the hip list

The Hip List’s #HipHolidays Gives Back!

The Hip List is bringing the holiday cheer this December by shining a spotlight on some of #HipNJ’s most giving charities!  Enter to win on #HipNJ social media to win some of these fantastic prizes that benefit these amazing philanthropic efforts.

Winners will be drawn on 12/23.

The TuTu Project is all about a man, his wife’s battle against breast cancer and a pink tutu that brings hope… and helps raise funds for families with breast cancer. For more information:

Pink Jewels of Livingston is giving back to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by selling Cary Designs’ snap back hats that are featured in our video.  Portions of the proceeds goes to this cancer organization that strives to find a cure for these disorders.

Seignadou Soaps, made by the Dominican Nuns of Summit, started in 2007 as Christmas gifts for the nearly 100 volunteers who make up the Rosary Shrine Guild and work as receptionists and drivers here at our monastery. Today, the line includes twenty different scents plus hand creme and lip balm. All products are made of a recipe unique to the Dominican Nuns. The ingredients are simple but rich in moisturizers such as cocoa and mango butter, sweet almond oil and other all-natural ingredients! For more information:


Francesca Gourmet Foods Opens in River Edge

Welcome Francesca Gourmet Foods to the #HipNJ neighborhood!

The River Edge gourmet market features a vast array of prepared foods from around the world—with a focus on classic Italian fare—made fresh daily, along with a selection of artisanal products.

The 6,000 square foot space borrows its name from owner Keith Alliotts’ young daughter, and also pays homage to his Italian American roots. Francesca Gourmet Foods showcases various individual stations within the space, such as a live mozzarella-making booth, a rosticceria carved meat station—featuring prime rib daily—sandwich/panini bar, build-your-own salads, and seasonal soup, as well as a central counter featuring dozens of rotating gourmet dishes.

In addition to the prepared foods, a retail component offers an assortment of artisanal products such as imported oils, vinegars, spreads and jarred specialties, alongside fresh baked breads from Balthazar, cheeses from around the world, packaged pastas and more. Grab and go options are also available, including premade soups, sauces, salads and baked specialty items.

Francesca offers 30-seats to sit and enjoy food on-site, or quick and easy service to grab something and be on your way. The space was designed by Manning Design Group in Asbury Park, NJ, and has a rustic, farm to table feel, creating a warm inviting atmosphere. Blue and white imported ceramic Sicilian tile greet guests as they enter, while reclaimed wood is found throughout the space. Additional design elements include a hand-cranked prosciutto slicer imported from Italy, hand-painted signs, and a reclaimed barn door in the dining area.

“We will strive to make Francesca Gourmet Foods a place the community can count on to deliver fresh and delicious food prepared with love – a place one can drop by at anytime, whether for a quick bite on-the-go, to pick-up a delicious dinner for the family on your way home from work, or to assist with hosting that big holiday party,” said Owner Keith Alliotts. “We’re excited to be open and are looking forward to getting to know our customers, and becoming part of the neighborhood.”

While Alliotts brings expertise and a diverse background in commercial real estate to the table, he is joined by a team with vast experience in the restaurant industry. Helming the kitchen is Executive Chef Mike Matonti, who brings twenty years’ experience in the industry, having worked at Bergen County’s best restaurants including Café Panache and The Saddle River Inn.

Overseeing the day-to-day is Robert Anton, who serves as Director of Operations for the Francesca brand. Anton was previously with The Hillstone Restaurant Group, where he managed outposts across the country, including Los Angeles, Scottsdale, New York City and Hackensack, equating to twenty-five years of experience in top-tier management positions.   Also on the team is general manager, Mike Byrne, assisting Anton with operations. All four grew up in Bergen County and still call Northern New Jersey home.

Francesca Gourmet Foods is open Monday through Friday from 10:00AM to 8PM, and Saturday – Sunday from 10:00AM to 6PM. The team plans to launch a catering program in the coming weeks. For more information please visit, or call 201-678-1188. For social media, use Instagram and Twitter: @francescafoods or Facebook.


The Hip List’s #HipHolidays Accessories

The Hip List is bringing the holiday cheer this December with the season’s must-have accessories!  Enter to win on #HipNJ social media to win some of these fantastic prizes!

Winners will be drawn on 12/23.

New Jersey native Tiffany V. Bobb of T. Victoria Designs crafts jewelry and bridal headpieces with semi-precious stones, pearls, and crystals. Each piece is uniquely designed and handmade. Retail value varies.

#HipNJ is really excited to be giving away an autographed copy of Garden State A-List author Elizabeth Gilbert‘s Eat, Pray, Love!  This coming-of-age story is about a woman who searches for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia.

Candystax by Lucia features bracelets and “armparties” at an affordable price, exclusively made in NJ!  Inspired by high-end designer bracelets, these armcandy pieces are custom made to reflect each individual personality. Whether it’s an armparty of 6 or party of 1, each Candystax will sweeten any outfit!  Retail value varies, e-mail: to order.  New customers receive 10% off their order!

We’re giving away a divine Coach shearling handbag that’s a stylish way to tote your most important item!  Retail value $117,

Live Hard, Work Hard, Play Hard.