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

March 8, 2017

EXPERT EYE CARE: “The advances in ophthalmology are amazing, The spread of inventions and the technology continue all the time. There are so many new ways we can treat eye diseases today and help people improve their vision.” Dr. Anita I. Miedziak is Director of Cornea and Contact Lens Services at the Princeton Eye Group.

If indeed, the eyes are the “window of the soul,” Dr. Anita I. Miedziak is doing all she can to keep that “window” as clear and unobstructed as possible. more

March 1, 2017

DECOR AND DESIGN: “The major focus is consignment, but I always have new retail pieces to add a fresh, updated look.” Cynthia (CJ) Johnson, owner of the Elephant in the Room Design Showroom, is shown by a lattice-work desk/potting table by Mecox Gardens, two new lamps from Port 68, and above, a large Wendover Art Group print, featuring a colorful butterfly wings motif. Ms. Johnson is holding a sample of her own fabric design.

The Elephant in the Room is ready and waiting! A new and unique fine consignment, retail furniture, and home decor emporium, it invites customers to share a delightful experience — starting with the store’s intriguing name! more

February 15, 2017

FEELING FIT: “We have a state-of-the-art fitness center and want to offer the best for our members. We build a relationship with people. We listen to them and find out what they like and what they might want to change.” Ralph Basile, owner and general manager of Retro Fitness in the Kingston Mall, is shown next to the popular AbSolo strengthening machine.

Working out at Retro Fitness is not only beneficial for your health and well-being, it can be fun too, says new owner Ralph Basile. “We make a point of getting to know our members,” he says. “I‘m a people person. I enjoy being able to meet all the people and bond with them.” more

February 1, 2017

GREAT TASTES: “Our Mediterranean-inspired selection is what sets us apart. We take pride in our product and our preparation. We focus on healthy fats, high protein, and fresh veggies. Everything is freshly made every day.” Todd Lukas (left), regional operator for Zoë’s Kitchen, is shown with Sarah Holler, general manger of the new Zoës Kitchen in the Mercer Mall.

Fans of the Mediterranean diet are delighted that they now have a new dining spot to please their palate.

Zoës Kitchen opened December 1 in the Mercer Mall, 3371 Brunswick Pike in Lawrenceville. With seating for 86 inside and 44 outdoors on the patio, the restaurant offers a spacious, attractive setting for lunch and dinner. more

January 18, 2017

FITNESS FOR YOU: “We offer a very personalized program. It is very customized, with both private and group classes, with only three to four students in a group.” Nikki Cifelli, owner of Studio Nikki LLC Pilates & Fitness, is shown by the Reformer Pilates equipment, which is used for many exercises.

The New Year is upon us, and if improving your fitness level is on that list of resolutions, Studio Nikki LLC Pilates & Fitness in Skillman is just the place. Offering integrated services of Pilates, Redcord, breast cancer rehabilitation, and CoreAlign; it is an ideal format for exercise, toning, and enhancing general well-being. more

January 4, 2017

The life of the mind is celebrated at the Princeton International School of Mathematics and Science (PRISMS). Located at 19 Lambert Drive (off Rosedale Road), the independent international boarding and day school opened in 2013, and offers a unique study and research program to a multi-cultural student body.

Executive Principal Matthew Pearce has been with PRISMS since 2014, and involved in STEM education for more than 20 years. Starting his career in London, he taught physics for students in an upper school in grades six through 12, also serving as head of physics. Coming to the U.S. in 2004, he worked for 10 years at the prestigious Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ), which was named the number one high school in America by U.S. News & World Report.  more

December 28, 2016

 

FASHION FRIENDLY: “You can find a complete wardrobe here. Things at the casual end, with jeans and tops, but also dressy items for the holidays. Basically, it’s comfortable, wearable clothing.” Janice Mintz, owner of Poppy Boutique in Pennington, looks forward to introducing everyone to her new women’s boutique.

A love of fashion runs in the family of Janice Mintz, owner of Poppy Boutique in Pennington.

“My grandmother was a seamstress, my mother loved fashion, and my brother became a fashion designer,” explains Ms. Mintz. “And I have always loved fashion, from the time I was a girl.” more

“Life Is Calling. Horizon Helps You Answer.”

This reassuring sentiment defines Horizon Audiology’s goal: helping people to hear better so they can enjoy a full life free of the isolation severe hearing loss can cause.

Opened in 2007, the company fulfills the mission of its owner and director Jane Brady AuD. It has now expanded to two locations, the original at East Windsor Medical Commons, 300A Princeton-Hightstown Road (Route 571) in East Windsor, and since 2015, at Investor’s Bank Building, 84 Route 31 North In Pennington. more

November 30, 2016

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The senses are fully engaged at twine. The popular shop in Hopewell is visually intriguing with a wonderfully eclectic display of many and varied items. Scented candles offer a refreshing aroma, and popular music (including 1960s favorites, Sinatra, the Beatles, Billy Joel, and more, depending on the mood!) plays in the background.

The taste buds are tempted with caramels, Junior Mints, Peppermint Crunch, Tootsie Pops, Hanukkah Kisses, Candy Cane Pop Rock, and shortbread. In addition, touching the merchandise is not only allowed but encouraged. There are no ‘Do Not Touch’ signs at twine. In fact, the sign specifically states: “Remember, if you break it, we put it in the wrong place.”

“I want kids to be able to touch toys and pick up things,” explains twine. owner Melissa Cookman. “It’s important that this is a welcoming place, and that people feel comfortable. We want to set that tone. We have lots of kids who come in, and people can also bring in their dogs. We welcome everyone!”

Originally opened in November 2005, twine. recently moved to a new location at 8 Somerset Street, still in Hopewell. more

October 26, 2016

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BEST BOOKS: “When I buy books, they become my friends. But if I don’t read them again, the Little Free Library is a wonderful way to share and pass them on.” Laura R. Jacobus is shown by the Little Free Library she installed by her home on Edgehill Road.

In case you haven’t heard, in addition to Princeton University’s Firestone Library and our own outstanding public library, Princeton is now home to the Little Free Library (LFL) movement.

A series of mail box-sized structures, placed in front of the homeowner’s property near the street, can be seen around town. They are filled with books for passersby to borrow, take home, return, or pass on to other readers, if they wish.  more

September 21, 2016

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CHEERS! “Bourbon is very, very popular today. Really hot! The brown spirits, including Scotch, are generally favored now, but especially bourbon.” Toni Carver, store manager of Joe Canal’s Discount Liquor Outlet in the Mercer Mall, is shown by a display of a variety of bourbon choices.

Whether the event is a cocktail party for 25, dinner for six, or a wedding reception for hundreds, Joe Canal’s Discount Liquor Outlet will provide the necessary advice, professional expertise, and quality products to make it an evening to remember. more

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FAVORITE FELINE: “I’d recommend getting a cat to anyone,” says George Smith, owner of Smith’s Ace Hardware & Housewares in the Princeton Shopping Center. “It’s great having Dusty in the store. He keeps the mice away, and everyone loves him.” Dusty, shown in one of his favorite perches, is the new “star” at the popular store. (Photo by Jean Stratton)

Family-owned and operated, Smith’s Ace Hardware & Housewares has been a favorite with customers since its opening in the Princeton Shopping Center in 2002.

Owner George Smith and his brothers are proprietors of four other hardware stores, including the original Yardville Supply Company opened by the Smith brothers’ grandfather. Yardville Supply is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. more

August 31, 2016

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ALL SEASON COMFORT: “We are available for all jobs — large and small. We provide new heating and air conditioning units, and we maintain and service all units, even if they weren’t purchased from us. We service all makes and models.” Husband and wife team Gary and Sharyn Stellitano, owners of Stellitano Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., look forward to keeping customers comfortable in all seasons.

Comfort is the key at Stellitano Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. The goal of this long-time respected company is to keep its customers cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and comfortable in every season. more

July 6, 2016
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FAIR SKIES AHEAD: “In 1985, when we moved here, we had no idea that we were carrying forward the torch of aviators from 1911 at this site. We think those early aviators would be very pleased with the expansion of the runway, taxiway, lighting system, hangars, and all the navigational aids that have come into being.” Ken Nierenberg, manager of Princeton Airport, carries on his family’s history in aviation.

“Come fly with me,

“Let’s fly, let’s fly away!”

And as the song continues,

“Once I get you up there, where the air is rarefied,

“We’ll just glide starry-eyed ….”

If that sounds intriguing, you don’t have to fight the traffic to Newark Liberty Airport, Kennedy, or even Trenton-Mercer County. Princeton Airport and Flying School is just around the corner.

And the opportunities abound. Flying lessons, rentals, hangars to park your own plane, and an extraordinary history.

Owned by the Nierenberg family since 1985, Princeton Airport has had a distinctive role in the annals of aviation.

In 1911, only eight years after the Wright Brothers made aviation history, Richard A. Newhouse arrived from Germany, settled in Rocky Hill, and began designing and building airplanes. The land where he tested his planes was Bolmer’s Field, later to become Princeton Airport.

10 Pioneer Aviators

History was made at the airport on November 19, 1916, when 10 pioneer aviators, members of New York’s 1st Aero Company (National Guard) completed a formation round trip from Mineola, N.Y. to Princeton. The flight, hailed by the press as “the largest number ever seen on one flight in this country” was the first mass cross-country flight in U.S. military aviation.

Years later, in 1929, Mr. Newhouse and his eldest son Werner, established the Newhouse Flying Service and named the site Princeton Airport. Their advertising flyer offered “Charter Flights to All Points; Planes for Hire; Student Instruction at Moderate Rates and Terms.”

History continued to be made at the airport. It was from there that the first Air Mail Flight took off on November 16, 1937. Also, on weekends, visitors could watch an air show, complete with “barrel rolls and wing over loops.”

During World War II, restrictions on general aviation within 50 miles of the coast were instituted, and activity at the airport decreased. However, the airport’s two runways accommodated military aircraft, including B-10 bombers and D-Cs.

Over the years, ownership of the airport changed hands, and in 1985, the Nierenberg family, including Dick, Naomi, and their son Ken, purchased the airport, which had been dormant and for sale for four years. The Nierenbergs had previously operated a full-service fixed-base operation at Kupper Airport in Hillsborough for 18 years.

Area pilots responded enthusiastically to the return of the airport service. The Nierenbergs began to improve the facility with an upgraded lighting system, and in 1987, a set of 16 T-hangars was constructed.

88 Hangars

Also, the FAA certified flight school grew rapidly, a variety of planes became available to rent, the maintenance shop expanded, the tie-down area increased, and Princeton Airport was a full service operation again.

Improvements have continued in the years since, notes Steven Nierenberg, director of operations, and an attorney in his previous career. “We have expanded the space from 50 acres to 100, and we now have 88 hangars. We own eight planes for instruction, and have 125 planes here altogether. These are private planes whose owners lease the space.”

Every 100 hours, the planes are thoroughly inspected, which is required by law, explains Mr. Nierenberg. They are also inspected and licensed every year for safety by licensed mechanics.

In addition, a separate area for helicopters is available.

“95 percent of the planes we have are single-engine,” he continues. “Some are two-seaters, and the largest seats six passengers. We have five instructors, and not only are they licensed pilots but also trained as licensed instructors.”

Currently, Princeton Flying School (formerly known as Raritan Valley Flying School) is instructing 85 students, adds Mr. Nierenberg. “Students are from all backgrounds, including the financial field, doctors, carpenters, etc. They are predominantly men, but we have women who like to fly too. Our students are all ages, including high school and younger, but many are in their 50s”

And, he adds, it’s never too late. “Our oldest student is 86!”

Solo Flying

Kids can also take lessons at ages nine or 10, but they must be big enough for their feet to reach the pedals. Both boys and girls are students, and they can’t solo until they are 16.

A minimum of 40 hours of air training are required to obtain a license, including at least 20 hours with an instructor and 10 hours of solo flying. Ground work is also included, and a written exam is required.

During their training, students are advised to come at least once a week, but many come more often. A $199, 80-minute introductory lesson (including an hour flight), is available for people to see whether they find “the skies friendly”. Mr. Nierenberg reports that a number of students have never even been in an airplane before. Most of them sign up for lessons, but occasionally some decide not to proceed.

“After the first lesson, many people come in the office and are so excited,” he says. “They say it was thrilling, fantastic. There are lots of emotions — joy, excitement, a real mix of feelings.”

If they decide to continue, students will receive a kit with a variety of instructional materials, including books.

“One of the things I love to see is when students reach a milestone,” continues Mr. Nierenberg. “Soloing is a milestone, and another is when they fly 150 miles and return. This requires landing at another airport, and then flying back here. We enjoy being part of a student’s life. It’s very exciting for them to say ‘I can fly a plane.’”

Pilot Shop

He points out that pilots have embarked from Princeton Airport to such locations as Cape Cod, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, etc. “There is also the utility of flying. You can get places so much faster. No long road delays and traffic jams.”

The airport has a special Pilot Shop, filled with a great variety of aeronautical-related items. Model airplane kits, books, flight log books, toy planes, airplane memorabilia, jackets and T-shirts, puzzles, and picture frames are just some of the specialties available.

In addition, a Pilot’s Lounge on the second floor offers a congenial place to relax, and it provides a nice view of the planes and aircraft operations.

The airport hangars are also available to rent for parties and other special occasions. Area organizations, including SAVE, have had events at the airport.

Mr. Nierenberg looks forward to offering more people the opportunity to experience the pleasure and excitement of flying. He hopes even more students will come to learn to fly.

“I have a chance to meet people who really want to be here, and who want to fly. I meet such a variety of people, and each day can be a surprise.”

Princeton Airport is open every day except Christmas and New Year’s. The office is open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (609) 921-3100. Website: www.princetonairport.com.

 

April 13, 2016

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GLORIOUS GARDENS : “We plant containers that our customers bring in or purchase so that they have exactly what they want without having to do all the work at home.” Lisa Miccolis, owner of Bountiful Gardens in Hillsborough, is shown working on a special container garden.

How does your garden grow? It’s probably not in full-fledged bloom yet, but it is definitely time to get started. As so often in life, preparation is key. Preparing the soil, adding compost and mulch, planning for color and texture, sun and shade are all very important considerations. more

April 6, 2016

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CLEAR VISION: “In my practice, I see patients of all ages, and focus on three specific areas: children, glaucoma, and specialty contact lenses.“ An optometric physician (optometrist), Dr. Charles Allen, O.D., F.A.A.O. often consults and lectures on these vision conditions. He will attend a meeting In New York in April regarding the development of myopia in children.

“On a clear day, rise and look around you …

“How it will astound you …

“On a clear day, you can see forever … more

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FRIENDLY FITNESS: “We are set apart by our size, standards, and personal service. We have a very friendly atmosphere and accessible space. The members enjoy knowing the owner and the trainers and our interaction. We know your name when you come in!” Alex Obe, owner of P.T.S. (Personal Training Studio) Health & Fitness, is shown in the center’s new Wall Street location.

Fitness is for you … and you … and you!

Alex Obe, owner of P.T.S. (Personal Training Studio) Health & Fitness Center at 390 Wall Street, just off State Road, is determined to bring fitness to everyone. Size, shape, age, previous experience are all part of one’s individual package, but none of these should be an obstacle to a positive session at the gym. more

March 23, 2016

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PEACE OF MIND: “My job is to interpret your situation, assist you in getting proper coverage, and find the best company to serve you. We offer you peace of mind.” Esther Tanez, CPIA is founder and owner of ESTIR Inc.

Esther Tanez, CPIA (Certified Professional Insurance Agent) is a high achiever, a person who has succeeded in her chosen profession and also continues to look for new ways to help people. Whether guiding them in their search for appropriate insurance for their needs, helping with taxes and bookkeeping, or encouraging them in establishing new businesses, she is ready to assist customers to find the best outcome for their specific situation. more

March 16, 2016

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Get those baskets ready!

Make Easter fun for the whole family with these personalized Easter gifts. Simply click on each item to purchase. more

February 24, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 8.51.44 AMBella Boutique is here to stay! Opened in April of 2015 in the Princeton Shopping Center, it was an immediate success.

“We have been so busy,” says owner Christina DiDonato. “The customer response has been incredible, and it has definitely exceeded our expectations.”

Co-owner with her husband Adriano DiDonato, who is general manager and buyer at the popular Bon Appetit, also in the Princeton Shopping Center, Ms. DiDonato is very pleased to be in this location. “A big plus at the shopping center is the easy accessibility and very convenient parking for customers.”

It was also very important for Ms. DiDonato to offer a uniquely pleasing environment for her shoppers. The boutique’s setting with stone-paneled walls and mediterranean-style motif, provides a very comfortable sense of space in a relatively small area. The fitting rooms with wrought iron appointments add to the overall charm of the boutique’s inviting atmosphere. more

January 6, 2016

“Before I knew it, the lavender was flourishing!”

Marie Voorhees smiles as she relates the success of the fledgling lavender plants she put into the ground four years ago on her family farm.

Located at 890 County Road 601 in Skilllman (down the road past the Montgomery High School), Hidden Spring Lavender Farm & Shoppe has become a popular destination for scores of customers who have discovered the many uses of lavender.

“Lavender goes back to Roman times,” says Ms. Voorhees. “It not only has a lovely fragrance but has soothing and relaxing properties that people enjoy, and they also appreciate the homemade aspect of everything we have. I make everything myself. These are not products made across the ocean.”

Perfect Spot

It all began when Ms. Voorhees left her corporate job, and decided to go in a very different direction. She and her husband had purchased her parents’ farm, and it was the perfect spot for a new career.

“I had always loved gardening,” she explains, “but I had no experience with lavender. I thought I’d like to try it — it’s such a lovely scent. I started with 1000 plants, and I really did it to have something nice for myself.”

Once the lavender began to bloom, people started stopping at the farm, asking to purchase it, says Ms. Voorhees.

“Strangers came by in the driveway, and wanted the lavender. They said the farm was a hidden treasure, and we decided to call it Hidden Spring Lavender Farm & Shoppe.”

The 1000 plants soon became 2000, and now she has 4000 (with 2000 more coming next spring) as well as 12 different kinds of lavender.

“I was particular about including different species and fragrances, and all have an individual character. We combine several different varieties to get our own distinctive lavender scent.”

Charming Showcase

With the lavender flourishing, Ms. Voorhees next step was to open a shop, offering a variety of products, which she would make herself. “My plan was to have sachets, neck rolls, dream pillows, and eye pillows. The shop building was the original cow barn and chicken coop. My husband built cabinets, and we put in new windows and new Dutch doors.”

The result is a charming showcase for the 200 products Ms. Voorhees provides, among them soaps, lotions, bath products, shampoo, dusting powder, heat wraps, even deodorants and pet products. The fact that everything is natural is very important, she adds. With many people concerned about the numerous chemicals in so many products today, the availability of all-natural lavender choices is a definite plus.

“Everything is completely natural, made from essential oils, and lavender has anti-bacterial qualities,” explains Ms. Voorhees. “Our deodorants are all natural and include only lavender and baking soda. They are very popular and very effective. The foaming hand soap, lotions, and our lavender tea are all especially popular.

“I started with aromatherapy, including soaps and lotions, and people started coming in for gifts. Now, we have a steady group of customers who really know what they want. They are from all over, and people find us online too. We once had a rock star come in from New York, and also people from the South, even from Canada. And lots of regulars from the area, including Princeton.

The customers seem to like everything in the shop, including the wide price range, which extends from $3 to $70. And they are often amazed by the variety of products.

Dried lavender branches and wreaths are favorite decorative gifts. Lavender “linen water” sprays for sheets and pillows are wonderful air fresheners, and also have a soothing, calming effect that may help people sleep. The lavender bath tea bag is filled with lavender and herbs, and when put in the bath tub, it can induce relaxation.

Treasure Chest

The “Pampering Hand Set” includes massage oil, cuticle cream, lavender exfoliant scrub, and nail brush. The “Gentleman’s Gift Set” with shaving soap, shaving brush, after-shave, and “mechanic’s” soap comes in a treasure chest-style box and will be sure to please a special guy in your life.

A wonderfully soft plush teddy bear is filled with lavender, offering a very long-lasting scent, and is irresistible to all ages. It is available at $33.

Wedding and baby shower favors include little boxes of lavender soap, and at various holiday times, Ms. Voorhees offers a number of seasonal gift items. Gift baskets are another highlight, and these are available ready-made or customized.

Your four-legged friends will also appreciate the range of lavender pet products. “These can help pets relax, and help them feel and smell good,” reports Ms. Voorhees. “We also have shampoo that can help repel fleas.”

Culinary lavender for cooking is another popular product, and is available for fish, poultry, and baked goods. Sipping lavender tea is a favorite with many customers, adds Ms. Voorhees. She notes that she has a specific recipe for every item, and also offers a recipe book.

The response to all her lavender products has been beyond her expectations and the growing demand keeps her very busy, says Ms. Voorhees. “I love what I make, and I take pride in what I’ve done. I never envisioned this happening. I thought it would be nice to have my own business, but the success is more than I ever imagined. It’s wonderful! I think the most enjoyment I have is being creative and seeing people love the products. I am also so pleased that many people who have received our products as gifts have now become our customers.”

An added attraction of shopping at Hidden Spring Lavender Farm is its lovely rural setting. The farm’s location invites customers to another world, filled with natural beauty and a relaxed atmosphere.

Hours are Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shop will be open on Saturday only in January through March, so that Ms. Voorhees has time to add to the supply of products to keep up with the increasing demand, and also to get ready for the June harvest.

For more information, call (609) 558-7034 or visit the website at www.hiddenspringlavender.com.