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Ridgewood Row is Ready For The Holidays

Fully recovered from Superstorm Sandy, Ridgewood Row puts on its holiday charm.

 

In this season of thanks and joy, perhaps no one has more to be thankful for than the NJ survivors of Hurricane Sandy—especially the merchants of Maplewood’s Ridgewood Row (aka “Cedar Ridge”), who lost power for up to two weeks. 

With their own businesses shuttered, these gracious vendors thought of others: the owners of Milk Money donated clothes to the Sandy Relief Fund for Staten Island, while the proprietors of Cupcake Corral donated hot food, baked goods and supplies to Morrow Memorial Church. 

Now, just a few weeks later, these merchants are proving that not even the worst storm of the century can keep them down, by happily filling last-minute orders, and dressing their shops and their clientele. 

“There was a huge feeling of connection and community following Sandy,” says Felice Ramaikas, owner of Cupcake Corral. “Everyone helped one another out—in fact some of our neighbors, with power, even kept our perishables cold in their fridge for us, so they wouldn’t spoil.”

Cupcake Corral

410 Ridgewood Rd.

973-327-2286

www.thecupcakecorral.com

While the store is closed on Black Friday (reopening on Small Business Saturday), there will be an abundance of special holiday-themed delectables throughout the rest of the season. 

Items will include Tori Amos-inspired, chocolate-dipped, vanilla buttercream cupcakes topped with fresh peppermint candies; chocolate ganache, raspberry-filled Bundt cakes topped with peppermints; owner Joe Ramaikas’ special maple cream pies; and Anzac cookies—named for the Australian, New Zealand Army Core, which loves these oatmeal, coconut, honey treats. 

Throughout the holidays, patrons will also be able to purchase the discounted western-themed artwork of Brooklyn-based folk artist, Stephen Keene, which adorns the shop’s walls. 

Don’t miss the Music for Aardvarks free family holiday party, on December 9th, from 1:00 pm-4:30 pm. Or drop in on a Thursday at 10 am, for a parent and child guitar jam, hosted by a local guitar teacher, where all types of instruments are welcome—from ukuleles, air drumming, and the spoons. 

In 2013, the shop will become a full-service café, serving locally-roasted This Town Coffee. 

GAS Gallery and Studio

411 Ridgewood Rd. (Next to the Framing Mill)

973-761-4142

www.itisagas.com 

GAS Gallery and Studio is currently featuring works from graphic artist, Robert Ramos, and one-of-a-kind pottery, prints and jewelry from local artists and supplied by Mia Cose Bella – perfect for holiday gift giving. 

The gallery – with its cool vibe and atmosphere -- also is a great space to host a holiday party, film festival, fundraising event or even yoga class. 

“We never finished the floors when we created this space because we always planned to have artists congregating and working here, without worrying about dripping paint on the floor,” says studio owner, Rick Hauser. 

The gallery is open on Friday, from 12 pm—5 pm, and from 10 am—4 pm, on Saturday. And, for the 3rd year in a row, local artists will often be dropping in to sell their works to patrons seeking affordable art as gifts for their friends and loved ones, throughout the rest of 2012. 

The Framing Mill

411 Ridgewood Rd. (Next to the Framing Mill)

973-761-4142 

Hauser also owns The Framing Mill, which is located a few stores away. There, artists like Sandra Charlap, who is currently experimenting with embroidery, and local residents can have their creations and treasures elegantly framed. 

“Rick is the only one who can frame this,” says Charlap, of her latest work of art. 

Throughout the season, ready-made frames will be on sale, and as always, the store will continue to frame children’s art, for 25% off. 

Stage 1 Hair

411 Ridgewood Rd.

973-763-5444 

Owned by Lucinda Guinto, Stage 1 Hair Salon serves people of all ages and is sought out by clients from all over the area.   

“I have been traveling here for the past two years, just to have my hair cut by stylist, Alexis Proctor,” says Gary Loew of Scotch Plains, as he gets ready for his haircut. 

The salon will be open on Friday, from 10 am—4 pm, and from 9:30 am to closing on Saturday. Walk-ins are welcome, and new customers, with a coupon, may enjoy 50% off any service, or a Senior Special of 20% off a wash and set, or perm (value up to $20), throughout the rest of November.

Renaissance Consignment Boutique

410 Ridgewood Rd.

973-761-7450 

Renaissance Consignment Boutique is an eclectic oasis of high-end designer fashions (including Theory, Vince, Ralph Lauren, Eileen Fisher, Chanel, Louis Vuitton), stunning antiques and upscale furnishing, and stylish home décor—all under one roof. 

“There is always something for everyone here and the stock is ever-changing,” says frequent customer Liz Blazer. 

“And, there are any hidden treasures downstairs,” adds Jean, who owns the store with her sister Nancy, when referring to the variety of mahogany, oak and painted furniture, as well as antique lamps, glassware, china, and botanical paintings, from formal to casual. 

This Saturday, the store will be open from 11 am—6 pm. Shoppers should hurry over to the store for the Anniversary sale, which has been extended through December 8th, due to Sandy. Clothes are 20%--50%, and the store, which caters to women of all ages, carries sizes 4-18. Many furnishings are also reduced. 

Milk Money

410 Ridgewood Rd.

973-313-1061

http://milkmoneylove.com/ 

There is something for everyone here, from affordable, upscale children’s clothes to new and like-new toys, books, DVDs and baby equipment. Owner Kim Baugh meticulously inspects every item brought in for consignment, and only stocks items in new or very good condition.

The store, which is the brainchild of Danna Lyons and her partner, has been located in Maplewood for 12 years. Other stores are located in Montclair, Princeton and Cranford. 

The store is the perfect place for moms of small children to shop, as it boasts a fantastic play area for kids, who will be mesmerized by the colorful murals and the wonderful toys and books in the kid-friendly space. 

“It is often hard to get the children to leave,” says Lyons laughing. 

The prices are always very affordable and frugal fashionistas will find Hanna Andersson, Gymboree, Crewcuts, Lands’ End, Gap and other leading brands. 

Right now, Milk Money is asking consigners to donate new and in-the-box toys to the store, so that those on limited budgets can purchase great new items at a nice discount. 

This season, shoppers should not miss the giant 50% off stuff-the-bag, end-of-season sale. In addition, it is time to clean out those closets—Milk Money will be accepting consignments of spring and summer clothes and shoes in January, 2013. 

 

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