The energy was lively in Downtown West Orange as News 12 New Jersey showcased the town for their final “Main Street New Jersey” segment of the year. Reporter Lauren Due visited several businesses along the Downtown corridor Friday morning, December 29th. Though most opened their doors earlier than their usual hours, each business demonstrated the sense of pride and community to the News 12 viewers that makes West Orange so proud.
First stop was Supreme Bakery, where owner Richard Stoltz shared their delicious pastries, as well as his family’s legacy serving West Orange for 55 years. “What I love is seeing people who came in with their grandparents 40 years ago and now they’re bringing their own children in.”
The beautiful salon at Vida Hair & Skin was buzzing with clients getting their glam on before their New Year’s events, while co-owner Laura Tapia showed off their high-tech skin treatment machines and talked about how they treat their customers like family. Family was also on the menu at The American Diner, which was buzzing with patrons enjoying an early morning breakfast (or late-night snack!). The staff emphasized that its family orientation has kept the diner going and reminded viewers that the Americana is one of the few remaining diners in New Jersey which stays open for 24 hours.
Cheryl Parris, owner of CNP Treasures, gave Due a tour of her shop full of vintage and repurposed home goods. This enthusiastic store owner explained how she started the organization in 2017 to “provide jobs, activities, and community inclusion for adults with autism and other disabilities right here in Downtown West Orange.”
It was early in the morning, so the crew was happy to enjoy a freshly brewed cappuccino at Light Bulb Coffee Shop. Owner Alex Reinoso described how his shop’s name and logo were inspired by the town’s most famous former resident, Thomas Edison. “Most of the world was lighted up from here, and we’re here to light up West Orange with our coffee!” Light Bulb’s mugs and t shirts were created by the next shop the crew visited, Uptown Ink & Threads. Owner Luis Crespo led viewers through his subway-themed storefront, demonstrating how they do everything in-house, from their embroidering machines to the hand-screened shirts they were creating for the West Orange HS Boys’ Step Team.
The last stop was at Nicholas Anthony’s Family Kitchen restaurant, which put on quite a spread of their home-made and most popular signature dishes. Like so many others featured, owner and chef Nick Giambattista emphasized how important it was to them to be a part of the West Orange community and how they treat their diners like family.
Mayor Susan McCartney, along with Councilwoman and Downtown West Orange Alliance Board liaison Michelle Casalino and the Downtown West Orange team of Meg Brill and Amy McCampbell proudly joined the filming to support the businesses and community.
“We were so appreciative that News 12 came to showcase all the great things that are happening in Downtown West Orange,” said Mayor McCartney. “Thanks to our very special business owners and community, there is so much exciting energy here and we just love to share it!”