baseball through the window; the wind blew the patio table over, and broke the glass top; the king-size mirror fell off the wall — who to call?

Nelson Glass, of course! Since 1949, this has been the place to go, whether for an emergency, a quick fix, or a long-range project.

Nelson Glass & Aluminum is unique in Princeton today. An independent, family-owned and operated business that continues to provide Princeton and the area with knowledgeable, friendly service and quality products. It has a proud history.

In 1949, Bob Nelson returned to his Princeton hometown with an engineering degree from Cornell and a goal of establishing his own business. It didn’t take long to discover that Princeton lacked a glass company, and he set out to fill that need.

Full-Service
After learning the ropes of the glass industry, he set up shop at a Nassau Street location. And, the rest, as they say, is history!

“In those days, the bulk of the business was cutting flat automobile glass,” explains Robbie Nelson, Bob Nelson’s daughter, and the firm’s current owner. “The store evolved into repair — especially broken windows. Dad saw a need, and he was always concerned with being a full-service glass company.”

After 10 years on Nassau Street, the firm moved to 45 Spring Street, where it has remained ever since. It continued to grow and evolve, beginning to provide aluminum storm doors and windows, then mirror work, shower doors, insulated glass, sliding patio doors, and table tops. Work began to be divided between commercial and residential projects.

Nelson Glass has always been known for its attention to detail and painstaking care for each project. As always, the company still does things by hand. The expert staff will custom-cut all mirrors, and make perfectly-fitting glass table tops. They also replace defective (foggy) double-paned insulated glass.

“The big thing now is doubled-paned insulated glass,” says Robbie Nelson. “It can get moisture between the panes though, and then needs to be replaced. Probably our most common job is replacing defective insulated glass.”

That is just one of the many services the company provides. Glass for picture frames, Plexiglas and safety glass, repair of leaded windows, application of solar film to windows to help prevent fading of interior items — the list goes on and on. Fixing rotted wood window frames is another service.

Showroom Display
“People often come in and bring a broken storm window,” points out Nelson, “and then they’ll see the showroom display and find something else they want. Maybe they need a new storm door, for example, or a new glass table top.

“When they come in, they can meet the staff. And we do the work here. We create the new storm door for you or make the repairs right here. Then, if there is ever a problem later, the customer can come back and see us. We will be here. We always stand by our work. Our reputation means everything. We always take pride in doing a good job.”

Now, Nelson Glass is embarking on a new adventure. After nearly 60 years on Spring Street, the firm has moved to a new location at 741 Alexander Road, Suite 7/8.

Changing times bring changing needs, and Nelson Glass has always adapted to new markets and directions.

“We started when Princeton was a village,” remarks Nelson, “Spring Street was a good location in the heart of town. But as times have changed, and Princeton has grown, we need more space and more parking.

“The Alexander Road location is just right. We needed a level loading dock, and it offers more space. We’ll go from 3,500 square to 5,000 square feet. It’s still a Princeton address, and there is lots of free parking.

Excellent Staff
“We’re looking forward to having more room in the shop and in the showroom. I’m also happy to have a bigger office. We will also be adding more staff. Finding the right staff has always been very important to us, and we have always been fortunate to have an excellent staff at Nelson.

“We have a new office manager, Joanne McGettigan, who has 15 years’ experience in the glass industry. She has the same talent for customer service that our longtime office manager Alice Kent has. Customers will be pleased to know that although Alice is semi-retired, she will be on hand at least three days a week in our new location.”

The timing of the move coincides with a building project at the Spring Street location. In the works for two years, the plan includes the addition of six stacked terraced apartments atop the original building. These rental units will include one single-bedroom, three two-bedroom, and two three-bedroom apartments. One affordable unit will be available.

Designed by Princeton architect Joshua Zinder of JZA+D, the project allows for 2,000 square feet of commercial space on the existing first level. The apartments will feature outdoor glass balcony railings, and after completion, the structure will be known as the Nelson Glass House.
“We need more housing in downtown Princeton,” says Nelson, who also owns the house next door at 47 Spring Street, currently divided into two apartments. “With the new addition and the house next door, we feel we are keeping the area as a neighborhood.

“I wanted to do something my dad would be proud of,” she continues. “I wanted to leave a legacy for him and the family. It’s all about family.”

Loyal Customers
Nelson Glass has had many loyal customers over the past decades, and continues to add new clients from all over the area.

“We want them all to come and see us at the new location, where we will continue to service all their glass needs,” says Nelson. “They can count on us for the cutting and installation. We are a true service operation. We do it all, and we will also help to guide those who want to do it themselves. But for the things that are too big, such as long mirrors or big pieces of glass, they can rely on us.

“Every day is different, with different challenges. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience. We can handle any project — from little jobs to big jobs, whatever the customer needs.”

While looking forward to this new adventure in the annals of Nelson Glass history, Robbie Nelson admits to mixed feelings about leaving Spring Street.

“The move is bittersweet. I will certainly miss coming here. It’s been a big part of my life. I love Princeton, and I’ll miss the downtown very much. But we will not be far away at all. It’s still a Princeton address, and we can’t wait to welcome all our customers to our new home.”
Nelson Glass & Aluminum hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (609) 924-2880. Website: www.nelsonglassprinceton.com.