Despite the trials that the year 2020 has put local businesses through, one Spring Lake business is celebrating a major, multigenerational milestone of 25 years of operation in the borough.
For 25 years now, Kate and Company has been one of the first stores in the Spring Lake Business District at Third Avenue greeting visitors as they enter the borough, sitting at the corner of Third and Passaic avenues.
“I really can’t believe it’s been 25 years already,” said owner and founder Kate Reed.
Ms. Reed said that growing up in Spring Lake, she had always dreamed of owning her very own shop downtown when in the 1990s an opportunity presented itself.
The store’s location was previously home to a bookshop that was closing. When the bookshop closed, Ms. Reed knew that she had to have it and got the space before even deciding what kind of store she would be opening.
She along with the “Founding Fathers” her husband Marc Reed, and her brothers Vincent Motzel and Ariel Sans decided to go in on the business, and the boutique has been a staple in Spring Lake since it first opened. Longtime friend Renee Sterner has been working with the family at the store “since day one.”
“I went down to visit my brother and we were talking, and I told him I really love this location. And he told me he was thinking the same thing at the same time. We came back from Florida, and the bookstore was leaving, and we were able to get the location before we knew what we were going to do,” Ms. Reed said, adding that she and her brother both had a background in interior design.
“That’s how it all started!” she said, laughing.
Ms. Reed’s daughter, Kacey Roy, now runs the business with her mother. She remembers when the store first opened when she was 18, coming home from college to help out.
“When I would come home, I would help out and then eventually I came into the business and we’ve just been having fun ever since,” she told The Coast Star. Now, she said, it’s been fun seeing her own children run around and spend time at the family store as well.
Kate and Company specializes in furniture as well as home accessories and arranges custom gift baskets for all occasions
“We carry everything from upholstery, dining furniture, accessories and we also arrange sets of gifts for the bride, the baby, house-warming gifts, hostess gifts, little grab-goes from little $5 soaps and up,” Ms. Roy said.
Ms. Roy said that the store has been able to adapt through the tough times of the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly through social media and the launch of a new website to reach customers unable to enter the physical store.
“The pandemic has been interesting. We’ve definitely had to pivot the business plan. We did a lot of heavy traffic on Instagram, we launched a website just trying to accommodate the ‘shop local’ [mantra],” she said. “We’re trying to give back to the community, keep everything in the community, you know, practice what we preach, only shopping locally ourselves.”
She said the business tried to accommodate customers through deliveries and curbside pickup.
Ms. Roy said that Kate and Company is happy to be a part of the vibrant Spring Lake business community as well as the Chamber of Commerce.
“I think people really like to keep money in the community. We try and eat local, buy groceries locally. We buy pizza and donuts locally, we buy our kids clothes locally,” she said.
Her mother agreed.
“Everybody is nice here. The town has hardly changed at all. We have a great Chamber of Commerce. It’s been a great ride and it’s not over yet,” Ms. Reed said.
Visit Kate and Company in person at 1100 Third Ave., or visit their website at https://www.shopkateandcompany.com.
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