Whether you’re Irish or just enjoy celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, a visit to Downtown Cranford will help get you in the spirit. Here are just some of the ways Downtown Cranford businesses are celebrating the holiday.
No St. Patrick’s Day celebration is complete without a visit to Kilkenny House, Cranford’s own Irish pub. Kilkenny House will be holding a Family St. Patrick’s Day Sunday, March 9. In addition to that event, Kilkenny House will have music in the days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day. Click here for a list of the events they have planned.
Hynes Jewelers not only sells jewelry but also a number of Irish items. The store has been a staple of Downtown Cranford since 1981 and is offering 17% off merchandise for the entire month of March.
If you’re looking for something more eclectic and funky, then you have to stop at Augusta Mae. This boutique and consignment store has a great variety of pieces that would be the perfect accent to your St. Patrick’s Day outfit.
For people less focused on fashion and more on fun, think d’sign print has you covered. The custom T-shirt shop does a solid business this time of year as people are looking to create matching t-shirts for St. Patrick’s Day parades and pub crawls. Stop by soon and order up shirts for your St. Patrick’s Day activities.
Food, Food and More Food – Cranford is known for its great food and a number of eateries are offering up Irish themed dishes to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Starting this weekend Breadsmithwill be selling their delicious Irish Soda Bread, perfect with a cup of tea in the morning.
Dinner in a Pinch is celebrating all month long with Irish-themed menu crashers. Their first menu crasher was Guinness Beef Stew, and we can’t wait to see what they’re serving up for the rest of the month.
Vanilla Bean Creamery has cakes and cupcakes ready to go, festively decorated with shamrocks and bright green sprinkles. They’re also planning to make a batch of their Irish Coffee flavor so make sure you stop by while all of these goodies are still available.
Cheese…Please!always sells a variety of Irish goods. Check out their freezer which is stocked with a bunch of Irish goodies. They’ll also be bringing in some Irish cheese for the holiday, which is perfect paired with a baguette from Breadsmith.
If beer isn’t your beverage of choice for St. Patrick’s Day, then why not go to Cake Artist Cafe and try their new Cinnful Irish Latte? They’ll also be offering up shamrock cookies and cake pops so make sure you stop by and see what beautiful and delicious treats Ligia has baked up.
How are you planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Downtown Cranford?
Do you have an heirloom piece of furniture lying around the house that you’ve been meaning to have fixed up? Or do you just have a favorite piece that could use some TLC? Then you absolutely have to make a stop at Heartwood Restorations in Downtown Cranford. Owner Miguel Garcia has been working with furniture preservation since he was a teenager in Portugal. Miguel was first employed at the Met when he came over to the United States, working with other conservationists on preserving a 16th century Spanish ceiling. Once that job was completed Miguel opened his own shop in Cranford.
Heartwood Restorations mainly focuses on furniture and wood related projects. Many customers bring in antique furniture to be refinished and made beautiful once again. Miguel also had a lot of business following the recent hurricanes in the area and was constantly receiving pieces that had sustained water damage. The location of his store has proven to be a great advantage. Many customers can drive right up in the parking lot and drop off their large pieces of furniture. If a piece has only slight damage or scratches (something that tends to happen often after a move), Miguel will even do house calls and retouch the piece at the customer’s house.
Miguel has extremely high standards which has made it difficult to find someone else who can help him out. He said that customers understand that they need to be flexible with how much time it takes him to repair pieces as he lets only his best work head out the door. He has never needed to advertise as strong word-of-mouth has kept him busy since he first opened his doors.
In addition to working on furniture Miguel will also sell pieces on behalf of his customers. He’ll refinish the pieces and sell the finished pieces in his shop. In the little spare time that he has, Miguel relaxes by painting. You can see a few of his paintings on display in his store, as well as at Simply. The work Miguel does is truly one-of-a-kind and exceptional. Heartwood Restorations is yet another business that we consider ourselves lucky to have right in Downtown Cranford.
The big day is almost here! March 3 is the first day that NJ Transit will be offering a one seat ride from Cranford to NY Penn Station. The inaugural trip will depart from Cranford at 9:23 A.M. and arrive in NY Penn Station at 10:09 A.M. NJ Transit will be offering 5 daily roundtrips, though they will only be during off-peak hours. The current departure times from Cranford are 9:23 A.M, 10:26 A.M., 11:28 A.M., 12:28 P.M. and 1:28 P.M. NJ Transit is studying whether it’s possible to run the trains during peak hours. The current train schedule can be seen here.
The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition has been working hard to make the one seat ride a reality. Cranford officials have been closely involved with the efforts to bring the one seat ride to residents, arguing that it improves property values and decreases travel time. Kathleen Miller Prunty, Cranford’s Director of Business & Economic Development, emphasized the importance of full direct service for Cranford and other towns. “We know direct service reduces commuting time, fosters economic growth and increases residential and commercial property values. Cranford has joined the other towns in formally supporting this effort.” The coalition is currently pushing NJ Transit to make the one seat ride a reality during rush hour. If you feel strongly about the need for the one seat ride then go here and see how you can help make a difference.
One of the newest (and most creative) spots in Downtown Cranford is think d’sign print, which just celebrated its 2nd anniversary. The store is owned by brothers Dennis and Brian Concha. Dennis has a background in client services, as well as a Communications degree, while Brian comes from a graphic design background. When Dennis was laid off from his job they decided the time was right to open a store that focused on custom t-shirts and apparel.
Think d’sign print utilizes the Direct to Garment process, meaning that everything is printed directly onto the t-shirts. This allows for a higher quality print and doesn’t limit the colors that can be used. Though t-shirts are the most popular item the store can also print banners, stickers, scarves, aprons, tote bags, coffee mugs, even onesies for babies. There is no minimum requirement on orders so people can stop by and order a shirt just for themselves, though many of the orders are for groups. Team shirts for charity events are popular, as well as group shirts for bachelor, bachelorette, and birthday parties. One of their busiest times of year is around St. Patrick’s Day as people like to order shirts for bar crawls and parades. People can use their own design or see if they’re inspired by think d’sign print’s “Design Wall.”
The brothers love having their store in Downtown Cranford and stock plenty of Cranford-centric apparel. From shirts that advertise Cougar Pride, to ones titled “The Real Housewives of Cranford,” think d’sign print is always thinking outside of the box with their designs. The store is especially active on social media, constantly posting new designs on their Facebook page and Instagram account. The feedback from customers has been phenomenal, as many people love having the ability to get something customizable that’s not only from a local store but also of high quality. The brothers also offer their customers feedback on any designs, as their goal is to always have quality walk out the door.
Think d’sign print has expanded its online presence since it first started and now has an interactive design studio online. The site allows customers to customize their orders online, and the store is now doing about 40% of its business from online orders. The brothers will also work with anyone over the phone or email if they have questions about their orders. Above all, the brothers stress customer service and doing whatever they can for the community. After Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey the brothers created Jersey Strong shirts and donated the proceeds to the Red Cross. That’s just one of the many reasons we’re so lucky to have their business in Downtown Cranford.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner so what better time to acquaint yourself with Golden Touch Jewelers, right in the center of Downtown Cranford? Golden Touch is owned by Mario Haddad and has been in business since 1984. Mario’s brother originally started the business and Mario was interested enough in joining that he went to gemology school and eventually started working at Golden Touch in 1997.
Owner Mario Haddad
Golden Touch Jewelers sells a large variety of jewelry, though their specialty is engagement rings. Many customers special order wedding bands and engagement rings, working with Mario to create the perfect piece of jewelry. Mario also repairs jewelry and replaces watch batteries, often done while the customer waits.
Many of Mario’s customers have been loyal to him for a number of years. The new customers he acquires come by largely due to word of mouth and recommendations from satisfied customers. Many people also stop in after seeing the jewelry in the window.
Mario is a former resident of Cranford and loves the town. He feels that customers truly appreciate his knowledge and value his presence in Cranford. Whatever your need as it relates to jewelry, Golden Touch Jewelers should be one of your go-to stops in Downtown Cranford.
January is over (finally!), which means that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. What are your plans? Staying in? Going out? No matter what you’re doing we have some great ideas for you and your sweetheart, as well as gift ideas that you can pick up right in Downtown Cranford.
Jewelry, chocolate, and more – Here’s just a small sampling of some of the gifts that are available in Downtown Cranford stores. We have three jewelry stores (Hynes Jewelers, Martin Jewelers, and Golden Touch Jewelers), as well as a number of retail stores that sell wonderfully unique gifts. Stop by and our business owners will help you pick out the perfect gift. Don’t forget to accompany your gift with a beautiful bouquet from Rekemeier’s Florist also! Here is a link to all of the stores that Downtown Cranford has to offer.
Massages - Who doesn’t like to be pampered? Cranford has a number of places that offer up massages and other beauty treatments. Get a gift certificate for that special someone, or treat yourself too and sign up for couple’s massage. What could be more romantic than that? You have a number of options in Cranford for pampering, including massages, salon treatments, beauty gift baskets, mani-pedis and facials.
Sweet treats – Searching for the perfect gift to bring a smile to your significant other’s face? Whether you’re looking for chocolate, cupcakes, chocolate fruit baskets, cookies, or cake, Downtown Cranford businesses have a great variety of sweet treats. Stop by and pick something up because you should never come home empty-handed on Valentine’s Day.
Pop some bubbly - If you’re staying at home or heading out to one of Cranford’s BYOB restaurants make sure you bring wine or champagne to celebrate. Breens and NJ Wine Seller have a large selection of wines and champagne for your special evening.
Romantic Dinner - Downtown Cranford has a number of restaurants that are sure to provide romantic ambiance, as well as good food. From Cuban to Italian, from Irish to Thai, from sushi to seafood, Cranford’s downtown truly has something for everyone. Here is a link to all of the restaurants in Downtown Cranford. So pick your favorite romantic spot, make a reservation, and celebrate Valentine’s Day with the one you love.
Quiet Night In – If you don’t feel like going out you can still take advantage of the great restaurant options in town. Most of our restaurants offer takeout options so you can bring a delicious dinner home and just relax. And if you need dinner for the whole family, Tony’s will be offering their heart-shaped pizza, a true Valentine’s Day tradition.
Whether you go all out or just keep it low-key, we hope you have the very best Valentine’s Day.
If you’re not one of the lucky ones venturing out to the Super Bowl this year, then that probably means you’re busy planning your Super Bowl celebration. Whether you’re looking to stay in or go out, Downtown Cranford has you covered.
What makes your Super Bowl party complete? Wings? Burgers? Pizza? Sloppy Joes? If you’re looking to offer a variety of food then why not go with a sandwich, sushi, cheese or appetizer platter? Whatever your craving, the variety of food establishments in Downtown Cranford offer something for everyone. Many Downtown Cranford businesses have promotions going on centered around the Big Game, so check with your favorite place and see what they’re offering.
Dinner in a Pinch Super Bowl Platter
What’s a Super Bowl party without some beer? Make sure you stop by Breens or NJ Wine Seller and pick up some brews for the game. NJ Wine Seller also has expanded their selection of craft beer, so you can pick up something that the beer snobs in your group will approve of.
Are you planning to go out on Super Bowl Sunday? Many of the bars and restaurants in the area will be broadcasting the game and are also offering drink and food specials.
Here is a link to all of the Downtown Cranford delis, restaurants, bars, and food establishments. Make your plans now so you’re not left out in the cold (unlike everyone headed to the game this Sunday).
So now we want to know – what are your plans for Super Bowl Sunday?
You’ve survived the holidays, now you just have to make it through a frigid winter. Don’t you deserve some pampering? The owners of Flic Spa think you do, which is why their establishment is based around the premise “vacation without a flight.” Doesn’t that sound like exactly what you need this winter?
Flic Spa is owned by Lerrick Santos and Oliver Dimaya. Their first location opened in Bloomfield 6 years ago, while their Downtown Cranford location has been open for a year. Lerrick and Oliver joined the massage business when they decided to make a career change. Both of them went to massage school and then decided to open their own business. They feel that their passion for their business, is one of the reasons Flic Spa consistently ranks as one of the top spas in the area.
The spa focuses on Asian inspired modalities, with inspiration from the Philippines, Hawaii, and Bali. For example, their Valentine’s Day special is a Malay Botanical Ceremony which offers both exfoliation and hydration, as well as a heated hand soak and foot massage, scented with tropical flowers. Lerrick and Oliver stress that they want all customers to feel refreshed and rejuvenated when they come to Flic Spa. Every treatment starts with a foot soak that gives the customer a chance to speak to their massage therapist and become comfortable with them before the massage has even begun.
The majority of treatments performed at Flic Spa are massages. Their Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi massage is especially popular as it’s based on the hula dance and the spirit of Aloha, providing for an especially relaxing experience. Flic Spa also provides facials, body treatments, waxing, and couples treatments. The business has also become a popular spot for parties, whether for birthdays, bridal showers, or baby showers.
In the year that their business has been open in Downtown Cranford, Lerrick and Oliver have come to embrace the community. They happily participated in last year’s Scarecrow Stroll and very nearly took the top prize with their Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz. The word of mouth about their business has spread through town, which they’re extremely grateful for. They’re incredibly happy that their clients consistently return for their services, and have vowed to never take their good fortune for granted.
It may be hard to believe, but Back to Nature has been a fixture in Downtown Cranford for 35 years. Owner Charlie Baniewicz had always been interested in health foods, and decided to give up his job working in NYC to pursue his passion. He recognized the need for a health food store in the suburbs, a place where residents could stop by, pick up products, and also receive guidance. 35 years later he has built up an incredibly loyal following, with some customers who have been frequenting the store since it first opened.
In the time Back to Nature has been in business the store has ridden the waves of various diet trends – fat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, etc. The store has also been there as changes have taken place in the health food and supplement industry. Supplements are now standardized or advertise “Guaranteed potency.” In regards to food, the quality of health food has vastly improved since Back to Nature first opened its doors. The taste is much better and the variety of foods has also increased. The selection of food the store sells is impressive – tea, soups, baking supplies, cookies, protein bars, drinks, nuts by the pound, natural peanut butter, protein powder, cereal, frozen foods, and NJ honey are just some of the items that line the shelves.
One of the main reasons people come to seek Charlie’s guidance is because they have food allergies. Gluten-free foods have seen a huge surge in popularity over the past five years as sufferers aim to cut gluten from their diets. Back to Nature sells a variety of gluten-free foods, with pretzels and cookies being the most popular option.
The biggest advantage Back to Nature offers over your regular grocery store is the knowledge of the owner. Charlie makes it his mission to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the health food industry. Things are constantly changing which makes his job both interesting and challenging. He will always make time to talk to customers about what they’re looking for and offer his advice and guidance when it’s needed. So whether you have a specific health concern or just want to check out their selection of health food, stop in at Back to Nature. Here’s to another 35 years!
A new year brings New Year’s resolutions. Without fail most people will look to get healthy, whether that involves cutting back on calories, quitting smoking, or just getting a move on. Cranford is lucky enough to have CrossFit KOA in its downtown, a place that’s definitely worth checking out if your 2014 resolution involves getting in shape.
For a newcomer CrossFit KOA can seem intimidating. Everyone is extraordinarily focused and words are thrown around that might as well be in another language. It only takes a minute or two, though, to see how much people support and rely on each other to push them through the challenging workouts. CrossFit KOA offers up a free class every Saturday at 9AM, perfect for people who want to see for themselves what all the hype is about. If you do decide to join, coaches will work closely to help you improve and perfect technique. New customers start out on Foundations before they move on to regular classes.
A CrossFit membership gives members access to as many classes as they want, as well as the open gym. Classes are held 7 days a week and start at 5 AM, with the last class taking place at 8:15 PM. Many members come to the gym at least 4 times a week and end up becoming friends with the other people in the regular classes they take.
CrossFit membership is split about equally between men and women. The overall focus at the gym is building leaner, more athletic bodies. CrossFit members partake in a Workout of the Day (WOD), which is different every day. This makes it less likely that the body will get used to the workout and will hit a plateau. The coaches also stress that you don’t need to be in shape before joining, and that the CrossFit workouts will help people get in shape. All workouts can be scaled to an individual’s limitations.
CrossFit is all the rage now as it’s fully crossed over into the mainstream. Many of CrossFit KOA’s new members have heard about it through word of mouth, or have seen the CrossFit games airing on ESPN. A number have seen the results in person, through the transformation of a friend or family member. So why not start 2014 off on the right foot and check out CrossFit KOA for yourself?