Melanie Borden is the VP of Marketing for Tom Maoli’s Celebrity Motor Cars Auto Group based out of Whippany, New Jersey. She is from Sparta, New Jersey, and today she shared her Local Love with HipNewJersey.com!
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Neros in Livingston. It is my go-to for a cocktail after work. They have an unbelievable happy hour. They have a great wine list, great raw bar, and great steaks. In the summertime, they open up the back patio for outdoor dining. The food is consistently incredible, and the atmosphere is always nice.
What is your favorite local boutique?
Beciga in Sparta. I love shopping here for date night outfits, gifts, and occasionally will find appropriate work attire. They always have the cutest clothes, and I find them to be super flattering. I love their jewelry as well. Plus I love supporting the owner; she is a hardworking mom and a cancer survivor.
What is your favorite salon or spa?
Visible Difference in Sparta. Mickie Russo is the best blonde specialist I have ever met! I trust no one else with my hair. I love going to her: she is talented, she is reasonably priced, has amazing products, and offers gel manicures if I have time to get one when I’m getting my roots done.
What is your favorite local health and wellness center?
CKO Kickboxing Gym in Franklin is my gym. The owner, Darlene, made some very smart pivots during the initial COVID-19 outbreak and now does a Facebook Live class every day. There is NO workout like a CKO workout!
Where is your favorite local place for home decor?
Garlic and Oil in Sparta. They have everything, from home decor to homemade olive oils and accessories. I have had beautiful baskets made here of all types of goodies. It’s the perfect place for a hostess gift.
Where is your favorite local daytime hangout?
Lake Mohawk in Sparta. That’s Sparta’s little downtown. There are a bunch of really good restaurants, a boardwalk, a beach, an ice cream shop, a bakery, a candy shop and, for kids, a playground.
What is your favorite nighttime hangout?
In Sparta, I love the Mohawk House. It is nestled in the mountains of Sparta. It’s absolutely beautiful inside. You feel like you are at a mountain lodge in Vermont. Everything is excellent there. The wedge salad is to die for, and they have amazing oysters. They also have live music. Right now they have a mobile butchery and fresh market in addition to their take-out.
What is your favorite local place to do business?
Cafe Pierrot in Sparta. An authentic French Bakery that you can sit and have a meeting at. They have the best coffee!
What is your favorite “Made in Jersey” product?
Andersen Farms in Sussex. They have several farm stands throughout the county for the spring, summertime, and fall. They grow vegetables, fruits, flowers, and have a ton of homemade canned goods. Their salad dressings and salsa are delicious. In the fall, they have their own cider. I have been getting weekly deliveries of fruits and veggies direct from their farm!
What is your favorite New Jersey downtown district?
Summit. The vibe is upscale but laid back, daytime or evening. They have the best dining options for a night out. You can find anything you need in Summit for your home, yourself, and your kids.
What is your favorite New Jersey-based service business?
Hayek’s Market in Newton. It’s a hidden gem in Sussex County. Hayek’s is a small, family-run butcher and market with homemade food. They have amazing prepared foods, fresh deli, and the best burgers to grill. My family has been going there for 36 years!
How has COVID-19 affected your business?
The car business–like many businesses across the world–has been affected by COVID-19. Here at our dealerships in NJ and NY, we have had to pivot and make some changes to accommodate the changing climate. Our service and sales departments are open for business; however, we have had to make some adjustments along the way. Our showroom is closed until further notice. However, remote sales operations are in effect, and our websites’ express stores have shown to be incredibly successful. Our sales team is working remotely and ready to assist our guests. In lieu of guests coming into the showroom, we are now able to accommodate them with a touch-free remote test drive, a full vehicle shopping transaction on the website or over the phone, and a touch-free delivery of our guests’ dream car to their home. We also now put our service and loaner vehicle fleet through a vigorous sanitation process to ensure the interior health of the vehicle. In an effort to keep our guests’ vehicles running safely, we are now offering pick-up and drop-off for service.
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