Friday, July 30, 2010

Somerville, New Jersey: Main Street USA

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Ramblers Way. All opinions are 100% mine.

I was born in a small town (Plainfield, New Jersey), I grew up in a small town (Branchburg, New Jersey), went to high school in a small town (Somerville, New Jersey), just a small town girl, that's me.

I guess every small town in America has seen their Main Street shops suffer from the effects of urban sprawl. Our favorite quaint little mom and pop shops (Gorny's Music Shop), restaurants (Alfonso's and Central Pizzeria), supermarkets (Pathmark) and downtown department stores (Woolworths!) used to anchor the business districts of downtown areas like my hometown of Somerville, NJ. Just before the economy completely tanked, the powers that govern Somerville used eminent domain to shut down the small shopping center where I hung out with my high school friends before there was a local mall (Bridgewater Commons). A local developer had convinced the community that the best use of the land would be upscale condos. Hey, I went to Somerville High School and didn't become upscale until long after I graduated from college and business school. Meanwhile, my 80-year-old mother and all of her friends had to find a new supermarket, traveling much farther to shop. The sad ending to the story, of course, is that there's a huge hole in the ground in Somerville, New Jersey, with chain link fences covered in signs announcing that the upscale community is coming soon. Um, right. So much for Made in America.

Thankfully, Alfonso's found a new location right on Main Street at the edge of the giant fenced-in pit, so Rex and I can still take our daughters out to enjoy a family dinner in Somerville, NJ, before their 4-H Prep meetings every couple of weeks. Other local businesses have sprouted up on Main Street in Somerville, bringing back a sense of community to a town that's been ripped up by "eminent domain."

Ramblers Way Farm is another local American business, headquartered in downtown Kennebunk, Maine, in a fully refurbished building that was originally build in 1792, is working hard to change the way American business is done. The same family founded Tom's of Maine in 1970 as one of the first makers of natural personal care products. After nearly 40 years of experience in building Tom's into a leading eco-friendly company, they have learned a lot about how a business can be a positive force for its consumers, workers, communities, and the planet.

On those principles, they started Ramblers Way with a desire to re-imagine wool as a supefine, next-to-skin fabric, to warm and comfort people of all ages and walks of life and to build a company and products upon their long-held values and beliefs. The Company sources, grows, and produces fine woolen apparel using 100% domestic resources, while maintaining high standards of ecological responsibility, community involvement, and customer satisfaction. Ramblers Way pays homage to Main Street America's rich history as a textile producer, while breathing new life into the domestic wool industry, through collaboration with farmers and producers around the United States. Ramblers Way Farm brought manufacturing facilities into distressed small towns, helping to revitalize the communities.

Let's hope Somerville, New Jersey, is able to turn Main Street into a viable business district once more.

Visit my sponsor: Made in America


Anonymous said...

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