I had the privilege of interviewing Holly of Holly Jolly Jams. Listen to our exciting interview here.

Holly is a great example for all entrepreneurs looking to do what they love while staying green and making people happy.

“Holly Jolly Jams are homemade in small batches with a low-sugar recipe, using only the freshest ingredients, hand-picked or locally purchased when available.”

Holly goes to Farmer’s Markets every week. Keep up on her social media with Holly Jolly Jams on Facebook  and Instagram.

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Saturday night stickering! 😜

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Woof Gang Bakery

12790162_1115200355177573_1009341924_oI have been going to Woof Gang Bakery with my Maltese, Lester, for some time now, and the shop’s owner, Barbara was kind enough to do an interview with us!

Your shop is so friendly and clean. It’s like a gourmet shop for pets. What inspired you to open such a special place?

Thanks so much for the kind words.  Our inspiration for opening Woof Gang Bakery and Grooming was the addition of our black lab Reo to our family.  When Reo joined our family, about four years ago, we took a strong interest in his health and wellness.  From training, socialization, and exercise, to making sure he was eating premium, natural, and holistic foods, our goal was to make sure we were doing our part to keep Reo happy and healthy (both mentally and physically).

The one obstacle we kept running into was that our town did not have a store that offered the premium products and services we were searching for.   Knowing that other pet parents in the area were probably struggling with the same issue, we knew that we had to open a full-service boutique where pet parents and their pets felt at home and could find the products and services they were looking for in a personalized, friendly, and intimate setting.  That’s when we stumbled onto Woof Gang Bakery.  It was exactly what we envisioned.  From the beautiful decor, top of the line products and mission to be “Your neighborhood pet store” we knew that this boutique was exactly what we needed to bring to the community to share our passion for pets with other pet lovers.

Tell me a bit about your background.

I’ve been an entertainment attorney for the past ten years, but my passion for pets has always been paramount.  I’ve spent countless hours researching pet nutrition and overall pet health and wellness (from hygiene to training and socialization).  I knew it was something that I wanted to share with the community (to potentially educate consumers and to share with other passionate pet parents).  Opening a small business meant that I could give back to the community in so many ways – adoption events, community events, opening the job market, helping the economy – even if just in small ways, I was certain that our passion for what we do and love would positively impact our neighborhood.

You are obviously an animal lover. Do you have any other pets?

Besides the 4-year-old black lab, Reo, we have a hamster named Teddy!

Do they ever come into the shop with you?

Reo does come into the shop often.  You will often see him greeting customer (or napping) behind the counter.  He also participated in the dog social events we offer like Mutt Mixers, which are supervised group socialization/training classes for dogs of all ages and sizes.  The customers know and love Reo and are always asking for him when he’s not at the shop.  We also had a portrait of Reo hand painted in our “Training Lab” where we hold training classes.  Unfortunately, Teddy (the hamster) doesn’t come to the shop.

Do you do anything to keep environmentally friendly?

We are all about natural, non-toxic, chemical-free products – from cleaning products to bathing products and everything in between.

You make those doggy biscuits on the premises, right?

We make some of our treats on site and also have select doggie bakeries we shop from that only make organic, grain-free, all natural cookies.

Why should Monmouth University students and other young people especially ‘shop small?’

I never really understood the importance of shopping small until I owned a small business.  Small business owners are passionate.  It’s a 24-7 job.  Small businesses really focus on the community and customers – each customer is special, because they’re helping you sustain your business and fulfill your passion – so the customer service at a small business is always personal, friendly and paramount!  Shopping small really helps the economy in so many ways – just our shop alone has provided employment for over 10 people.  We’ve given back to local rescues and the town of Aberdeen….  Small business has passion!

Do you have any favorite stories about your four-legged customers?

Each one of them has become family to us.  It’s so special when we’re able to help an animal (cat or dog) that has had an illness or allergy by working with the pet parent on the proper nutrition and general hygiene practices.  It’s such an accomplishment to work with a timid pet in the pet spa and help them gain confidence to come in the spa and enjoy the process.  It’s incredible when we find a shelter pet its forever home at one of our various adoption events.  We really love what we do and the feedback we’ve been receiving from our customers has been fantastic!

Anything else to add?

Thank you so much for asking us to be part of this interview.  We are honored and humbled!  We really have a passion for what we do and we feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to share it with our community!

Visit Woof Gang Bakery at 1121 NJ-34, Aberdeen Township, NJ 07747 with your favorite four-legged friend, and see just what a special place it is.

The Asbury Park Inn

Coastal NJ Small Business had the pleasure of speaking with Kate from the Asbury Park Inn, a bed & breakfast in Asbury Park.

Asbury Park Inn exterior


Kate and her husband now own the Inn, but she was in private equity in NYC for close to ten years.


Kate wanted to do something more rewarding. She had gone to culinary school in NYC before focusing on client services and knew she wanted to do something like this that could combine these talents and interests.

Kate said, “Owning the Inn is great, because I can work in my own home on my own terms doing what I love.” She also recognizes the value of giving back through the community and environment.

She makes breakfast for her guests every day with local ingredients and food. She gets eggs, produce, and meats from a local farm in Howell and other ingredients from local small shops. This is just one way that the Inn stays green and local. By using locally grown products, the local businesses thrive and less harm is done to the environment.

She also meets many people. Most who stay there are from New Jersey. On this, Kate said, “The most rewarding part is meeting and spending time with guests; there are great people in New Jersey.”

The Inn is two blocks from the beach. Kate spoke about the changes she has seen in the community, “There is a huge revitalization in Asbury Park…It was grass roots getting it started. A small group of dedicated people invested in the city to help new businesses open up and making it a shore destination.”

One of the greatest lessons Kate has learned from being a small business owner is that giving back and being part of the community is important. She said, “You only get what you give. Putting your time in is important and really hard work. It has been eye opening how much work is actually involved in owning a seasonal business.”  

She added that she has great respect for people with seasonal business and that there is great morale with all small businesses and mentioned how the comradery that exists between small business owners is incredible. That is what keeps small businesses and communities thriving.

Visit the Asbury Park Inn’s website and Facebook page!