Category Archives: Jennifer L. Grazioso

Lacey’s Free Lunch for Children Program

Written by Jennifer L. Grazioso

What happens to the children in the summertime who qualify for reduced and free lunches, during the school year? Do these children go without that lunchtime meal?  Are these parents able  to pick up the slack financially?  Or do these children go without lunch in the summertime?

Fortunately, churches, restaurants and volunteers pull together as one and fulfill the missing lunch for these children, which in some cases could be their only meal.  Continue reading Lacey’s Free Lunch for Children Program

Ryan’s Servicenter Celebrates 50 Years!

Who remembers Ryan and Son on Route 9, Lanoka Harbor, NJ?  I sure do…my mom and dad would get gas there when I just a child.

Jack Ryan, owner, started Ryan and Son in June 1967, which he successfully ran until 1995.  The original property, located on Route 9, in Lanoka Harbor was then sold in 1995. Jack’s son, Jeff and wife, Judy took over Ryan and Son, renaming it Ryan’s Servicenter located next to Lacey Collision/McDonald’s from 1995 to 2005.  In 2005, Ryan’s Servicenter moved to its current location at 603 US 9, Lanoka Harbor. Jack Ryan is still involved in Ryan’s Servicenter to this day.  Continue reading Ryan’s Servicenter Celebrates 50 Years!

Manafirken Brewing Company Coming Soon to Manahawkin!

By Jennifer L. Grazioso

Breweries have been popping up along the Jersey Shore for some time now.

Soon the Jersey Shore will be welcoming a new brewery  in Manahawkin, ManaFirken Brewing Company. You may need a map, (I exaggerate a bit), it’s located at 450 East Bay Avenue in an unassuming warehouse.  From the outside it could be anything, a storage facility, an empty warehouse or full of treasures. Continue reading Manafirken Brewing Company Coming Soon to Manahawkin!

Happy Birthday Ivy Cottage Gifts!

Written by Jennifer L. Grazioso

Guess who’s two?  Ivy Cottage Gifts is celebrating its second year in Forked River on February 12, 2017.  They want to share this wonderful celebration with you during their birthday week, February 12-18, 2017.  So, come on in and wish Ivy Cottage a ‘Happy Birthday’ and get a free gift with purchase. Plus, check out their Facebook posts sharing sales during the whole month of February. Continue reading Happy Birthday Ivy Cottage Gifts!

Business Feature: Diana’s Hallmark, Lacey Township, NJ

By Jennifer L. Grazioso

Did you know that Diana’s Hallmark in Lacey isn’t a franchise?  It is family owned and operated by husband and wife, Dave and Diane Longmuir, who also own two other Hallmark stores in Hamilton, New Jersey a suburb of Trenton.

Diana’s Hallmark in Lanoka Harbor celebrated their 20th year in the Lacey Mall this October.  Dave and Diane express the importance of customer service in their store.  A matter of fact, the employees are known for taking the time to guide and read cards to long-time customers who need special help.

Diana’s Hallmark was rated in the Top 200 Stores in the United States by Hallmark.  They were recently voted Best Card & Gift Store by the Trentonian for their location in Hamilton.

While I have been to Diana’s Hallmark in Lacey before, it had been a while since I have been there.  I took the time to really walk around and check out the products offered.  I was extremely impressed with the variety of products and assortment of different price points.

Some of the items offered are:  Yankee Candle, Precious Moments, Stonewall Kitchen, Lenox, Mantra Bands, Elf on a Shelf, Wind & Fire Bracelets, Jim Shore, Willow Tree Angels and of course Hallmark Cards and Keepsake ornaments.

Some products you may not be aware that Diana’s Hallmark carries are:  Vera Bradley, Lolita Wine Glasses (each one is hand-painted and has a drink recipe on the bottom), Shore-related products, Life is Good (a T-Shirt company that gives 10% net profits to Kids in Need); Michel & Co (soap and candle company from England, a great hostess or teacher gift), Melissa and Doug (wooden and teaching toys and DIY projects); David Bradley and Asher Chocolates (each are family owned and operated chocolate companies).

Some unique gift options at Diana’s Hallmark: From the Heart is a bangle bracelet that allows you to personalize it with your high school logo like the paw print from Lacey or the eagle from Central; plus the price is only $14.99.  Turkey on the Table is a phenomenal product that teaches gratitude.  Each one comes with a book, turkey and feathers; you and your child/children write a note each day on a paper feather from now until Thanksgiving about what you are grateful for, increasing the turkey’s plumage each day.  This would be a great sentiment to share on Thanksgiving day or from year to year. “The proceeds from this product supports Feeding America,” said Diane.

In July of each year Hallmark starts introducing the Keepsake ornaments.  There are so many interesting ones to see and start collecting, like The Wizard of Oz, Peanuts, or even one for Big Bang Theory.  They have miniature ornaments for a small tree, great for a nursing home setting or kid’s bedrooms.

There are great benefits to joining the Hallmark Crown Rewards Program.  The customer is enrolled by the store sales associate for special promotions, coupons, and a birthday program (free gift and 20% off purchase).

Diana’s Hallmark offers free gift wrapping.  Also you can visit  to order your items and have them ready to be picked up in-store.

The next event at Diana’s Hallmark is their Holiday Open House on November 12 and 13. Come celebrate with them and save 30% on Select Hallmark Gift Collections.

Often when people see Hallmark, they automatically assume it is a franchise and therefore expensive.  These are two things Diana’s Hallmark is not.  You can get great gifts for any occasion at great price points.  So next time you need a gift for a co-worker or grandma, come over and shop.  You will not be disappointed.  Great customer service and free gift wrapping, how could you go wrong?

Diana’s Hallmark is located in Lacey Mall, Rt. 9, Lanoka Harbor, NJ 08734; 609-693-0111.  Hours:  Monday to Saturday 10am to 8pm and Sunday 10 am to 5pm.

Party Place Cafe Celebrated One Year Anniversary

Party Place Cafe located in Forked River celebrated their one year anniversary this October. Gary, owner and long time resident of Lacey Township,  along with his daughter, saw a need for a business that provided a warm friendly atmosphere serving great food as well as the ability to hold parties and events. Continue reading Party Place Cafe Celebrated One Year Anniversary

Business Feature: Anthony’s Seafood Restaurant & Market

Written By:  Jennifer L. Grazioso

Anthony McCarthy has been in the fish wholesale, restaurant, and market industry since 1978, from working with his father at Anthony’s on Rt. 37 in Toms River, NJ to being proprietor of Anthony’s in Forked River, NJ today.

McCarthy started in Philly as a buyer for Neil Stein’s Striped Bass in the 90’s. Today he still owns and operates a wholesale fishing company that handles over 20 high-end restaurants in Atlantic City, Philadelphia and Washington DC;  restaurants including Buddakan, Rouge, Nectar and Fork.  Continue reading Business Feature: Anthony’s Seafood Restaurant & Market