Success Stories

MILFORD, NJ---Sometimes Hector Perez’s day starts 2:30 a.m. in the morning and doesn’t end until 8:00 p.m. that night; up before dawn and working until dusk. Such is the life of a farmer.

Perez is the owner of Jersey Farm Produce, a Milford-based small business he started in 2009. No stranger to hard work, Perez can be found at the height of harvest loading up three trucks Tuesday thru Sunday with produce from his farmland to be sold at New York City farmer’s markets.  The remainder of the day is spent working the land.

“I came to this country in 2001 from Mexico with a degree in Agriculture and little else,” said Perez.  “I had to learn how to speak English and find work.”   Over the years, he was able to find employment on farms in New York State and New Jersey. He even managed a 300 acre farm in Glen Gardner.

“I always had the desire to start my own my farm,” said Perez.  “And then I learned about a local farmer who wanted to lease his farmland, I thought... Read More

Scaffolding Towers of America

MIDDLESEX, NJ---Reaching new heights of success is nothing new for Fran Kruchkowski.  Ever since she was 8 years old she has worked in the family-operated scaffolding business in some capacity.

Today she is the owner and president of Scaffolding Towers of America (STA), a Middlesex-based company that is a leading distributor of scaffolding and components manufactured by Bil-Jax and A-1 Scaffolding.  She is proud to say that the company is still family-operated, as her son, Jeffrey Kruchkowski, has been heavily involved for almost three decades.

“We rent, sell, and install scaffolding for jobs of all sizes,” said Kruchkowski.  “When my grandfather started this business in the 1940’s, the company was primarily serving the painting industry.  Over the years we have been fortunate enough to expand our services to contractors and homeowners throughout the Tri-State area.”

However, a turning point for the company came in 1987, when CBS Sports approached Scaffolding... Read More

Dina Shekhter, owner of 3dRose LLC

JACKSON, NJ---Dina Shekhter took her passion for art and turned it into a multi-million dollar business by taking graphic art designs, images and photos and placing them on a variety of novelty gift items.

It all started in 2001, when Shekhter and her husband Ilya launched 3dRose LLC out of the family garage in Howell.  The couple started the business on a part time basis, while keeping their day jobs; Dina a bookkeeper and Ilya a car salesman. “I always had a passion and love for art,” said Shekhter.  “The initial idea for the business was to preserve roses from weddings and special occasions and then incorporate them into art pieces. That’s where the name for the company originated.”

As a way to expand the business and offer additional products to their customers, Dina came up with the idea of putting designs on light switch plates.  By the reactions they received from craft shows and by their sales on EBay, they knew they were on to something good.

Realizing... Read More

Paul Ritter owner of the Brook Hollow Winery is seen here with his daughter making cranberry wine.

COLUMBIA, NJ---When it comes to wine making, Paul Ritter and his daughter Jessica, know that success is on the vine. What started as a hobby in the basement of their family home, has evolved into the Brook Hollow Winery, a 10 ½ acre vineyard tucked away in the heart of the Delaware Water Gap in the town of Columbia.

As he was winding down a 29-year career with the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife, Paul had an interest in making wine and decided to initially make it at home. “We planted two varieties of grapes in the front yard, with 2,000 vines in the front yard,” said Paul.

The idea of opening a winery somewhere down the road didn’t come until 2006. It was then that Paul decided it was time to see if he could take his hobby and turn it into a full time business.  So he leased some retail space and land on a local farm.

“When we moved from the home to commercial space, we were only doing wine tastings on the weekends,” said Paul. “We took it slow and... Read More