We all have our dreams like writing that best-selling novel, starting a home-based business or a children's entertainment service.

Our co-worker Michele Pilenza's mother Jan, a former English teacher, wrote a novel loosely based on her aunt after going through her effects following her passing. It's a self-published book called "My Dearest Luvina" and is available on Amazon.

It got us thinking, how many other New Jerseyans are striking out on their own with something of their own creation. The phones lit up with people eager to share their endeavors.

The variety and volume were incredible. We could have done it for four hours. The pandemic was the catalyst in many cases, so if there was a silver lining these people found it.

By the way, if you'd like to nominate a small business for our contest this month, we're giving a deserving winner free advertising on New Jersey 101.5 and a membership to the NJ Business & Industry Association. Find that nomination form here. 

Fit Chicks Food Truck

Healthy food. The woman who started it called in.

Junction Boutique

36 different Jersey artisans in Leonardo.

Miss Kim's Children's Music 

She has an album and does children's events.


Card Bro

Cards for all year long. You'll never be caught without a card.


Gaston's Bake Shop

Extraordinary bakery items delivered to you in Mercer Co.


Alchemy Wood Worx

Custom-made wood pieces, even guitars!

"No One Keeps Score"

A book written by longtime NJ resident Frank Lochetto.

No One Keeps Score Book Amazon
No One Keeps Score Book Amazon

Vibrant Wellness

A health coaching business started by a young woman named Megan.

Coastline Adventures

.A surfing school started by Jersey Shore surfer Lance Tompkins 27 years ago.


Little Ridge Vineyards

A young Jersey couple worked for years to open NJ's newest winery in Phillipsburg.

JH Appleseed

Eco-friendly products based here in New Jersey.

"Imperfect Gems"

A book written by a mother who gave birth to twins three months early and her journey in raising them.

"Imperfect Gems" Book Amazon
"Imperfect Gems" Book Amazon


My TV Life

MY TV LIFE...Personalized gifts showing what aired on TV the day you were born. Really cool offbeat gift idea.


Doll Doctor Kathleen and Michael's Clocks

A married couple that does doll and clock repair.

Soul of a Tree

A book about the 619-year-old tree in the center of Basking Ridge and its many connections.

"Soul of a Tree" Book Amazon
"Soul of a Tree" Book Amazon

732 Sweet Threadz

Proud local clothing brand

"The Anxious Hippie"

Lucie Dickenson from Spring Lake Heights has written a book about coping with anxiety.

"The Anxious Hippie" Book Amazon
"The Anxious Hippie" Book Amazon

Chef Nino at your Table

Personal Chef. From small parties to larger gatherings, Chef Nino makes food for all occasions.


Get Pickled

They specialize in kimchi and a wide variety of pickled products.


Hand Crafted by Lauren

Lauren Klein makes amazing chocolate creations that her customers rave about.

"Nothing Personal: My Secret Life in the Dating App Inferno"

Nancy Jo Sales has written a book about the crazy world of dating apps.

"Nothing Personal: My Secret Life in the Dating App Inferno" Book Amazon
"Nothing Personal: My Secret Life in the Dating App Inferno" Book Amazon

MHG Productions

A motorhead's children's book series, with favorites like "T Is For Turbo"


Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

You can now listen to Dennis & Judi — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite best friends anytime, anywhere and any day of the week. Download the Dennis & Judi show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now:

2022 Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge photos

More than 6,000 people took the plunge into the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 26, 2022 to raise more than $2 million for the Special Olympics New Jersey.

Best coffee places recommended in Central Jersey

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM