September 9, 2020

BEST BARBECUE:  “We use only fresh seasonal ingredients and select cuts of meat, making our delicious Texas-style barbecue the perfect Barbecue Experience.” John Procaccini (left) and Matt Martin, owners of More Than Q Barbecue Company, stand beside “Bubba,” their special steer mascot.

By Jean Stratton

That unmistakable wood-smoked aroma, the unique flavor, the tasty texture… indeed, barbecue in all its forms appears to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue — literally and figuratively!

Increasing in popularity all the time, with new restaurants springing up all over the country, it is said to be more popular in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world.

One of the latest eateries to emerge is More Than Q Barbecue Co., located at 3522 Route One North in The Square at West Windsor shopping center. Opened June 30, it is owned by John Procaccini, “Z” Pappas, and Matt Martin.

Known for their success in establishing many restaurants in the Princeton area, including Osteria Procaccini, Trattoria Procaccini, and Pj’s Pancake House, among others, Procaccini and Pappas continue to look for new dining experiences for their clientele. More Than Q is the 10th restaurant under the auspices of their restaurant management and consulting company, Gretalia. more

September 2, 2020

PERSONAL SERVICE: “It’s important to do something for yourself, especially now during the virus. it’s really more of a necessity now, not a luxury,” says Beata Giermasinka, owner of Amber Spa in Pennington. Here, hairstylist Kasia Hoff is shown cutting a client’s hair in the new outdoor tent enclosure.

Soothing and calming, yet revitalizing and rejuvenating at the same time.

This is what customers have come to expect at Amber Spa in Pennington.

The full-service spa/salon opened in 2002 at its current location, 16 Main Street, and since then has been providing clients with state-of-the-art face, body, and hair care. Facials, massages, wraps, haircuts and color, manicures, pedicures, facial and body waxing, tanning, and makeup applications are all available.

The eight highly qualified staff members specialize in all of the above treatments, with customer-pleasing results, and the warm and welcoming atmosphere invites clients to relax, and for an hour or two, forget the ever-present “To Do” list. more

August 12, 2020

AL FRESCO:  “Everyone appreciates the way pedestrian traffic has opened up on Witherspoon Street. People are really enjoying coming together and eating outside. As owners of Olives, we are thankful and grateful for the way the town has allowed us to adapt to these changing times.”  Adam and Nick Angelakis, co-owners of Olives Gourmet Bakery & Deli, along with the Verganelakis family of Colonial Farm in Washington Crossing, look forward to more customers enjoying Olives’ outdoor dining opportunities. Tables are set up outside Olives’ entrance.

By Jean Stratton

The Witherspoon streetscape is now filled with intriguing scenes and scenarios as people enjoy the many outdoor dining opportunities now available. The street’s new traffic pattern has made it possible for more outdoor tables and attractive settings to line the thoroughfare.

Since state rules have prohibited indoor dining because of COVID-19, restaurants have had to adapt and meet the moment with new possibilities.

Olives, the popular Gourmet Bakery & Deli at 22 Witherspoon Street, is one of those that now offers dining al fresco, and co-owners and brothers Adam and Nick Angelakis are pleased with the result, and also that Princeton officials have stepped up to make it happen.

“I want to give credit to Mayor Lempert and the Princeton Council,” says Adam Angelakis. “They worked hard to make outside dining possible, and they have worked closely with the business community.” more

August 5, 2020

FRIENDLY FACES: “All our employees love the dogs. Their love and support for the dogs is their highest priority. We have a truly dedicated and loyal staff,” says Carole Lini, founder and owner of All Good Dogs Daycare & Boarding. Shown are daycare counselors and attendants Lexi Corrington (standing), holding chihuahua B.B., and Carly Goldman on the sofa with mixed breed Snickers.

By Jean Stratton 

From the time she was a little girl, Carole Lini loved animals. Growing up with dogs and cats, she spent many hours playing with her four-footed friends.

As the years passed, the pleasures of being with animals and caring for them continued. She became a veterinarian technician, and then operated her own pet sitting business. And for more than 20 years, her mission has been to provide dogs with a safe, friendly, and comfortable “home away from home.”

Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, All Good Dogs Daycare & Boarding has established an outstanding reputation in the Princeton area and beyond. Founded and owned by Lini, the business has two locations:  160 Basin Road in Lawrence Township and a smaller boutique facility at 113 Schalks Crossing Road in South Brunswick. Both locations are just a 10-minute drive from Princeton, points out Lini.

These cage-free kennel alternatives offer dogs a safe, friendly, stimulating, clean, and comfortable environment in which to socialize with other dogs under the supervision of trained counselors. more

July 29, 2020

OPEN AIR SETTING:“It is very important to me that my clients feel comfortable and safe, and I was trying to think of ways to offer other opportunities for them during this time of the virus. Creating an open air massage room seemed like a good idea. People are enjoying outdoor dining; I knew they would enjoy outdoor massages too, especially in a beautiful park-like setting.” Ellen Kogan, owner of Tranquility Den Massage in the Princeton Shopping Center, is shown outside the spa. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Jean Stratton

Ellen Kogan saw a need, and filled it with a creative solution. Owner of Tranquility Den Massage in the Princeton Shopping Center, she wanted to assure clients of a safe and sound environment, where they could relax and rejuvenate.

After being closed since March due to the state regulations surrounding COVID-19, Tranquility Den Massage re-opened the end of June.

“In difficult times like these, business owners need to pivot and adapt to the current conditions,” she explains. “When some clients indicated they might not be comfortable indoors, it gave me the idea of adding an outdoor setting.”

Massage therapy is now more important than ever, she believes. It can calm the mind and soothe the soul as well as alleviate troublesome physical conditions. more

July 22, 2020

MEMORIALS AND MONUMENTS: Sutphen Memorials Inc. has been helping families design and create granite, marble, and bronze memorials for five generations. “We are here to help people through the difficult process of monument selection with our personal service and experience.” Douglas G. Sutphen Sr. (right) and Douglas G. Sutphen Jr., owners of Sutphen Memorials Inc., are dedicated to serving their customers with thoughtfulness and expertise.

By Jean Stratton

Memorializing one’s final resting place is a nearly universal — yet often postponed — practice. No one really wants to face this particular inevitability, so putting off the decision is not unusual.

On the other hand, says Douglas G. Sutphen Jr., co-owner with his father Douglas G. Sutphen Sr. of Sutphen Memorials Inc., many people with a more practical bent do plan ahead and select a monument or headstone before the need actually arises. Whether simple or elaborate, whimsical or poignant, it will reflect their final wishes and how they want to be remembered.

“Some people purchase the plot in the cemetery and the monument at the same time,” he points out. “Often, older people will decide on monuments ahead of time. It is really easier on the family if the decision has been made before.

“If it wasn’t selected before the death, however, I will often suggest that the family wait for a while before deciding, maybe a couple of months. This way they can make some notes, and think about how the person would want to be remembered, his or her interests, personality, etc.” more

July 15, 2020

ELECTRICAL EXPERTISE: “The needs of every customer are important to us at Cifelli Electrical Inc. We do every kind of job, including residential and commercial, and customers know they can rely on our knowledge and service.”Co-owners Mike Twarkusky and Anthony Tallone and office manager Carole Twarkusky look forward to continuing to serve clients throughout the Princeton area. (Photo courtesy of Cifelli Electrical Inc.)

By Jean Stratton

Always important, peace of mind in one’s home is especially crucial today as so many of us are spending many more hours home-bound during the coronavirus pandemic.

Making sure that the electrical system, including the home wiring, plugs and switches, fuse panel, circuit breaker, etc. are all in good repair is essential to home safety.

Cifelli Electrical Inc. has been providing reliable service to Princeton area customers since 2004, when Mike Twarkusky and Anthony Tallone established the company. Even before, dating back 50 years, it was a Princeton mainstay under the auspices of owner and founder John Cifelli.

“Both my co-owner Mike Twarkusky and I started at Cifelli in 1986,” says Tallone. “We were still in high school when we began working for John as apprentices. Then we both went on to further our education and become electricians.” more

July 8, 2020

RIDE IN STYLE: “People love getting on a bike. All our bike classes are currently outside, and cyclists of every ability come and have fun. They also love our pink and white bikes,” says Cassandra Orson, owner and founder of Forever Hart Fit, located at Route 130 in Robbinsville. Shown is a group enjoying the favorite FHF Cycle Fit class.

By Jean Stratton

“Our goal is to help you to be the best version of YOU!”

Cassandra Orson, owner and founder of Forever Hart Fit (FHF), loves what she does. Helping her clients become fit while having fun within a warm, welcoming atmosphere is her priority.

“We are set apart from other fitness facilities,” she believes. “We’re a lifestyle, not a gym. We have chandeliers and crystal accessories. It’s a boutique feel, and we totally emphasize the highest levels of cleanliness in every way.”

Established three years ago, Forever Hart Fit has a unique story, and is a reflection of how sometimes a positive result can unexpectedly emerge from a tragedy.

Predominantly Pink

“I had lost my baby son Hart, and the studio is in his memory, and named for him,”  explains Orson. “I will hold the love and inspiration of my child forever in my heart, and this strength, growth, and love that has been created with the studio is something I want to share as my mission with you.”

Located at 1179 Route 130 North, Unit 2, in Robbinsville, the studio is indeed unlike other fitness facilities. Its decor, with a prominent pink presence, is inviting, especially to the predominantly female clientele. Its stylish chandeliers and crystal accessories are not seen in many fitness establishments.

The focus on a warm, welcoming atmosphere for everyone, along with a positive flow of energy, is reported by many clients on numerous avenues of social media and via word-of-mouth. Positive reviews for FHF abound. more

July 1, 2020

BEST BATHS:  “Our showroom is currently focused on the bath, but we will be expanding the area to accommodate a variety of kitchen products. When people come in, they will find a complete showroom, with all the choices and high quality products they need.” Jill Jefferson-Miller, owner of Jefferson Bath & Kitchen, is shown by a display of Jaclo products, including tubs, toilets, and shower accessories.

By Jean Stratton

Staying put for the past several months has led many homeowners to think about a face lift!

Not necessarily a bit of “nip and tuck” here and there around the eyes or to firm up that softening chin line — although those are certainly options too.

But more to the point, many people are thinking of ways to create a new look in the house — specifically, the bath and kitchen. Both are hot spots for upgrades.

Improvements to these special places have long been known to boost sale prices for homeowners wishing to sell. But, on the other hand, isn’t it appealing to make some changes just for your own enjoyment? Especially during times that have brought added stress to everyday lives.

Soothing Sanctuary

Jefferson Bath & Kitchen, located at 29 Airpark Road, Floor 2, is just the place to find everything from a new shower head or sink to a bath tub, toilet, or all of these if you are ready for a complete remodel.

Indeed, the bathroom of today is bigger and better than ever. It can be decorative as well as functional, and can provide a spa-like atmosphere, a sophisticated sanctuary allowing soothing relaxation in freestanding tubs, multi-function showers featuring different water pressure and spray patterns, such as “massage,” “rain,” and “champagne bubbles.”

The possibilities are quite remarkable. Sinks and tubs are available not only in the typical porcelain but in marble, granite, onyx, and bamboo.

There are also toilets with heated seats, automatic open/close lids, hygienic cleaning wands, and warm air dryers. more

June 24, 2020

SUCCESS STORY: “We offer fresh ingredients from local sources. Everything is healthy and sustainable. Our specialties are made-to-order crepes and our homemade jams, but we also have seasonal soups and salads.” The owners of Jammin’ Crepes are pleased to offer outside dining and takeout service according to the current New Jersey state regulations. Shown, from left, are owners Kim and Amin Rizk and Kathy Klockenbrink.

By Jean Stratton

For the past six years, it has been the place to meet a friend for breakfast, lunch, or just a quick afternoon treat.

Success stories like that of Jammin’ Crepes are unique. A favorite from the day it opened its doors in 2014, its popularity continues to grow and grow.

Established by Kim and Amin Rizk and Kathy Klockenbrink, it was initially introduced at several farm markets, including West Windsor and Princeton, in 2011.

“We emphasized good fresh food, especially crepes, all made to order, as well as our homemade jams and pickles. The farm markets were a very good showcase for us, and people enjoyed seeing us make the crepes,” says Kim Rizk. more

June 17, 2020

CREATIVE COLOR: “I like the idea of making art more accessible to people. All ages enjoy coming to Color Me Mine, including kids from 3 and up, as well as their parents and grandparents. They all like to come and paint and create!” Krystal Spadafora, second from right, owner of Color Me Mine in the Princeton Shopping Center, is shown with her husband and co-owner Tom Spadafora, and their three children, from left, Erik, Emily, and Katy.

By Jean Stratton

Explore your inner artist! Release your creativity! Are you ready?

These opportunities are waiting for you at Color Me Mine, the “Paint Your Own Pottery” studio in the Princeton Shopping Center.

Originally opened March 19, “it got off to a great start,” says owner Krystal Spadafora, and then COVID-19 forced a changed in everyone’s lives, including owners of business establishments, and the business was put on hold.

“We were so encouraged with the initial response from customers, and also, all the other Shopping Center merchants were so welcoming,” reports Krystal, who co-owns the business with her husband Tom Spadafora.

“Now, we are so happy to reopen. We look forward to sharing all our programs and workshops with customers and encouraging them to create and have fun.” more

June 10, 2020

SPRING SPLENDOR: “We have quality products, and customers know our reputation and that they can count on us for helpful and knowledgeable service. We look forward to helping people grow their gardens.” Jeff Baumley, owner of Baumley Nursery, Landscaping & Garden Center, is shown beside a variety of shade-loving plants.

By Jean Stratton

“The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the singing of the birds is come;”

—Song of Solomon

Indeed, in the midst of this season “of our discontent,” the flowers are here, and the birds and pollinators are helping to ensure that more blossoms will thrive and continue to provide beauty to the land.

And this is always important at Baumley Nursery, Landscaping & Garden Center. For more than 30 years, owner Jeff Baumley has been helping customers take home the right plants for the right space, and encouraging homeowners to learn about the proper care and maintenance of their new acquisitions.

Any visit to the Garden Center at 4339 Route 27, just past Kingston, is time well spent, both to appreciate the splendid display of flowers and plants in all colors and sizes, and to meander along attractive brick pathways, and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere.

Customers also appreciate the convenient arrangement and identification of the products, including helpful explanatory information.  more

May 27, 2020

LEGAL EXPERTISE: “In our family law practice, we have developed a strong focus on the individual. The center of our legal universe is our client. We are focused on meeting the client’s needs from the first phone call through to the resolution of the matter.” Attorneys, from left, Grace Dennigan, Mia Cahill, and Elizabeth (Beth) Smith, are partners in the Dennigan Cahill Smith law firm.

By Jean Stratton

First and foremost, attorneys Grace Dennigan, Mia Cahill, and Elizabeth (Beth) Smith are there to help. When clients seek their family law services, whether for divorce, domestic abuse, child custody, financial issues, or divorce mediation, the partners and staff at Dennigan Cahill Smith (DCS) are skilled advocates on their behalf.

The firm was founded in 2006 by Grace Dennigan and Mia Cahill. Beth Smith joined in 2008, becoming a partner in 2012. They are experienced litigators, negotiators, and mediators, and the firm, located at 12 Roszel Road, Princeton, has an excellent reputation among both its clients and within the legal community. It represents clients primarily in Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Burlington counties.

An added dimension is that DCS is an all-female-owned and managed law firm. This has not deterred male clients who comprise half of the roster of clients.

“Both male and female clients have said that the idea of a strong female firm is appealing to them — based on their own perceptions on how they view us, and the qualities they are looking for in an attorney,” says Beth Smith. “Who doesn’t want a strong group of women in their corner?” more

May 20, 2020

BEST FRIENDS: “At SAVE, our cats and dogs are not just a number. We get to know each one individually. Each has its own story, and each is loved.” Heather L. Achenbach, executive director of SAVE, A Friend To Homeless Animals, is shown with Yorkshire terrier, Rudy, who was recently adopted. Found abandoned, he was brought to SAVE, where he was gently cared for, and then soon found his new “forever” home.

By Jean Stratton

For those who have loved a companion animal, the bond is deep and true. It could be that special dog, now grown old, you knew as a puppy. Or the kitten you watched play all day, now content to catnap the hours away. Both are still such a valuable and loved part of the family — whatever their ages.

There are as many such stories as there are dogs and cats, and each is unique and lasting.

And when an animal who has been abandoned or abused is able to find a home, it is even more meaningful.

No one understands this more fully than Heather L. Achenbach, executive director of SAVE, A Friend To Homeless Animals. She is aware of the continuing need to find homes for the many stray, lost, and surrendered dogs and cats, so that they can live a safe and happy life. more

May 13, 2020

BEST BIKES: “We want you to love your bike. That is the bottom line. Whatever you ride, let us make sure it is running smoothly, and giving you maximum cycling pleasure.” Mike Gray (right), owner of Sourland Cycles in Hopewell, and head mechanic Tom Cooper, look forward to introducing more customers to the store, which offers sales of new bikes, full service tune-ups and repair, bike fitting, supplies and equipment, and friendly, knowledgeable advice. They are shown with the all-around gravel adventure Giant Revolt Advanced 2 bike. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Jean Stratton

Do you remember when you got your first bike? The sheer excitement that almost took your breath away?

Mike Gray does. The owner of Sourland Cycles remembers it well.

“I was about 6 or 7, and it was a purple Schwinn Stingray. It was a thrill! I felt the way everyone does when they get that first bike — it was fun, exciting, the start of a new adventure.”

And the cycling memories linger. “I grew up in a biking family in St. Paul,” he recalls. “We rode all the time, and even now, my mom, who is 84, still rides nearly every day.”

Biking Memories

How many people really get to have a job that they love? It is special for Mike Gray to be able to work in a field that continues to build on those early biking memories.

Sourland Cycles at 53 East Broad Street in Hopewell is a dream come true. He opened it in 2014 with then partner Russ White. “I would not have opened the shop without Russ White, who was founder of the Trenton Bike Exchange, and also Tom Cooper, our head mechanic. They were essential.

“The idea was that we could fill a need in the Princeton area for good cycling. There’s a great variety of cycling paths, trails, and roads in our region. We encourage families to get outside and ride — especially during this time of the coronavirus. Getting a bike can be great exercise and a chance to get out of the house.
“We have bikes for everyone in the family — for kids, starting at 3 years old, and a great selection of men’s and women’s bikes.” more

May 6, 2020

FULL SERVICE: “Rosedale is not just a pet store, or just a feed store, or just a garden store. It is all of these — but more. We have a very loyal clientele. They really appreciate the one-stop shopping we offer with all the pet, horse, and livestock products, and garden needs, as well as our great selection of bird feeders, houses, and feed — and so much more.” John Hart Jr., owner of Rosedale Mills in Pennington, shown with business partner Beth Scheuerlein, looks forward to helping customers in person, with delivery or drive-thru pick-up service.

By Jean Stratton

Family businesses were once the mainstay of shopping across the country, and certainly in New Jersey. As times and shopping strategies have changed, fewer and fewer of these once prolific establishments now define the streetscapes of our towns and neighborhoods.

How special it is then when a longtime family-owned and operated business continues to serve its customers.
Rosedale Mills, located at 101 Route 31 North (at Titus Mill Road), is such an establishment. Now known as an “America’s Country Store” and designated as a Purina Company Signature Design (the only one in New Jersey), it offers a spacious 12,000-square-foot setting. Although a state-of-the-art facility, it still retains the feeling of a country store, reminiscent of the feed and general merchandise stores of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Indeed, Rosedale Mills has a long history, dating to the mid-1850s, when it was a water-powered feed and sawmill. Originally located on Carter Road near Rosedale Road, the mill may have derived its name from the abundance of roses in the area. more

April 29, 2020

PERFECT PROPERTIES: “We’re a boutique real estate firm because we are a privately-owned company and are not associated with a franchise or large corporate organization.” This offers Addison Wolfe Real Estate more freedom and flexibility in decision-making and operation, points out founding partner Art Mazzei.

By Jean Stratton

That interesting new career opportunities can always be in one’s future is certainly evidenced by the experience of Art Mazzei.

After 30 years teaching English in the New York School system, he is now founding partner of Addison Wolfe Real Estate, the company he established in 2006.

Located at 550 Union Square in New Hope, Pa., it is a boutique company with 50 realtors on the roster, covering an area including New Hope, all of Bucks County, the Lehigh Valley, Center City Philadelphia, and parts of New Jersey.

How did such a dramatic change transpire? As Art Mazzei recalls, “When I was in my childhood, I guess that the first makings of a realtor developed. My father was a contractor, and nothing to me was more exciting than visiting a new home under construction and the smell of pine.” more

April 22, 2020

BUILDING SUCCESS: “We strive for the highest level of customer satisfaction in all of our projects. Our focus is on residential and light commercial, and we do all sizes of projects, as well as new construction.” Jim Baxter, right, founder and owner of Baxter Construction, is shown looking over plans with his longtime colleague (26 years!) and lead carpenter, Weir Strange.

By Jean Stratton

The house is the structure, but the home is where the heart is.

An especially important sentiment during this difficult time of coping with COVID-19, when people are relying on the safe haven of their home every day.

Jim Baxter, founder and owner of Baxter Construction, at 31 West Broad Street in Hopewell, has helped clients enjoy the comfort of their homes for almost 40 years.

Indeed, helping homeowners build memories within their home has been the focus of his company since he opened it in 1981. more

April 8, 2020

FARM FRESH: “We grow an assortment of organic vegetables, and we are also planting blueberries and strawberries this year. In addition, we have a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm share program.” Owners and brothers Alex, left, and James Klett of Fairgrown Farm In Hopewell are shown with their special vintage Industrial Harvester tractor, with back hoe and front loader.

By Jean Stratton

Better Food, Better Lives” — this is the mission of brothers James and Alex Klett, who established Fairgrown Farm in 2018. Its eight acres on Aunt Molly Road in Hopewell produce organic seasonal produce for the surrounding community.

“We are committed to growing great-tasting food that is healthy and safe,” explains James Klett, who is farm manager and head farmer. “Our farm is in the process of being certified as USDA Certified Organic. Although we are not yet officially certified, we comply completely with the organic principles, often going above and beyond what is required of an organic farm. You can be assured that everything we grow is safe and healthy for your family.”

There is no question that farming is one of the most challenging — and, of course, essential — occupations one can undertake. Both James and Alex, who is operations manager and charged with keeping the machines and equipment in good working order, know they are in the right profession. more

April 1, 2020

BEST BREW: “We are the first licensed brewpub — an on-site brewery and restaurant — in New Jersey. We brew the beer right here, and have 250 different styles.” Eric Nutt, left, director of corporate sales, and Ray Villano, general manager of Triumph Brewing Company, look forward to celebrating the brewpub’s 25th anniversary with all their customers as soon as circumstances allow.

By Jean Stratton

These are unusual times, and nowhere is that more visible than in Princeton’s downtown, with the myriad of businesses that are temporarily closed or otherwise affected by the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus.

Triumph Brewing Company, the longtime Princeton favorite brewpub, is marking its 25th anniversary this year, and although celebration plans have been placed on hold, it is still open for takeout and bottled beer purchases.

“We can’t wait to get back to normal — with our customers, and also to see all the people on the street again,” says director of corporate sales Eric Nutt. “In the meantime, however, we do offer takeout, and also, we are delivering food to HomeFront and the Trenton Soup Kitchen. In addition, our Red Bank and New Hope locations are delivering to food banks in their areas.

“We have always been community-oriented, and we support local organizations and charities.” more

March 25, 2020

CLEAR COMMUNICATION: “We are very encouraged with our ability to help people. We really try to be as personal as we can be to reach every individual. Each person is very important to us. We don’t believe that the ‘one size fits all’ approach works, so we tailor our therapies to maximize each individual’s strengths to overcome his or her challenges.” Carole Drury, left, director of business operations, and Marcie C. Fountaine, M.S., CCC-SLP, clinical director of Princeton Speech-Language & Learning Center, look forward to helping more people improve their communication skills.

By Jean Stratton

Saying it plainly, expressing yourself clearly — in a word, communicating. The basis of our daily interaction with others, and the source of so many problems when it goes wrong.

Helping those with speech, language, and learning disorders is the specialty of Princeton Speech-Language & Learning Center (PSLLC), newly located at 615 Executive Drive in Montgomery Commons.

Founded in 1985 by Terri Rossman, it is now owned by Clinical Director Marcie C. Fountaine, M.S., CCC-SLP and Director of Business Operations Carole Drury.

Both owners had worked with Terri Rossman, and, as Carole Drury points out, “Marcie and I really wanted to keep Terri’s vision alive.” more

February 19, 2020

DESIGN PLUS BUILD: “What if you were an architect and you knew how to build well, too. Wouldn’t that be a powerful combination? We’re an architectural design-build company, and we have on-site product capacity. We fabricate every piece here on-site. All the woodworking and metal work is done right here.” Kevin Wilkes, AIA, award-winning architect, founder and managing partner of Princeton Design Guild, is shown in his Belle Mead workshop.

By Jean Stratton

At the age of 9, Kevin Wilkes knew exactly what he wanted to do. And it has all gone according to plan.

“When I was 9, I had Lincoln Logs and erector sets, and I was always building things. My dad was an engineer, my mom was an interior designer, and I just knew I wanted to design and build things.”

While still a senior at Princeton University, he began building a house on the corner of Harrison and Sycamore Streets all on his own, and it still stands today, a testament to his skill and determination.

Also at Princeton, he was able to target his love of the theater by designing sets and costumes for campus shows, and he also studied scenic design. He took time off between sophomore and junior year to work full-time at McCarter Theatre as scenic artist and assistant to the technical director. He also worked in Manhattan as a scenic designer, as well as creating interior designs, such as a new lobby and a second stage for various theaters. more

February 12, 2020

TO YOUR TASTE: “We are set apart by our selection, prices, our knowledge and expertise, and our customer service. In a period of 49 years, Bottle King has grown to become the largest New Jersey retailer of wine, beer, and spirits.” Steve Carpentier, general manager of the company and co-owner of the Bottle King on State Road, is shown with Chateau Petrus Pomerol, a very special and hard-to-get Bordeaux.

By Jean Stratton

Word travels fast when something new and exciting arrives in the neighborhood!

To say that Bottle King, the new liquor store at 775 State Road, has made a hit is an understatement. Just opened in December, it already has regular customers, not to mention the new ones who show up every day.

“Best beer selection!” Best prices in alcohol!” “Great selection of everything!” “Terrific layout in the store!”

These are just some of the rave reviews from customers. An additional remark often heard: “The parking is great — no problem finding a space.”

All in all, good news for Bottle King owner Ken Friedman, who founded the family business in Union in 1970. There are now 15 Bottle Kings, including one in Hillsborough and another in East Windsor. more

January 29, 2020

MADE TO ORDER: “We are set apart by our hospitality and great customized pizza. Customers know that the owners are always here. We answer the phone ourselves, and we customize each pizza to every person’s taste. I am very hands-on — whether I’m out front helping the customers, or in the kitchen.” Aginah Maltabes co-owner of Pizza Den, is shown getting a pizza all ready to go to a happy customer.

By Jean Stratton 

The personal touch is on display at Pizza Den. Owners Aginah and Costa Maltabes are always on hand to be sure that customers receive their favorite pizza, made to order to their taste.

“Pizza is the number one food in the world,” says Aginah Maltabes. “Everyone likes it. It tastes good. It is a kind of comfort food. And at Pizza Den, we make sure it is exactly the way you like it.

“At Pizza Den, we believe a good pie should be personal,” she continues. “The dough is made in-house, using organic, unbleached flour. You can taste the difference in every bite. We also offer a gluten-free crust.”

Opened in 2018 at 242 1/2 Nassau Street, Pizza Den is tucked in next door to Hoagie Haven. Small in size, it is large in flavors and hospitality. Primarily a takeout establishment, it does have small tables for eat-in, and is also available for private parties. more

January 1, 2020

FAMILY TIES: “We have thousands of different tiles in the showroom, and we also have exclusive lines that are available to us in the area. Tile is very durable, and its easy maintenance is another advantage.” Jack (left) and Darlene Flood, owners of A Step in Stone, are shown with their son Brian, who is operations manager. A display of glass and stone mosaic tiles is featured in the background.

Tile can be a wonderful addition to your home. It is handsome, durable, and versatile. Appropriate for many rooms in the house — from bathroom to foyer to kitchen and beyond, it is both eye-catching and functional.

Enhancing both floors and walls, its myriad designs and styles offer choices for everyone’s taste. For sure, tile is a winning decorative choice.

No one knows this better than A Step In Stone. Recently marking its 15th anniversary, this special tile emporium, with its spacious showroom, is known both for its superior selection of tile from all over the world and its exceptional customer service.

Every style, size, design, color, and texture is on display. Ceramic tile, stone, glass, mosaic, porcelain, and metal are among the categories available, all conveniently arranged for customer accessibility.