Melissa DeSanti is the former Senior Marketing Manager for Omega Watches, now turned to stay at home mom to 3 kids under the age of 5. She founded The Mendham Moms Network in 2018, which is a local chapter of The Local Moms Network, based in Greenwich, Connecticut. They are a hyper-local platform providing valuable resources to Mendham and the 8 surrounding towns. Melissa lives in Mendham, New Jersey, and today she shared her Local Love with HipNewJersey.com!
What is your favorite local restaurant?
I don’t have a single favorite. I know that sounds silly, but I love food. I have different favorites for different cravings. The Black Horse in Mendham has amazing chili. Sapori D’Italia in Mendham is our go-to pizza place. Beignet’s in Denville for hot fresh donuts… my list can go on and on. We try to order out 1-2 times per week to help support these local spots, most of which are family-owned and operated.
What is your favorite local boutique?
Well, I LOVE to shop! I try to shop locally whenever I can. Windswept Boutique in Mendham is a great spot for a special occasion piece and the sisters are all so nice and helpful. Paradise, The Depot, and Baby Crossing in Morristown are a 3 in one store for all things Lilly, baby, or gifts. Shelly and Erica are always welcoming! When you connect with store owners, you find your self becoming a repeat customer over and over until one day you consider yourself speaking with a friend vs being a customer. It’s a feeling you don’t get when you shop online.
What is your favorite salon or spa?
I love Craft in Bernardsville. I remember trying to find a new salon when I first moved to Mendham and it was a struggle. I had been going to the same place in Westfield for almost 20 years! I tried a few other places before that weren’t a fit, and then I walked into Craft and felt so comfortable from day one. Your hair salon has to feel like home because you literally spend hours there. Craft has that small-town feel with big-city style.
What is your favorite local health and wellness center?
The Chambers Center just opened in Morristown late last year and it’s a hidden gem. They have a fitness center, salt room, cryotherapy, and even a cafe. Our company had the pleasure of hosting our New Jersey team retreat there in November and we were blown away by the facilities features. A true retreat.
What is your favorite nighttime hangout?
Well I don’t get out much. I have 3 kids under the age of 5, so I’m usually in bed before 10 PM! However, when we do get a parent’s night out, one of my favorite spots is Stirling Tavern in Morristown. The atmosphere is great. It’s not a 25-year-old hangout, they play 90s music and it makes us feel like we’re in college (or high school in my case) again!
What is your favorite local place to do business?
Pre-pandemic (and baby #3) I spent a lot of time at Simple Coffee in Mendham. They have great coffee, free wifi, and I could sit down for a few hours and get work done without being interrupted by someone wanting a snack every 5 mins. Plus I would run into friends there grabbing their morning coffee and it made me feel like I wasn’t isolated. When you’re a stay at home mom and work from home too, it can get pretty lonely.
What is your favorite “Made in Jersey” product?
Jersey Girl Cheese! We have been cooking so much as a family at home now, that we are becoming homemade pizza connoisseurs and the Jersey Girl fresh mozzarella just makes the whole pie!
What is your favorite New Jersey downtown district?
Last Summer we visited Stone Harbor, New Jersey, for the first time and fell in love. We stayed right in the heart of the town and just had so much fun walking the strip and eating our way around the town with our kids. So this is a new favorite spot for us for sure!
What is your favorite New Jersey-based service business?
My favorite photographer is Anne Constance Photography. Her husband grew up with my husband in Mendham, and we became fast friends. Anne has captured all of our milestones as a family and our walls are filled with those memories.
How has COVID-19 affected your business?
My business is to promote other small businesses. Since COVID-19 has forced a lot of my partners to close or have limited hours, not only do they have to get creative with how they do business, I need to get creative with how to support them. The first thing to get cut is always a marketing budget, so I’m trying to support my partners through this pandemic, in hopes that when it’s all over, they then support my business back. The funny thing about a crisis in a small town is that it brings the community together and makes them stronger in the long run.
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