October 1, 2003—Shopping in the Manahawkin area recently got more upscale yet affordable, not to mention eclectic. 

The Driftwood Plaza, located at 511 Route 72 East, boasts six varied stores that bring both quality and fashion to the Jersey Shore. 

Purchasing health foods will be easier than ever thanks to Pangaea, a natural health food store that carries everything from organic produce to herbal supplements.   

Becky Tarditi and Michael Greenblatt, the store's owners, say that the plaza is the perfect location for such desirable goods, since health food stores in the area are hard to come by. 

And with a large selection of items, one-stop natural shopping is easier than ever.  Whether you need natural pet supplies, cleaners, vitamins or fresh soy milk, Pangaea has it all.  The store, which opens in mid-October, will also feature a kiosk where consumers can post questions about the natural health field, and receive accurate answers.  In addition, customers are welcome to sit down and browse the large selection of natural health reference books. 

"This is a dream I've had for ages," says Tarditi of her first business.  The store can be reached at 609.597.0017 and the website, located at www.pangaeanaturals.com, will soon be up.  Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m, and the store should open in mid to late-October. 

The ladies at Java Jam may not serve up treats as healthy as those you'll find at Pangaea – but boy do they know how to make a cup of coffee.  Co-owners Nancy Jeklinski and Donna Kalakowski invite you to take your pick from a caramel latte or a coconut cappuccino, just to name a few.  Mull over your day while taking in a live acoustic performance and finish up your trip by taking home some ornately packaged cookies, candies or books…you can do it all at this one-of-a-kind coffeehouse. 

Whether it is their wide selection of sugar-free coffee syrups, or the scrumptious desserts, the menu offers something for everyone.  It doesn't stop at coffee, either.  Light fare breakfast and lunch is served daily, including fresh wraps and salads.  Friday and Saturday evenings offer live music on the small stage, and is the perfect atmosphere for sipping a chai tea and sinking into a leather couch with a good book or talking amongst friends.  Each specialty café table comes complete with Trivial Pursuit cards as well, and the opportunities to enjoy your favorite games or the company of others abounds. 

The coffeehouse can be reached at 609.489.0661, and is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.  You can also check out the shop at www.javajam.net 

Java Jam isn't the only funky shop in the plaza, either.  Fate offers upscale city-style clothing with a wide selection of compact discs.  Leslie Adam and Wendy Smith, the two young entrepreneurs, created the store in hopes that Jersey Shore residents wouldn't have to travel to Philadelphia or New York in search of modish merchandise.   

"The store has a lot of urban-influenced clothing," said Adam, a graduate of the Art Institute for Fashion Marketing, Philadelphia, Penn.  The store should be open during the third week of October and will feature outdoor artwork by a Philadelphia artist.  Currently, the ladies operate a store in Beach Haven, which Adam said will probably close soon so they can focus on their new location.   

Fate will be open from 10 a.m to 8 p.m. during the weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.  The funky shop can be reached at 609.207.0009. 

Speaking of surroundings, there are two home furnishing stores in the plaza that can help you create the house of your dreams. 

Coastal Carpet has relocated from its former location in the Day Plaza, and now offers 5,000 square feet of showroom space, packed with more than 160 colors of berber and saxonys carpeting. 

Owners Stan and Joanne Kutkowski are pleased to announce the Laura Ashley and Kathy Ireland line of flooring, which is currently desirable among the décor savvy.  A wide array of flooring designs, from ceramic tile to hardwood floors, are also available.  Frieze, an easily maintainable shag rug, is also available in a wide array of colors.  Milliken patterned area rugs are also available, and can be ordered to fit your home.  And just in case your mind is spinning like a color while you peruse the racks of flooring choices, a staff designer is also on hand.  In addition, complete installation services are offered. 

Coastal Carpet is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Fridays; from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays; and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.  The store can be reached at 609.597.1610.

The folks over at Western Home Appliance know all about delivering quality goods to their customers as well.  Wayne Brown, the store's owner, has been in the business for more than 30 years selling everything from air conditioners and refrigerators to washers and dryers. 

The business moved from the Stafford Square Shopping Plaza for better exposure in order to sell their full line of name-brand appliances.  He said the store offers same day delivery, and offers customers referrals for appliance repairs.   The store can be reached at 609.597.2400

If you're thinking of a new place to put your working appliances and stylish flooring, you may want to stop into the Diane Turton Realtors to take a peek at what's hot on the market.   

The office specializes in selling and renting homes and apartments throughout and beyond Ocean County, and offers a full staff of experienced agents ready to assist you.  The office can be reached at 609.489.0750 and is open Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Driftwood Plaza is located between the Sun National Bank and Asplundh Buick Pontiac GMC on Route 72 East, and is open for business.



 Copyright 2003::Currents Publications