HOBOKEN, NJ - Parking, traffic, noise, and more can make Hoboken a stressful place to live at the best of times. Social distancing, vaccinations, quarantines and other aspects of a COVID-19 environment only lead to additional anxiety.

On Saturday, an oasis of calm seeking to help residents and visitors melt their stress away opened at 163 2nd Street, the first business venture of owner Miguel Goncalves.

Goncalves, 31, is no stranger to the stress that comes from working in the corporate world, experience he hopes he can bring to his customers that, once they step inside the doors of Wicked Scents, have the opportunity to choose from a wide selection of candles, bath bombs, essential oils, and more.

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Still new to the community, Goncalves reflected that he moved to Hoboken six months ago. He loves the walkability, friendly community, and wide array of small businesses and restaurants, but found there were none quite like what he had in mind.

Asked about opening at a time when COVID continues to leave all with uncertainty Goncalves said that “risky times are the best times.”

With the help of social media, his girlfriend Lily, and the investment of a lot of sweat equity that included handing out over 500 flyers, Goncalves said business has already been good.

His immediate hope is to tap into a customer base that wants to support local businesses, something he said should give them a sense of pride. “It’s a chance to build community,” he said.  

Perhaps flexing a bit of “if he can make it here he can make it anywhere” attitude, Goncalves hopes Wicked Scents will eventually grow into a national franchise

“Things are low now,” Goncalves concluded. “It’s a great time to get excited and start something new.”