Chris speaks with Craig Bass, owner of Bagel Café of New Providence, NJ. Craig worked many years on Wall Street but after 2008, he decided to go back to his college roots of hotel and restaurant management. While Bagel Café seems to be just a neighborhood bagel store, Craig has dreams of transforming it far beyond just bagels. A foodie at heart, Craig has already elevated the coffee with a signature blend that is arguably the best in town. His next step is bringing customers incredible burgers, including the Jersey burger with Taylor ham, egg and cheese. The future is bright for Bagel Café with a foodie pushing the menu far beyond just bagels.
BuyLocalNJ is what happens when brothers Andy and Chris, native New Jerseyans and owners of financial advisory firm Runnymede Capital Management, wondered, “What if we create a website that promotes buying local by interviewing business owners for our community?”
Join us in finding, supporting, and celebrating local businesses that are helping to build our communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, connecting neighbors, and contributing to local causes. Thank you for buying local!
Andy visits Mallika Malhotra, founder of MikiFoto + Co., to find out how she helps women entrepreneurs to hone their messages, create power images, and rise above the noise. She believes in creating images that build connection, energize your brand and infuse personality into your business.
Andy visits Marcy's Kitchen in Gillette, New Jersey. Mexican kitchen connoisseurs Marcela "Marcy" Navarrete and Hector Jimenez have been serving both quality interpretations of classic dishes and daring new ventures into the uncharted territories of food.
Marcy's Kitchen interior, designed as a reflection of a kitchen in Puebla, Mexico, reflects the comfortable sensibilities of a home cooked meal while also paying tribute to Puebla's artisanal storied past. The humble take-out restaurant offers the choice to observe passersby of Valley Road, or watch the art of cooking as it occurs in the dream restaurant of Marcela and Hector.
Chris speaks with Chitra Rochlani, aka the Fit Warrior Chitra. She is a fitness coach who has learned from personal experience of losing 80 pounds in one year and is now teaching others to do the same. She is transforming minds, habits and then bodies. It was her own struggles with weight that ignited a passion within her to help others break the physical and mental barriers that have held them back in the past. She works with clients to change their eating habits and gives them a database of easy to follow recipes. To burn the calories, she offers 1-on-1 personal training at Florham Park Fitness. But it doesn't stop there as she holds clients accountable even outside of training sessions to ensure that they reach their goals.
Chris speaks with Marisa Collazo, owner of My Little Party Place in Berkeley Heights. Marisa worked for years as an event manager at a private club on NYC's Park Avenue and as catering manager at Fordham University. However, the hours were grueling and Marisa wanted to be able to spend more time with her son. She found the perfect spot to open her own business in Berkeley Heights and now plans parties for the most important people, kids. She throws fabulous themed birthday parties for local children and no theme is off limits. If you visit their Instagram page, you will see that the attention to detail is unmatched. Parties have featured Mary Poppins, Harry Potter, Frozen, Spider-man, Wonder Woman, and Jojo Siwa. In addition to parties, they offer half-day summer workshops with fun activities like cooking and STEAM.
Chris speaks with Aubrey Reichard-Eline, co-owner of Unwind Yoga & Wellness of New Providence, NJ. Unwind Yoga was founded in July 2018 by Shirley Fee and Aubrey. They seek to make yoga and wellness easy and approachable for all. It is one of the few studios in the area that was designed specifically for yoga and the practice of the various wellness modalities. The teachers on staff combine for more than 100 years of yoga teaching experience. They have classes for all ages and levels; and have special classes for kids and families. The also keep things innovative and new with workshops featuring drummers and singing bowls.
Andy visits Evelina Berc, Chef/Owner of Pierogies House, in Morristown, NJ. Inspired by the food of her hometown of Leżajsk, a small city in the Subcarpathian region of Poland, Evelina creates quality Polish cuisine and innovative ideas for a menu that includes pierogi, bigos, stuffed cabbage, and potato pancakes. In fact, the potato pancakes and handmade pierogi with sauerkraut and kielbasa are made according to her grandmother's own recipes.
Chris speaks with Heather Backer of Backer Farm in Mendham, NJ. Backer Farm was founded in 1927 by Richard and Jessie Backer. Over time, it evolved from a dairy farm to a horse boarding facility. Today, the farm is under the guiding hands of the third generation in Derick and Heather Backer and they are adapting to today's culture. Backer Farm features a farm stand that is open 365 days a year, CSA (community supported agriculture), naturally grown produce, pork, eggs, bottled sauces and compost. They also offer a variety of after school and summer programs for kids. Since the fall, they offer a true farm-to-table experience in partnership with the local Mendham team of Chef and the Baker.
Ellen Eppie, founder of Scooch a Mi Boutique in Chatham, helps customers to spread mindful kindness by giving back to heartfelt causes and communities. Scooch a Mi features homemade accessories and gifts that are made by social and eco-conscious artists.
Chris speaks with Jimmy Vardas, owner of Prestige Diner of New Providence, NJ. Prestige Diner was founded in 1967 and has been in the Vardas family since 1982. Despite its many years in business, they aren't stuck in the past. They have a full liquor license so they serve many NJ micro brews as well as wines and mixed drinks. Their food also keeps up with the evolving tastes of its customers with gluten-free offerings, locally sourced ingredients and their newest menu addition, the Impossible Burger which is 100% plant based. The service is friendly and warm. It is no wonder that there is often a line out the door at this historic diner.
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