WEST ORANGE, NJ – Things are heating up in the West Orange retail, restaurant and school scene this spring as numerous new projects around town move forward and stores on Main Street open their doors or expand their offerings.
“With the opening of the Edison Battery Factory building in the coming months, we’ve had a lot of inquiries for retail store properties on Main Street,” said Megan Brill, director of the Downtown West Orange Alliance.
Brill said there is a lot of positive energy on Main Street, including the Vienna Music School opening a second Main Street location because of the growth of its business, Willow & Olivia opening its dessert café in May, Xclusives Barbershop now opening a storefront on Main Street after building up a clientele in a home-based business, and Hot Tech Cellular now offering a greater variety of technology offerings as it nears its sixth month of business on Main Street.
“I grew up in the Ironbound district of Newark, where they have tech stores like this everywhere,” said Santiago Batiaftelli, owner of Hot Tech Cellular. “There is nothing like this in West Orange. We repair cell phones, all electronics, computers, cameras, cracked screens and more.”
He added that the store also does photography shoots and teaches photography.
For people with a sweet tooth, Willow & Olivia will soon become Main Street’s third scrumptious bakeshop—joining the long-established Supreme Bakery and the relatively new Sweet Garden Bake Shop, which has become a go-to place for banana pudding and cupcakes. After gaining a substantial online following, this will be Willow & Olivia’s first storefront.
“We are an old-school, small-batch bakery known for our classic cupcakes, custom and signature cake truffle, cakes, mini-cakes, French macaroons, alcoholic pastries, and special occasion cakes,” said Gia Garcia, a West Orange resident who owns Willow & Olivia.
She added that the store, named after two fairies, will be very family friendly, with activities for kids that will include finding and going through a fairy door.
Vienna Music School will be opening a second Main Street location at 130 Main Street. Owners Ron and Leslie Caraf, who reside in West Orange, both said that West Orange is a perfect spot for their school, which has hired more staff to keep up with its growing client base.
“A key part of our success is that we hire professionals who are either going to school for music or have graduated from one,” said Ron. “They are good at it, and can teach it well. The excellence of our product has helped us grow. Kids run here to get…