TAPinto Featured Franchisee

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Plainfield's Jennifer Popper & Carolyn Wellington


This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Plainfield franchisees Jennifer Popper and Carolyn Wellington. TAPinto.net has more than 70 franchised online, local newspapers. Our franchise owners include journalists, hard-copy newspapers, and thanks to Jennifer and Carolyn, non-profit organizations such as the YMCA.

Find out how these local Plainfield, NJ residents are able to sustain their profitable business while getting closer to their community and doing what they love.


Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?:

Sign Up for E-News

We officially signed our franchisee contract in June 2016 but did not take over the operations of the site until end of September 2016. We are the fourth owners of the site, and now that it’s had consistent owner- ship, traffic has been on an upward trajectory.

Q. Why did you want to franchise your own TAPinto? What makes TAPinto different or unique?

The Plainfield YMCA’s CEO, Ravenell Williams, met Mike Shapiro at a Union County conference where he first learned about the TAPinto franchise. Upon learning about the marketing opportunities available to local businesses and non-profits, he approached the Board about using the platform to market the Plainfield Y’s many programs as well as provide an alternative revenue stream for the Y. A majority of the revenues are donated back the Plainfield Y.

Q. You guys have a different setup than most at TAPinto. Can you tell us about your team?

After gaining approval from Y USA, we set up a for-profit entity to run TAPinto Plainfield. That entity is Queen City LLC. Our team is small and is managed by Carolyn Wellington, who is the Marketing Manager for the Plainfield Y, and Jennifer Popper who is the Editor. Both of us are local Plainfield residents.

And now that we have been managing the site for over a year, we are hoping to grow the team with more local talent so that we can provide expanded news coverage of city events. We have been very lucky to have Bernice Paglia, a respected reporter who also had a blog about all things Plainfield, write for our site.

Q. What do you enjoy covering the most in Plainfield?

Carolyn: For me it has been fun to meet new people who are so passionate about the city, and everyone has a story to tell. It has also pushed me to become more engaged with Plainfield since moving here ten years ago.

Jenn: For me, it’s the human interest stories because they are unique to that person, and you get to tell a larger audience about them. One of my favorites was a “Hometown Hero” story on a young woman who is the first African-American woman to fly helicopters for the Coast Guard. Another was when I got to “meet” George and Martha Washington at an intimate gathering at The Drake House. More recently, I went to a mosque to meet Muslim and Jewish women who were going to serve food to the hungry.

Even when you cover less exciting things like City Council or Board of Education meetings, you more often than not run into someone who shares something that leads to another fun story.

Q. What did you do before you franchised your Plainfield site?:

Carolyn: I am currently employed at the Plainfield Y.

Jenn: My career was spent working in the magazine publishing world, but I worked on the advertising side. I had been the Research Director at titles like Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, Soap Opera Digest, and TV Guide Magazine. Additionally, I had owned a yoga and Pilates studio in Warren, but due to the economic downturn, after about five years, I closed the business in 2011.

Q. Is TAPinto full time for you or do you still work outside of the journalism world?:

TAPInto Plainfield is part-time for both of us. The relationships we developed in other jobs and volunteer activities had helped us as we started on the site, i.e. creating content opportunities. But now, people seek us out because we are TAPinto Plainfield, and they know that we can help them engage with a larger audience.

Q. TAPinto allows businesses and users to post content on our sites, either for free or for a small fee. How do you think they can best utilize TAPintoPlainfield.net? What sort of advantages do you have that other advertising platforms lack?

It’s been challenging to get users to post directly to our site but we are trying to educate them. There are several very active community groups that are beginning to recognize our reach, both locally and into other TAP towns, and they see how they can utilize our site to spread positive news about Plainfield.

A big advantage of the TAPinto Plainfield site compared to other outlets is immediacy. We live here, so we can get to a scene quickly, and post a story quickly. Other news outlets tend to share only the bigger stories about Plainfield, and often, ones that reflect badly on the city. There are so many people with inspiring stories, and we have been able to give them an outlet to share their stories and visions.

Q. What are some of your business strengths? Your weaknesses?

Our local presence is our strength; we know a large number of people because we live and play here.

Our market is unique and different from many New Jersey towns as we have a very diverse population; trying to appeal to all is a challenge. That diversity can hurt us from an advertising perspective, too. English is not the predominant language for a large percentage of people in Plainfield, so they aren’t reading our site, and therefore, are not likely to advertise their services.

We are working to find someone who can write for us in Spanish, and we are the first site to create a “Bilingual” section. And we have just recently broken our first Hispanic account.

Q. Describe the TAPinto culture as a franchisee.

The TAPinto culture is very supportive. The ongoing training provided is invaluable, and the corporate team is very responsive to issues that may arise. The ability to share stories across towns helps to provide relevant, interesting content in a timely manner.

Q. What are your goals at TAPinto? Any future plans for TAPinto Plainfield?

Carolyn: I cannot be more proud of the progress we have made to date. Each month our stats have grown and we are on a great path. My goal is to grow the team so that TAPinto Plainfield becomes the #1 independent news source for Plainfield.

Jenn: Better sports coverage. A larger team of reporters and / or freelancers. Greater coverage for our Hispanic community, and hopes for advertising that appeals to that demographic.

TAPinto Featured Franchisee is a bi-weekly column that highlights a TAPinto franchisee. TAPinto franchisees include public relations professionals, journalists, realtors, business developers, stay-at-home moms and dads and much more. 

"TAPinto Featured Franchisee" will show you how our franchisees made the jump to TAPinto.net, how its benefited them and why they love owning their own business.

Find out how you can join our team today!

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Bloomfield Center Alliance Block Party Canceled

May 17, 2018

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The Bloomfield Center Block Party, originally scheduled for Saturday on Washington St. is canceled.

According to Bloomfield Center Alliance Director Ollyn Lettman, the forecast for Sunday is equally bleak. 

Lettman reminds the community that other events, including Dining Under The Stars and Cruise Nights with the Bloomfield Cruisers will be starting up in the ...

Get Ready to be a Part of Some Theatrical Conversations as NiCori Studios Presents Moments

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The NiCori Teen Performance Ensemble presents “Moments” at the Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center on the evening of May 16 and again in New York City on May 20. The show’s theme focuses on capturing various moments in the lives of different characters in a cabaret setting.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Nicholas Adler and Corinna Sowers-Adler first moved ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, May 21, 7:00 PM

Hospital Auditorium, Glen Ridge

Tour of the Birthing Center

Health & Wellness


Tue, May 22, 6:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

How to Live Longer and Stay Healthy

Health & Wellness

Wed, May 23, 7:30 PM

Cedar Grove Public Library, Cedar Grove

The Caldwell Railway

Arts & Entertainment


Thu, May 24, 8:00 PM

Upper Montclair


Arts & Entertainment


Fri, May 25, 6:00 PM

Montclair Public Library Auditorium, Montclair

Let's Listen to Jazz

Arts & Entertainment


Fri, May 25, 8:00 PM

Upper Montclair


Arts & Entertainment


Tue, May 29, 7:00 PM

Studio Playhouse, Upper Montclair

Into the Woods Auditions

Arts & Entertainment

Bloomfield Police Department Blotter April 30 to May 6, 2018

May 9, 2018

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The following police blotter has been issued by Lt. Anthony Sisco of the Bloomfield Police Department.


4/30/18- Robert Gainer of Newark, NJ- Officers were dispatched to 250 Glenwood Avenue (CVS) on a report of a shoplifting. The store manager observed an unknown African American male wearing a tan and black striped coat and black pants, walk out of ...

Original Pancake House of West Caldwell Evacuated in Possible Pepper Spray Incident

May 19, 2018

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — The Original Pancake House in West Caldwell was evacuated early Saturday afternoon due to a possible pepper spray incident that caused ambulances from the West Essex, Verona and Bloomfield First Aid Squads to assist at the scene.

Bianca Pietro, a West Orange mother of two, said she was seated inside the glass atrium on the south side of the building that faces ...

Lawson-Muhammad Apologizes For 'Irrational Response' To Police Altercation; School Board President Supports Her

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -  A day after video surfaced of her altercation with a South Orange police officer -- in which she used profanity, threatened to go to the village president and called the police chief “a skinhead cop” -- South Orange Maplewood School Board member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad issued an apology in which she called her behavior “uncharacteristic” and ...

Peru Claims 1-0 Victory Over Colombia as Soccer Legends Show Off Skills in Paterson

May 20, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- During their playing days Carlos Valderama and Julio Uribe led their teams to victory in some of the largest soccer stadiums across the globe. On Saturday, the men, known better as “El Pibe” and Uribe, brought their talents to Paterson’s Baurele Field.

The rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of the nearly 500 fans who turned out to watch these beloved players ...

State Theatre benefit gala raises more than $500,000

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The State Theatre, a downtown cultural center, raised more than $500,000 at a recent benefit gala to support artistic and educational programs, theatre officials said.

This year, the Grammy award-winning Kool and The Gang performed at the annual black-tie benefit evening. Clearly, it was time to "Celebrate."

In addition to the performance, there was a dinner ...

Southern Ocean Made Brew Trail Awarded for NJ Tourism Excellence

May 18, 2018

SHIP BOTTOM, N.J. -The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce proudly announces its selection for the The New Jersey Tourism Industry Excellence Award for its recently launched Southern Ocean Made Surf & Sip Brew Trail. They join a select group across the state being recognized for the accomplishments of those who achieved true excellence in providing an exceptional experience that ...

Letter to the Editor: Gum Litter and what YOU can do about it

May 15, 2018

Gum is non-biodegradable, meaning it doesn't’t break down ever….

Today, the unlikely problem surfaces. The average person chews 275 sticks of gum per year. With the amount of people in daily society, it’s no mystery why chewing gum is the second most littered item after cigarette butts.  Did you know that gum is banned in Singapore?

In addition to littering human ...

To the Editor: Notes for Mr. and Mrs. Webber On How to Complain About Stuff

Well, it looks like I have at least three things in common with Jay and Johanna Webber: (a) We live in the 11th District; (b) We believe family is important; (c) We have experienced life in big families -- I'm the third of seven kids myself. So of course I noticed the statements the Webbers recently shared on Facebook – which took something one person said about Jay’s ...

Bloomfield Bengals Athletic Update May 14 2018

 At the SEC Championship Meet La’Shan White equaled his school record in winning the 400-meter hurdles. He also won the 110- meter High Hurdles and anchored the winning 4x400 relay team. Aicha Naouai won the Javelin with a throw of 126’6.5(#9 NJ) and the Discus with a mark of 95’5”. Warlys Lizardo won the Boys Discus at 120’.

Kristina Collins reached ...

Bloomfield Bengals Athletic Update April 30, 2018

Softball posted a thrilling 4-3 win over Livingston in extra innings as Katie Bretz drilled a 2 run double for the walk off victory. They also bested Newark Academy later in the week.

Volleyball ascended to a #7 State ranking in the latest poll after earning 5 wins in the past week. The squad defeated Newark East Side and Livingston in league play. They swept a trio of matches in one ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 18, 2018


IN COURT - Sounds like a cheesy thing to do, but the NJ Turnpike Authority has gone to court for years trying to stop a pizzeria chain whose logo is suspiciously similar to our beloved Garden State Parkway sign. Sure, nobody wants drivers searching for an on-ramp to end ...

School’s Out: Your Exclusive Summer Getaway Guide

May 20, 2018

Summer... a time to do whatever you please without having the stress of school or work.

But like many others, you may find yourself unsure of how to spend your summer days. So, if you’re looking for something cool to do when it’s hot, consider these ideas:

Get Cultured: Metropolitan Museum of Art: If you’re fascinated with art of all sorts from classic to modern, then this ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.


Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

The Man in Room 306 at the Luna Stage, West Orange, NJ

            The Luna Stage, a Jersey theater gem, chose to revive its 1995 world premiere drama, The Man in Room 306, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the slaying of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Starring Jamil A.C. Mangan as Dr. King, this 90 minute production portrays Dr. King in the last hours of his life as he struggles to write a speech for the Poor ...

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead Books, 2017)


I wanted to like Into the Water by Paula Hawkins because I had enjoyed her previous novel, The Girl on the Train, which was a suspenseful thriller. However, when I finished reading the first part of the Into the Water, I realized that I had not absorbed anything that was happening in the story. I blamed myself for not paying ...

Music Under the June Moon Outdoor Concert in Anderson Park June 9

May 21, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Enjoy a magical evening of moonlight and music in Anderson Park in Montclair on Saturday, June 9, with the third annual "Music Under the June Moon" chamber music concert.

Bring a picnic and a blanket and enjoy the Chamber Music Society of North Jersey playing under the park's historic Olmsted Oak. This free concert begins at 8 ...

Golf Outing On May 26 Benefits Retired Racehorses

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, N.J. —May 29, will mark Standardbred Retirement Foundation's (SRF) 26th Annual Charity Golf Outing being held at the beautiful Battleground Country Club in Manalapan, N.J.

This much anticipated event is held in conjunction with SRF's online auction which will open for bidding beginning Friday, May 25 and end at 7 p.m. on  Thursday, June 7. The outing ...

Beyond Speed Bumps! Alternatives for Traffic Calming: Free Conference June 9 at Seton Hall University

South Orange Neighborhoods Association (SONA) in conjunction with South Orange Seniors and North Jersey Neighborhoods Connected (NJNC) will be sponsoring "BEYOND SPEED BUMPS - Alternatives for Traffic Calming," a free conference at Seton Hall University on June 9 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Not every town can afford to put in a speed bump! And they can't do it on ...

10th Annual Plainfield Tsunami Youth Invitational Track Meet

On Sunday, May 20, the Plainfield Tsunami Track Club will host its 10th Annual Plainfield Tsunami Youth Invitational Track Meet at Hub Stine Complex, in Plainfield. This meet will feature some of the best youth track and field talent in the tri-state area and beyond. Come on out and enjoy the action. Be sure to check out our Parent-Coaches (Ben-Gay Relay), which has become a feature ...


Jul 21, 1966 - Apr 6, 2018
Sheila Rossi (nee Borges) 51, of Nutley, NJ died peacefully on April 6, 2018. Visitation will be ...
Read more
Jul 14, 1934 - Apr 3, 2018
Patrick Joseph Moran, 83, of North Caldwell, died on April 3, 2018. Relatives and friends are ...
Read more