Tag Archives: local businesses

Kick Glass Art Studio in Cranford NJ

Our theme of women-owned businesses continues with the latest artsy addition to Cranford: KICK GLASS ART STUDIO. (Seriously, how great is that name?!)

Kick Glass Art StudioDonna Slevin and Sheila Hughes are co-owners of Kick Glass and have been lifelong friends, having grown up together in Westfield. Donna has an impressive 30 years of experience as a stained glass artist and 10 years working with fused glass. Sheila has trained with Donna in creating both stained glass and fused glass, and with Sheila’s 20 years’ experience in business, these two combine the best of both artistic and business minds.

Located at 536 South Ave East, Kick Glass offers classes in stained glass from beginner to expert, for ages 18 and up. “We have classes in fused (warm) glass from beginner to the tapestry technique. We have had private parties for Girls’ Night Out and Westfield Single Moms. And we offer business bonding opportunities! The studio is very large so people can bring their own food and drinks.”

You’d be amazed at the different types of works you can create with glass at Kick Glass. Donna said, “We offer a variety of ways for you to explore your artist talent using the glass medium. You can create bowls or paint using ground up glass. Our classes are educational. We want you to learn how to master the techniques used in both fused (warm) glass and stained glass.” Besides group classes, Kick Glass offers open studio time for more seasoned glass artists, as well as private one-on-one lessons. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m passionate about the restoration of historic homes, and Donna shares that passion when it comes to stained glass, which was featured prominently in many older homes. She said, “Stained glass is a centuries-old art form, and I want to make sure it lives on. When walking around the streets, we see many houses with older stained glass windows that could use a little TLC to help restore them to their former glory. We also want to encourage people to add a unique stained glass piece to their own homes.”

Follow Kick Glass on Facebook or visit their website to keep up to date on their upcoming classes and events: http://kickglassart.com. And don’t miss their official ribbon cutting with the mayor of Cranford on March 21st! 

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

Cranford Resident Creates GORGEOUS Floral Arrangements… Flowers By Maggie

Flowers By Maggie

Who DOESN’T love fresh flowers?! Whether it’s a simple vase of tulips on a kitchen table, a dramatic arrangement at an event, or a classic bouquet held by a glowing bride, flowers make everything more special. No one knows that better than Margaret Iacovano of Cranford, whose business “Flowers by Maggie” provides truly breathtaking floral arrangements for weddings and special events.

Margaret has lived in Cranford for 17 years with her husband and three children. (I’m always amazed by the number of talented artists who live a stone’s throw away from me!) Her skill in floral design was honed through years of education and practice. Margaret said, “I studied Ornamental Horticulture at SUNY in Farmingdale, NY. While in college I worked part time in a small mom and pop flower shop that serviced my neighborhood in Brooklyn. Later, I spent some time designing atriums in office buildings. I quickly developed a love for flowers. After graduation I worked on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in a high-end floral event company. I went on to manage other businesses in New York. I have also studied interior decorating and have a passion for creating beauty indoors and out.” 

As so many of us moms know, it’s not easy finding a balance of work and home life. Margaret found that balance by starting her own company, initially on a very part-time basis. “After having my family, I started doing events for friends and neighbors, and formally started my own freelance event company on a part-time basis. My business has grown primarily through word of mouth. Teachers in my children’s schools, nurses from the hospital where I gave birth to my babies, sisters and coworkers of my brides, etc.” 

The fact that Margaret’s business has grown so much just from word of mouth proves that her services are topnotch! Only when people are continually THRILLED with your work does word of mouth help build a business. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Flowers by Maggie is known for its stunning arrangements not only at weddings but also Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Sweet 16 parties, bridal and baby showers, birthday parties, fundraising events, corporate events, gifts, and holiday decorating. I asked Margaret what makes her business different from other floral design companies. She replied, “I do 100% custom work. Each and every event is different. I feel it’s my job to get inside my client’s head and bring their vision to life, which means I spend time and ask many questions. I also tend to use more seasonal and interesting flowers, greenery, and plants. The thank-you letters and cards that I receive confirm that I am doing just that. I was recently told that I made a bride’s ‘dream come true.’ I take pride in everything I do and strive to make the process as easy and fun as possible.” 

I always like to hear about the unique experiences of local business owners, and Margaret certainly has had quite a few of those! Some of the surprising jobs she’s done for clients: A four-foot-tall wedding cake that involved three 12-inch layers of flowers and three separate meetings with the pastry chef . . . A Bar Mitzvah with a hockey theme, including 30″ vases filled with hockey pucks, “ice” and flowers arranged into a hockey skate . . . And making a flower collar for a bride and groom’s cocker spaniel dog!

Clearly, Flowers by Maggie can do anything! 

To book a service or see more of Margaret’s amazing work, visit her website at www.flowersbymaggienj.com. You can follow Flowers by Maggie on Facebook @flowersbymaggie and reach her by phone at 908) 653-9255. Tell her that 365 sent you! 

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

The Westfield Farmers Market Offers Much More Than Local Produce!

farmer's marketIf you’re anything like me, you try to SHOP LOCAL and EAT LOCAL whenever possible. Well, you can kill two birds with one stone by visiting the fabulous WESTFIELD FARMERS MARKET, open every Saturday from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm from now until October 29th! You’ll find everything from Jersey Fresh produce, baked goods, dog treats, fair trade coffee, cooking spices, and take-home Italian meals–what’s not to love??

The Westfield Farmers Market sets up on the south side of the Westfield train station, where there is still plenty of free parking spots available on Sundays. Here’s a list of the terrific vendors:

Chickadee Creek Farm – certified organic vegetable, flower and herb farm

Donaldson Farms – fresh produce

Skeba Family Farm – fresh produce

A & M Naturals – natural soaps, body butters, lip balm, and candles

Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruits

High Mountain Foods – frozen pastas such as ravioli; focaccia; pickles; fresh mozzarella

Lithuanian Bakery – breads, pies, and donuts

Little Bear’s Biscuit Barkery – gourmet organic dog treats

Mo’Pweeze Bakery – delectable and divine allergy-free cupcakes and baked goods

Neil’s Sharpening Services – bring your kitchen knives, scissors, and tools (3rd Saturday of each month only)

Nicola’s Pasta Fresca – artisinal homemade pasta

Paolo’s Kitchen – frozen prepared Italian-style entrees

Patricia and Paul – artisans of fine oils and balsamics

Reign Coffee – specializes in Organic Fair Trade coffee from Central America

Top of the Mountain Honey Bee Farms – 100% pure and natural local honey

Wildtree Organic Spice Blends with Fran – rubs, seasonings, dressing, and marinades

WildtreeI caught up with Fran Prybylski, who runs the “Wildree with Fran” booth. After sampling her yummy offerings, I could see why people rave aboutWildtree products, even non-cooks like myself! Fran sells Wildtree certified organic spice blends, marinades, sauces, and salad dressings, as well as an array of flavored grapeseed oils (all products are peanut-free!). They’re designed to make cooking easier, as they are all matched up with simple recipes.

According to Fran: “The Wildtree products help families prepare and serve healthy meals on the table quickly. Since they’re made with certified organic ingredients,  the flavors are bright and delicious. Even in my own home, Wildtree always provides an answer to the mealtime dilemma of ‘What’s for dinner?'” A Westfield resident, Fran is no stranger when it comes to cooking, and said, “I love to mentor and inspire people to cook delicious food in their kitchens or outdoor grills.” Fran frequently hosts cooking workshops where participants make 10 hearty take-home freezer meals using Wildtree seasonings and oils.

At her Farmers Market Booth, Fran’s customers love sampling the different marinades, salad dressings, and sauces. “My top-selling products consistently are: Asian Ginger Plum Dressing & Marinade, Wicked Good Slow Cooker Sauce, Rancher Steak Rub, and the Scampi Blend seasoning. However, the Outrageous Orange Sauce, Spicy Thai Chili Sauce, and Happenin Hot Pepper Jelly have become super popular this season at the Market.” Ummm, I’m pretty sure I’d eat my own hand if it were cooked in that Wicked Good sauce!

I asked Fran about the vibe among the vendors at the Farmers Market. “There is such a nice camaraderie here. I make an effort to greet all the vendors at some point throughout the day. My first friends at the Farmers Market were the members of the Greater Area of Westfield Chamber of Commerce. The Market’s Director, Chris Devine, has been supportive and so much fun to work with. I always appreciate Tim York, Mary, and Gene’s weekly visit to check in on me. My favorite neighbors are the A&M Naturals ladies that sell handmade soaps. Sam from Chickadee Creek Farms is an inspiration to watch as she soley sets up and breaks down her gorgeous organic produce stand. I’ve enjoyed watching Mo’Pweeze bakery’s success as a true allergen-free bakery in NJ. And Nicola’s fresh pasta creations are so delicious and my weekly lunch.”

See! Even the vendors themselves shop at and enjoy the Market! So if you’re in town this Saturday, make a point of heading to the Westfield Farmer’s Market, where you’ll not only find great food but meet some great people too.

You can reach Wildtree with Fran at (917) 226-1958 or visit her Facebook page: Meal Plan with Fran.

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

Local Business Owner’s Father is Laid To Rest at Arlington National Cemetery

Flags

Having grown up with a father who bravely fought in the Korean Conflict, I have a deep appreciation for U.S. soldiers and their families. A local Cranford business owner was equally proud of his late father, who received a Purple Heart for his service in the military, and was able to secure a funeral for him in the famed Arlington National Cemetery. It seems fitting to share his experience with you as we approach Independence Day. 

Shaun Vanclief is the owner of one of Downtown Cranford’s best-loved boutiques: Atlantic Beach Soap Company. Shaun’s father passed away in 1997, and his mother followed in 2001, and both were cremated. Sean’s father had fought in the Battle of Normandy and received several accolades for his invaluable service. About two years ago, Shaun contacted Arlington National, where it’s a notoriously long process to arrange for funerals. Shaun said, “As luck would have it, they were just breaking ground for new mausoleums. I told them about my father, and asked if my mother could be interred with him, and they were very receptive to it.”

For those who don’t know, Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia has been the burial grounds for former U.S. soldiers and widows of servicemen since the Civil War. There are currently more than 400,000 graves there. 

On June 6th of this year, Shaun had one of the most moving experiences of his life when his parents were laid to rest together at Arlington. I asked Shaun to describe the ceremony for me: “It was like a dance; I can’t explain it any other way. The whole experience was so fined-tuned and incredible, like a choreography. Right from the beginning with the chaplain down to the Arlington Ladies, whom I had never heard of before. I’m 58 years old, and I read a lot about American History, but I never knew the extent of service at Arlington National.” 

Shaun painted me picture of the scene at the interment. “Honor guards were stationed around us. My parents’ ashes were placed on a podium. I had supplied a flag, and they conducted a ceremony where they unfolded the flag over the remains while the chaplain gave a eulogy. A traditional 21-gun salute followed, and then ‘Taps’ played. They folded the flag back up, and one of the honor guards came to me with the flag, and consoled me. As soon as he backed away, one of the Arlington Ladies handed me a handwritten note of condolence.” 

Founded in 1948, the Arlington Ladies are a group of volunteers who all were either past servicewomen or who have lost a loved one at war. Their mission is to make sure that no one is buried alone. An Arlington Lady attends EVERY SINGLE FUNERAL at Arlington National Cemetery. And at the end of each funeral, one of the Ladies gives the next of kin a handwritten note. It is just such a lovely tradition. 

Shaun was so touched by the Arlington Ladies that he’s decided to launch a special soap for his shop, the sales of which will benefit the Arlington Ladies organization. Currently he’s waiting on approval to use their logo on the soap, and as soon as that permission is granted, he’ll launch it to the public. 

If you’ve never been to Atlantic Beach Soap Company, or it’s been a while since your last visit, definitely make a point to head over there this summer! Besides Shaun’s amazing-smelling handmade soaps and body products (I die for his coconut scent), he’s expanded the inventory into eclectic home goods and repurposed antiques. He also currently has three local artists, including Cynthia Dawley, who display their work in the store. And according to Shaun, “If I sell anything that is imported, it absolutely has to be fair trade.”

Be on the lookout for Sean’s new soap in the coming months! You can find Atlantic Beach Soap Company at 102 North Union Ave. in Cranford. Summer hours: Tuesday-Wednesday 11am to 6pm; Thursday-Friday 11am to 8pm; Saturday 11am to 6pm.

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

Scotch Plains’ Tiki Love Farm Is A GREAT Place To Visit!

Many of you are familiar with Dreyer Farms in Cranford and Watchung Stables in Mountainside, but did you know there’s another farm in our area that has BOTH a vegetable farm and horses? It’s called Tiki Love Farm, and it’s one of those hidden gems that I just love discovering!

TikiLove3

Located on Raritan Road next to Ashbrook Park in Scotch Plains, Tiki Love Farm is owned and operated by David and Lucy Pritzker, along with their sons Abraham (Abe) and Ben. Several of the Pritzkers had experience with farming and animal husbandry before starting Tiki Love. Lucy lived on a horse farm in Upstate New York after college. Abe went to a boarding school that had a working farm, and he gained considerable experience with sustainable farming and holistic agriculture. Ben has been horseback riding since he was about eight years old. With their shared love of horses and farming, the family started Tiki Love Farm in mid-2015.

But why start a farm of all things? According to Abe: “It has always been a family dream to live in the countryside on a small farm, so when the opportunity presented itself to us without having to move out of the area away from all of our friends, we swiftly took it. Our mission is to teach sustainable farming and to share our love of it.”

You might be wondering how an animal farm co-exists amid suburbs and right next to a county park. Abe said, “Tiki Love Farm is lucky to be situated in such a beautiful area in New Jersey, but we don’t take it for granted. We are meticulously careful about how we use our land. Part of sustainable farming is not taking more from the land than it can handle. The animals fertilize the fields by grazing on the them all day (if the weather is permitting). All of the manure from the horse stalls goes to our garden, so as not to pollute the gorgeous forest with harmful fertilizers.”

Caring for Tiki Love Farm takes a LOT of work and many hands. There are a lot of local folks–young ones especially–who are just dying to lend a hand and learn how to care for animals and farmland. Abe said, “We have a quite a few farm hands who range in age from eleven to sixteen. They are learning how to take care of animals in safe, sustainable, and loving ways. At Tiki Love Farm, we have three priorities: the safety of our human friends, the safety of our animals friends, and the long-lasting safety of our big friend mother nature. To ensure the safety of our farm hands, we have at least one responsible adult present at all times when there is someone at the barns, as well as numerous other safety measures. While many of the farmers at Tiki Love have critical experience with animals, if any of our horses are looking sick or are acting odd or unusual, we give a call to our veterinarian.” 

Abe went on to assure all the animal lovers out there: “I cannot stress enough how imperative the issue of animal well-being is to us here at Tiki Love Farm. I can completely assure you that our animals have the highest quality of life possible.” Hence the word LOVE in the name of the farm! 

So what does a typical day look like at Tiki Love Farm? To be sure, it’s a labor of love, but in the very best sense! Abe ran through their typical day for me: “First, we feed and water the horses, barn cats, and rabbits. Then the horses are let out to the fields where they peacefully graze all day. We have two miniature horses, one mini donkey, and two standard horses at the farm. The two standards are ridden practically everyday to get proper exercise and to give our riders practice. If it’s been a dry few days, we give the garden a quick spritz. We also pick any ripe crops. Since it’s still pretty early in the growing season, we haven’t gotten too much yet, but we are so excited for when we do! After all of the daily chores are done, we do odd jobs like fixing the fences, or building a new hutch for our three rabbits. Oftentimes we take the mini horses (and donkey) for a walk around the property. In the evening, we do our night chores, which typically are the same as the morning, just in reverse. We bring the animals in, make sure they are all doing well, give them night grain and water, and say good night!” 

TikiLove4Would you ever have thought that a suburban family was living this kind of simple yet hardworking farm life right in our neck of the woods? The Pritzkers are a fine example of how we all can get back to nature and find joy in getting our hands dirty.

Visit the website http://tikilovefarm.com and go to the “contact us” section to schedule a visit to the farm, or email [email protected]. The Pritzkers hope that more children and adults alike will want to volunteer on the farm. Abe said, “We will bring in anybody who wishes to put in the work for the most satisfying opportunity in the world.”

Don’t forget to follow Tiki Love Farm on Facebook for announcements of upcoming events on the farm!

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:
Pin It

Jay’s Cycle Center in Downtown Westfield, NJ

 Jay's Cycle Center

There’s one thing all businesses that have stood the test of time seem to have in common, and that’s INTEGRITY. Jay’s Cycle Center in Downtown Westfield is a shining example of a business that radiates integrity, which is one of the reasons it has been a thriving local business for more than 50 years!

Owner Jay Tintle is the second generation of Jay’s. Did you know that the business first started as a pet and hobby shop run by Jay’s mother in Scotch Plains? At the time Jay’s father “Big Jay” was driving a cab, but he was extremely mechanically inclined and noticed that a few bike accessories that they carried in the shop were selling quite well. Eventually Jay’s parents saved money and bought some bicycles, put a work bench in the shop, and according to Jay “slowly started pushing pets out and bringing bikes in.” The rest is history! At one point the Tintles had several bikes shops in the area, but by the 1960s they decided to focus on just one store in Westfield.

Jay’s moved to its current location in 1984, and last year they did some renovations to spruce up the place. Boy, does it look sharp inside and out! When you walk in you’ll see rows and rows of every type of bicycle, from children’s bikes to beach cruisers to mountain bikes and electric bikes. Jay said, “We have the largest inventory of bicycles in the area–besides what you see in the store, we have 300 built bikes off-site as well.” There is also a great selection of gear for bikers, from shoes to clothes to helmets . . . heck, even energy snacks!

Toward the back of the shop is Jay’s service center, where bikes that need it get TLC from the expert staff. Jay said, “We really pride ourselves on the team that we have here. I couldn’t even tally up the years of experience among our staff. Whether it’s working on an electronic-shifting bike, rebuilding shock for a mountain bike, or simply changing a flat tire, we can take care of anything. And we’re always happy to educate our consumers on how do to things like check air pressure, change their own tires, etc.”

Jay's Cycle Center

When I asked Jay what makes his business a standout in our community, he used that very word integrity. Jay said, “You can send your ten-year old son here alone and be confident that he won’t be taken advantage of, he’ll be treated with respect.” That is music to any parent’s ears, as I can attest!

Jay continued, “We try to cater to anyone who walks through our door and give them a positive, fun experience. You’ll always be greeted with a hello, maybe with some friendly sarcasm, and then we’ll get down to business without being intimidating. Whether you’re a seasoned racer or a family looking for a baby bike seat, we treat every customer with a great deal of respect.”

With the weather having turned beautiful, it’s the perfect time to get a tune-up for your bike, or maybe even treat yourself to a new one (I noticed some great sale prices on beautiful bikes while I was in there!). Whatever your reason for going to into Jay’s, you won’t be disappointed by the selection, the service, and that ever-present integrity.

Jay’s is located at 227 North Ave East in Westfield with FREE PARKING and is conveniently open seven days a week. Visit their website at http://jayscyclecenter.com/ for hours and information, as well as online shopping!

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

GHOS Training in Westfield NJ

If you resolved to get fit this year, but haven’t been quite lived up to that plan (or even started!), it’s not too late! According to Nasir Pharoah Guest–owner of the new GHOS Training Facility in Westfield–today is the perfect day to start working toward a healthier you.

GHOS

GHOS opened just this December, but the facility already has many members who swear they are now lifers! GHOS stands for Go Hard or Starve, which may sound a little too hardcore for some of us newbies, but there are many facets to the GHOS mission.

Nasir explained, “GHOS is an exclusive Life Balance and Weight Management program. We understand that in order for people to make weight management simple and lasting, a person must first find balance in their life.” GHOS is not simply a gym, and the extensive list of services at GHOS will clue you in to how well-rounded it is:

Nutrition Assessments

Nutrition Guidance Counseling

Meal plans

Meal Prep Service

Detox Cleansing

Fitness Assessment

Personal Training

Small Group Training (2-4 ppl)

Private Group Training

Indoor Cycling / Spinning

Functional Training

Boot Camps

Tactical Athletic Conditioning

And that list is just the beginning! Down the road, GHOS will offer TRX Suspension (Total Body Resistance Training), Monthly Nutrition Work Shops, Quarterly Open Houses, Food Shopping 101 (learning how to grocery shop) and GHOS KIDS ACADEMY. Also in the works is a TCY (Take Care of You) program for stay-at-home moms. Nasir said, “Mothers are so very important to their families, but it’s important that they take time for themselves to nurture their mind, body, and soul. Getting out and being physical is crucial.”

Nasir has an extensive background as a multi-certified fitness trainer and nutrition expert, and he employs four other instructors at the GHOS facility. Of his trainers, Nasir commented: “All our staff members were once GHOS members. They know exactly what it’s like to be a member or client starting from the very beginning working their way through the ranks to become elite. Who better to guide you other then a person who was once in that same spot/position?”

If you’re a novice when it comes to fitness training, or simply haven’t worked out in a very long time, Nasir says not to fret. “GHOS is designed for all fitness levels and body types. We specializes in building up the beginner, a person with no fitness experience or physically challenged.” The community feeling at GHOS helps to bolster everyone, as every class is filled with high-fives and endless encouragement from your classmates and instructors.

GHOS Training Facility is located at 361 South Ave E. in Westfield and can be reached at (732) 762-1954. Follow GHOS on Facebook and Instagram, and visit the website at http://www.nasirguest.com/ to view class schedules and learn how to obtain a free guest pass. 

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

Philly Pretzel Company in Westfield…. Perfect Party Platters!!

I say it all the time–it’s just not a party without PHILLY PRETZEL COMPANY soft pretzels. I mean, honestly, who can resist freshly baked soft pretzels?! The sweet and soft bread dough combined with the coarse salt on top = heaven on earth. They’re always the first thing to go from a party buffet.

Philly Pretzel Factory

Karen and Willy Papke had been working in the corporate sector for years and were looking for a change. When they started to consider opening a Philly Pretzel Factory (PPF) franchise, the most important factor to them was the product itself. They were delighted to find that they LOVED the pretzels and knew they’d be proud to serve them in Westfield. They took over as owners of the Westfield location in July of 2014, and the shop has been flourishing under their leadership.

I

f you haven’t tried a Philly pretzel yet, you’re missing out! The pretzels are baked fresh ALL DAY, every day. Besides their signature large soft pretzels, they have party trays with “rivets” (nugget-sized pretzels) or slightly larger ones. Each party tray comes with your choice of dips. I adore the honey mustard, and there’s also spicy brown mustard, yellow mustard, cheese, and sweet icing. The prices are very reasonable as well–you can feed a TON of people with a party tray for less than $30. They offer small-sized boxes of rivets too if you only need a few servings–my assistant sometimes surprised her kids with them as an after-school snack. And for a quick, yummy, and cheap lunch, try a Philly pretzel dog!

Did you know that you can order CUSTOM-shaped pretzels from Westfield’s PPF? “We’ve done everything from Mickey ears to Thanksgiving turkeys to Halloween ghosts. Recently we made pretzels shaped like ‘Oh’ from the movie ‘Home.’ If a customer has an idea for a theme, I’m always willing to give it a try and see if it will work in pretzel form!” The most popular custom pretzels are numbers, used for kids’ birthdays. I love the idea of bringing in soft pretzels to school parties instead of the usual sugary cupcakes.

You can find Philly Pretzel Company at 295 E. South Ave. in Westfield, in the ShopRite Liquors strip. They’re conveniently open every day of the year except Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Easter. For advance orders call 908-232-6232.

If you’re hosting a party anytime soon, don’t forget the Philly pretzels! I guarantee they will be a hit at your party with adults and kids alike.

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

Dinner In A Pinch In Cranford NJ Offers A New Twist On Takeout!

Evernote Camera Roll 20151129 161914
“We are changing the way folks do takeout.” Can you guess which local eatery abides by that slogan? It’s Cranford’s Dinner in a Pinch, which cooks up hearty, homestyle meals like chicken pot pie and their bestselling meatloaf that are ready in about 30 minutes! And Dinner in a Pinch has now joined with the highly reputable Cake Artist Cafe, so you can get your savories and sweets from the same location!
Ligia DeJesus used to teach cake decorating classes at Sweet ’n Fancy Emporium in Cranford before opening Cake Artist Cafe next door in 2011. She can create a cake in virtually any theme you can dream up! I’ve seen (and tasted) one of her cakes that looked like a paint can pouring out rainbow paint. I can vouch that unlike some other highly decorated cakes out there, Ligia’s cakes always taste GREAT.

 

In 2014, the owners of Dinner in a Pinch (which is also right next door to Cake Artist Cafe) decided to sell their business. Ligia’s sister Maria jumped at the opportunity to cook traditional cuisine, and she took over Dinner in a Pinch. Lilia says, “This business is Maria’s baby! She has kept a lot of the same recipes that the previous owners used, but we are focused on fresher ingredients now.” Besides the comforting favorites that Dinner in a Pinch always had on the menu, Maria offers healthier choices such as fish and shrimp dishes. Every meal order comes with your choice of 2 sides, and they have a great kids’ menu as well.
And by the way, it ain’t just dinner! They have terrific LUNCH specials as well, such as butternut squash soup and empanadas. If you’re hosting a party during the holidays, don’t forget about the famous appetizer sampler from Dinner in a Pinch: 24 pieces of their most popular finger foods plus dipping sauces, which can be ready with as little as 2 hours’ notice.
Join the Dinner in a Pinch VIP Club and receive a FREE dessert or $5 off your next purchase of $30 or more—text PINCH to #51660 (see their Facebook page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/dinnerinapinch).
cDinner in a Pinch offers convenient curbside pickup on South Union Ave. (please note this is a one-way street), and yes, they also DELIVER! To hear the latest specials or place an order with Dinner in a Pinch, call 908-272-5136.
If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it:

Some Local Shops in the Cranford/Westfield Area That Offer Gift Wrapping!

unknown_2I have a confession to make: I loathe wrapping gifts. Sure, I love the way a beautifully wrapped gift LOOKS, but I don’t have the motivation nor the Martha Stewart talents to make it happen. And don’t get me started on how much money I’ve spent on gift bags and tissue–the poor man’s wrapping! Needless to say, I really appreciate when stores offer FREE wrapping on your purchases, and I often make a point to shop at such stores for the gift wrap alone!

Here’s a list of some local shops that will pretty-up your purchases with custom gift wrapping or gift bags with tissue. They’ll save you time, money, and a perhaps few paper cuts. I know I will be the making the rounds this holiday season!

Periwinkle’s Fine Gifts

19 N. Union Ave., Cranford

Unique gifts, accessories, housewares, and greeting cards

Artemisia

19 Eastman St., Cranford

“Gifting with a conscience”–all items are fair trade or made in the USA

Augusta Mae

35 Alden St., Cranford

Fine consignment, jewelry, and accessories

Simply 

11 N. Union Ave., Cranford

Art gallery, gifts, and expert framing

Cougar Headquarters

415 Centennial Ave, Cranford, NJ 07016
(908) 497-9900

Cranford’s Ultimate Spiritwear and custom t-shirt store.

Bittersweet Designs

212 Lenox Ave., Westfield

Accessories and gifts for any occasion

The Town Book Store

270 E. Broad St., Westfield

One of the last independent bookstores in Union County

Williams Sonoma

127 Central Ave., Westfield

Everything for your culinary and entertaining needs

Patricia & Paul 

20 Elm St., Westfield

Over 40 varieties of oils and vinegars, plus housewares, gifts, and specialty grocery items

J.Winthrop on Elm

33 Elm St., Westfield

Jewelry, accessories, clothing, and housewares

The Farmhouse Store

221 E. Broad St., Westfield

“Like no other store in Westfield”

Thinka Dinka

264 E. Broad St., Westfield

Children’s toys, books, and huge Lego selection

Learning Express

104 Quimby St., Westfield

Unique toys and FREE personalization

Gallery U Boutique

439 South Ave. W., Westfield

Art gallery and gift/accessories boutique

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it: