Thinking Local

New Providence Businesses Have Donated More Than $100,000 Locally in 2014

PrestigeDiner2014-08-09by Michael M. Shapiro, TAP into New Providence

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – During the last year, businesses in New Providence donated more than $100,000 to sponsor local events and provide funding to organizations and charities in the borough. By supporting the merchants who give back to the borough, New Providence residents enable money to stay within the community, creating a virtuous circle benefiting the entire community.

Jimmy Vardas, owner of the Prestige Diner and president of the Downtown Improvement District, has taken the circle one step further by using as many local businesses as possible for the needs of the diner.  Zita’s supplies the ice cream for the diner.  The Prestige Diner’s bagels are purchased from the Bagel Café in New Providence.  Vegetables are sourced from Murph Farms.  The diner’s website was done by local web designer and resident Karin Souren.  Even the diner’s renovation was designed by a local architect.

“If within the community, we can work with each other, we can create a thriving business environment,” said Vardas.  “By supporting the merchants who give back to the town, the money stays in the community, creating a virtuous circle of support within the community.”

Vardas concluded, “So, while you do your shopping this holiday season remember to shop New Providence and support the local businesses that have been donating to so many charities, foundations and events throughout 2014.”

Member News: New Providence Counselor and Children’s Book Author Gives Back

by Lauryn Shapiro, TAPintoNewProvidence
As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc siteNEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – New Providence resident Rebecca Perlman Coniglio, a licensed clinical social worker and certified school counselor, and author of children’s book series, “Lily’s Little Life Lessons,” ( has found a creative way to support The NJ Sharing Network.

Her most recent book, “Lily’s Laces” was written specifically for The NJ Sharing Network, with all proceeds from the book benefiting the organization which saves lives through organ and tissue donation.  “Lily’s Laces” will be released in Spanish later this month.

Coniglio was inspired to write her books after her daughter, Lily, became very ill from complications of a virus when she was in kindergarten.  “When she got better I did feel so lucky, so I reached out to the NJ Sharing Network and told them that Lily always wanted to participate in their 5K, and I wondered if they wanted me to write a story about it,” she tells TAP into New Providence.  She explains that The NJ Sharing Network funds the book’s publications and receives all of the proceeds from the sales.

When she heard about The NJ Sharing Network’s new foundation, Riley’s Dance (, she offered to write another story for them.  Coniglio is currently working on the book that will benefit Riley’s Dance, a foundation honoring five-year-old Riley (of Livingston, New Jersey) who saved two people’s lives by donating her organs when she died.

“Writing these books is a way to give back to the community and support the very worthy cause of organ and tissue donation,” said Coniglio.

Coniglio recently relocated her private counseling practice from Livingston, New Jersey, to South Street in New Providence. She has over 10 years of experience working with adults, adolescents, and children who are experiencing anxiety, grief, parenting issues, other life transitions.  A free phone consultation is encouraged at 973-568-6453.  “Sometimes you just need someone to talk to,” Coniglio says. “I am here, and ready to listen.”

Fireworks return to South Street in New Providence on July 3

The New Providence Independence Day Celebration returns to the borough on Wednesday, July 3, on South Street from Gales Drive to Springfield Avenue, and will include more activities than ever before.  DJ John Souren of Club Souren will provide entertainment from his perch on the NP Fuel “Jets” Truck. There will be juggler Will Shaw, “Chalk on South” (kids of all ages can get a free “bucket” of chalk to create art and messages on the street), and lots of fun for the whole family.  The fabulous fireworks will begin at approximately 9:30 PM. Be sure to bring lawn chairs or blankets to enjoy the festivities. Should it rain, the Independence Day Celebration will take place on Friday, July 5, same place, same time. For information please contact us.

The fireworks were made possible by the very generous donation from our event sponsor, Investors Bank.   The event is also sponsored by the New Providence Business Community, which sponsors the 5K Race, Farmers Market, Summer Concerts, Street Fair, the Christmas Walk, and other community events.

Our main sponsors include:


DJ Club Souren
Kapuscinski Luongo Architects
KJS Design & Technology
Martial Arts for Life
NP Fuel
Strawberry Fields

New Providence Farmers Market has Moved!

The New Providence Farmers Market opened on Wednesday, June 12 at its new location in the Presbyterian Church at New Providence parking lot on Springfield Avenue, just west of South Street.   The new location provides much better visibility for the market because people are able to see it as they drive down Springfield Avenue.

“We are very excited about this new location,” said Michelle Brugger, Business Community spokesperson.  “The Presbyterian Church at New Providence has been so generous and accommodating in offering us the use of its parking lot.  We know that this will make a huge difference in terms of visibility and attendance at the market.”

“Everybody loves a good Farmers Market and New Providence has one of the best around.  We’re excited about having it in our parking lot this year,” said Mike Flavin, associate pastor at the Presbyterian Church at New Providence.  “Personally, I’m looking forward to the pies!”

The New Providence Farmers Market, sponsored by New Providence Business, will be open each Wednesday from June 12 through October 30, noon to 6 PM, rain or shine.  Jersey fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh baked berry pies, honey, dried fruits and nuts, fresh baked breads, delicious crab cakes, fresh mozzarella, are some of the featured items that will be available.

“We would like to thank the Presbyterian Church at New Providence for their generosity and support of this event,” said Jimmy Vardas, Business Community spokesperson.  “We are looking forward to the best Farmers Market yet!”

New Providence “Family Fun Night” Summer Concerts Return – Starting July 11

This year the New Providence summer concerts will offer music and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.  The three free concerts will kick off on July 11 with the local favorite, Elefante Family Band.   July 18 will feature The Tim Gillis Band and July 25 will bring the 1910 Fruitgum Company.  This year the three concerts will also include face painting and a magician to entertain the kids, along with free hot dogs from Prestige Diner and Zita’s ice cream.

“We wanted the whole family to be able to enjoy an evening out,” said Al Elefante, owner of Elefante Music and one of the concert organizers.  “The featured bands appeal to adults, but are also kid friendly.  Our hope is that the whole family will come out to enjoy top quality entertainment, grab a hot dog or ice cream, and have some fun.  We want everyone to feel welcome, from kids to seniors.”

The free concerts will be held on Thursday evenings in Centennial Park at 7:30 PM, rain or shine. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the sounds of the evening. If rain prevents an outside performance, it will be held inside in the municipal gym.

“This free community event, sponsored by New Providence Business, is made possible because of generous donations from our local businesses,” said Michelle Brugger, Business Community spokesperson.  “Why not enjoy dinner out before the concerts or pick up a pizza or other foods from our local restaurants and have a picnic, or even take the opportunity to come downtown a bit earlier and do some shopping before the concerts.  We want people to support New Providence businesses as much as the businesses support the community.”  The concert series is sponsored by Braunschweiger Jewelers, Creative Wallcoverings and Interiors, Elefante Music, Lassus Whereley & Associates, Prestige Diner, Prudential New Jersey Properties, Dr. Robert T. Robinson, DDS, and the Downtown Improvement District.

Community Wellness Awareness Day April 27, 2013


Download Flyer

On Saturday, April 27 (from 9 am to 2 pm), Murray Hill Health & Racquet Club will host a Community Wellness Awareness Day!

This day is designed to promote community interaction and recreation as well as wholesome wellness and prevention. There will be many vendors and local businesses on hand to promote wellness and prevention at the Murray Hill Health & Racquet Club facility for a family fun day of entertainment, healthy food and drink, and lots of information and seminars on what total wellness looks like! This includes recreational activities and extracurricular activities for children. It is also an Open House event for the club, completely FREE services, including group fitness classes, body assessments, and more.

Murray Hill Health & Racquet Club is located at 593 Central Avenue in New Providence and will be holding events both indoors and outdoors.

Join us in a celebration of community and wellness!  Come see other local businesses that are involved, support your community, and enjoy a family fun day of health and wellness!

Please mark your calendars and set the date for Saturday April 27 from 9:00 am-2:00 pm. I look forward to seeing you there!

To all New Providence Business & Professional Association Members who wish to participate: You choose how involved you wish to be!

By choosing to be a participating business, your logo will be added to the event’s flier. These fliers will be distributed to our 15,000 plus database via email blast, to all participating vendors/businesses, as well as email blasted to all participating vendors/businesses databases. Marketing is well underway and I believe this event will not only be great for the community, it will be great for the growth of our businesses!

Contact Betsy Shinkle at, 908-665-1141 if you are interested in becoming a represented business/vendor at our event!


General Meeting: Tuesday, Apr. 23

THE NP BPA will hold its next quarterly meeting on Tuesday, April 23rd at the Allstate/Ana H Galindo Agency at 172 South Street in New Providence.  Some topics of discussion for this meeting will be:

  • 2013 Farmer’s Market
  • NP Business Community Business Bash on May 1st

Networking begins at Allstate/Ana H Galindo Agency at 5:30 pm.  The meeting will start at 6:00.  Hope to see everyone there!

PLEASE RSVP by email at

We would like to thank Allstate/Ana H Galindo Agency for hosting this meeting!


Fundraiser for Boy Scout Troop 368

Coppola’s Ristorante is hosting a fundraiser for Boyscout Troop 368, and all you have to do is eat.

To participate, simply go to Coppola’s Ristorante on Wednesday Feb 20, 2013 with the attached flyer and a portion of your meal cost will go to Boyscout Troop 368.  You must bring a print-out of the flyer to participate.

Click Here for the flyer and complete contest details!


Holiday Party for the Borough of New Providence

Normally the NPBPA sponsors the Annual Holiday Party for the Borough of New Providence around mid December. However, Super Storm Sandy wrecked extreme havoc on the Jersey Shore, and caused considerable hardship here in New Providence as well.

Therefore, instead of having the usual Holiday Party, we are going to have a special reception at 8:00 pm on Monday, January 7, 2012 at the Senior Citizens Center. In addition to expressing our appreciation to all of the employees and volunteers dedicated to the Borough, we will also recognize and honor all of those who helped New Providence through this extreme storm. Proceeds of the event will be donated to the Community Service Association of New Providence (CSA). CSA is a New Providence based non-profit organization that helps New Providence residents through tough times.

A number of our local restaurants have volunteered to provide the food for the reception, so the majority of all sponsorships will be donated to CSA.

There are 3 levels of sponsorship …

Hosts – $500.00 – will be included on the community invitations, the NP Business Community Website and will have the opportunity to post a banner at the event.

Sponsors – $250.00 – will be included on the NP Business Community Website and will have their names on the welcome signs at the event.

Helpers – $100.00 – will be included on the NP Business Community Website.

Please let us know if you can help. All members of the Business Community (the New Providence Business & Professional Association and the New Providence Downtown Improvement District) will be invited, along with all Borough employees and volunteers.

Checks can be made payable to: New Providence Business & Professional Association and mail to: NP BPA, 360 Elkwood Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974

Thanks for your support.

Michelle Brugger
NP Business & Professional Assoc

Jimmy Vardas
NP Downtown Improvement

For additional information, or to talk to someone about becoming a sponsor, please contact us.


New Providence – Everything You Need Just Around the Corner

Dread the thought of fighting for a parking space at the mall?  Want help choosing just the right gifts for the people on your list?  Then shop New Providence this holiday season.  You’ll find friendly store owners in a vibrant downtown that has fine specialty shops and incredible restaurants. Take a stroll through town and explore what it has to offer—the merchants are eager to please!

“Why not enjoy yourself this season– holiday shopping doesn’t have to be stressful,” said Michelle Brugger, New Providence Business Community spokeswoman.  “In New Providence you can get help finding something special for everyone on your list, spruce up your house, and get your whole holiday feast all in one place!  And after a day of shopping, you can relax over a great meal in town or pick something up for dinner at home.  You can even take a shopping break and have a relaxing manicure or massage.”

Shopping in New Providence can also become part of your holiday fitness plan.  The borough is only about three miles square, which means that shops and restaurants are really accessible by foot.  You can reduce your carbon footprint, take a walk into town, do a little shopping, have a cup of coffee, and then walk back home.  You’ll be helping the environment while you help yourself!

Beyond having a great shopping experience, there are lots of other reasons to shop in New Providence.  “The more people shop in New Providence, the more resources we have to funnel back into the town,” said Jimmy Vardas, Business Community spokesman.  “We are able provide scholarships and support various local charities and events.  We can really say thank you to the families and kids who support us.”

Numerous studies have shown that more dollars are recycled into the local economy when you shop at locally-owned businesses.  The owners of those businesses spend more money in their community, thus injecting even more life into the local economy.  In fact, with much of their life savings invested in their businesses, local business owners have a vital interest in the long-term health of their community.

Shopping in New Providence just makes sense – you can get great products and services in a convenient location, reduce your carbon footprint, and help the local economy thrive.  It’s really everything you need just around the corner.

Michelle Brugger is owner of Martial Arts for Life in New Providence.  Jimmy Vardas is the owner of Prestige Diner in New Providence.  The New Providence Business Community serves its members and supports the local community by funding and operating numerous community events and activities.  They also hold membership meetings to inform, educate, and create a forum for members to exchange ideas and experiences in order to build a proactive and vibrant business community. If you are a New Providence resident or business who’d like to be more involved, or for more information, visit


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