Talk about making lemonade out of lemons!

New Jersey has some of the most creative, resourceful people you will ever meet. The pandemic and its associated business shutdowns have caused our lives to change immeasurably in so many ways. But one of the things we always talk about is the silver lining. Looking for the good stuff that emerged from the wreckage of the pandemic.

For instance, people who were laid off from their jobs or who had hours cut back had to figure out a way to supplement their income. That’s how dozens, if not hundreds, of brand new businesses were born as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown. We spoke to so many enterprising New Jerseyans today just to get a sampling of some of the businesses that were born out of necessity. It’s admirable how flexible and ambitious some of these entrepreneurs are, and we gave him a chance to shout out their businesses on the air. Here are some of the businesses we loved.

KK Sweets

KK Sweets' owner was a CIA-trained pastry chef and due to the pandemic had to pivot into a retail operation. Her baked goods, cakes, macarons, French pastries and like are works of art. Her store is at 3257 Quakerbridge Road in Hamilton but you can find her online on Instagram @kksweetshamilton.

Cohen Creamery

Up until the pandemic, Lydia Cohen operated a candy store with her sister. Obviously the shutdown affected their retail operations. Lydia, a 20-year-old go-getter started Cohen Creamery, with flavors like S’mores, Gooey Brownie, Mint Chip, and Cookies and Cream. The reviews were amazing. And the business blew up with many declaring her confection better than Ben & Jerry’s. She’s on hiatus for the winter but she’ll be back!

Everything but Plates

Purvi Dogra is an entrepreneur of Asian Indian dissent who started Everything But Plates, a dessert business. With everything from dessert shooters to cakesicles to cake pops, she combines some traditional Indian flavors with American ones to make mouthwatering desserts. She’s on Instagram @everythingbutplates.

Wooden concepts by Paul

Wooden concepts by Paul is a brand new custom woodworking business that creates everything from gorgeous hand-painted wooden flags to beautiful custom picnic tables. He’s on Facebook here.

Rustic Relics

Rustic Relics is a New Jersey related decor business. They carry uniquely beautiful home decor items and or can be found at the new Egypt flea market. Here’s how to find their Etsy shop.

The Timekeepers Conspiracy

Although it’s not a business per se, Nicole Mainwaring got unexpected time off because of COVID-19 so she finally finished her book, called The Timekeepers Conspiracy, and then self published it. Ironically, the book, which was started before the pandemic, is about a pandemic. It’s available on Amazon.

Cupcaker Baker

The Cupcaker Baker emerged during the pandemic to create original recipe cupcakes that you remember from when you were a kid. You know, the old-fashioned kind your grandma used to make.You can find her on Facebook.

Fur Baby Reiki

It’s the same concept as human Reiki except it’s done for your pets.
It’s an energy healing technique that is said to promote overall well-being. Some veterinarians even recommend it. Check out

Orbit Beach Chair

A unique product that was launched recently is the Orbit beach chair. It’s swivels 360 degrees, reclines in three positions and is highly portable, with handy padded backpack straps. You can find it at

Lauren’s Life Coaching

Lauren made a pandemic move into a career where she gets to do what she really loves: helping people. She’s a life coach who offers a free “tryout” first lesson and then charges a reasonable $25 per session after that. Email her at

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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