Sorry about all those exclamation points… I’m just a little (well, a lot!) excited about a new business venture that has opened in Jersey City, New Jersey, where I happen to live. Jersey City lies directly across the river from Manhattan, and I love our section of town for its (relative) affordability, its diversity, its neighborhood feeling, and its total lack of pretense. All the same, I sometimes wish I could shop locally for “green” toiletries and healthy artisanal foods, rather than bringing them home from Manhattan.
That’s why I’m especially pleased to note the arrival of 942 Summit Avenue. It’s the shared workspace and retail space of three small, woman-owned businesses: Blooomsbury Sq. Bath & Body, Do You Tea?, and Whos Gluten-Free.
I attended the grand opening of 942 Summit last Sunday to meet its collaborators, sample its goods, and take lots of photos. Here are a few of them…
I’ve been familiar with Bloomsbury Sq. since last spring, when its proprietor, Niambi, began selling her all-natural, hand-crafted body products at our local farmers market. I’m a big fan of her Garden Grown Hydrating Cleanser, which can be used as a facial wash, a hand soap, or a shower gel. I’m thrilled that she now has a storefront to showcase her line, as well as a new-and-improved workspace.
Guests at Sunday’s opening experienced a special treat: Niambi explained the benefits of various cold-pressed botanical oils for skin and assisted us in blending customized facial oils to take home with us. She’s excellent at sharing her knowledge of natural ingredients.
On the opposite side of the room, Kelley was introducing visitors to her Do You Tea? brand. Do You Tea?, originally based in nearby Hoboken, imports high-quality Himalayan teas, which Kelley mixes into blends ranging from traditional-with-a-twist to the completely unexpected. I’m already a fan of her Lord Grey blend, and I’ll be going back to try Backyard Bliss (oolong with jasmine, citrus, and mint) and Grasshopper (black tea with mint and cacao).
Kelley will be offering her Do You Tea? blends as loose leaf teas, sold in bags (2-ounce minimum) and tins of various sizes. You can also purchase a piping-hot cup of any tea at her counter in 942 Summit!
The third business in residence at 942 Summit is Whos Gluten Free, a gluten-free bakery that’s been making a name for itself at open-air markets around Jersey City this year. Whos Gluten Free was founded by Steph, who has assembled a team to bring her customers tasty and healthy desserts.
I don’t have any gluten-tolerance issues, but I enjoyed sampling Whos Gluten Free’s treats on opening day, when they were paired with flavored teas from Do You Tea?. I sampled Love Lacey Cookies (pictured above, freshly baked and dipped in chocolate!) and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies, and I’ve love to try them again.
Sunday’s opening party was bustling; apparently I’m not the only local who’s happy to have 942 Summit’s artisans as new neighbors. The space’s three businesses will be teaming up to offer holiday gift sets and to schedule further special events. To follow 942 Summit, check out its Facebook page.
After living here for a number of years, I’m noticing that this is an interesting and promising time for our neighborhood: small businesses are starting to sprout, one by one, adding their charm and energy and novelty to the existing cityscape. I wish 942 Summit Avenue many years of success, and I hope that its example will inspire other independent businesses to take root in Jersey City.
942 Summit is located at the corner of Summit Avenue and Zabriskie Place in Jersey City, New Jersey.
All photos by Jessica.