RIDGEWOOD, NJ -- HomeGrown NJ travels to Ridgewood for its latest series of new episodes. Nestled in Bergen County in northern New Jersey, Ridgewood often ranks high on best places to live in the state, and with a top school system, direct train line to Manhattan and well-kept homes, it’s no wonder. Ridgewood, though technically identified as a village, is actually quite a metropolitan town thriving with retail stores and restaurants. 

HomeGrown Host Stephanie Willoughby stopped into Mango Jam, a gift shop that has become a Ridgewood institution. Owner Tony Damiano, town resident and President of the Ridgewood Guild, shared his observations about life in this tight-knit community. 

“There’s always so much going on in town,” said Damiano. “It has kind of that city vibe in the sense that I can literally walk into town for a cup of coffee, get my hair cut, etc. There’s no reason to go outside Ridgewood,” Damiano said. “We often joke that it’s like a little bubble.”

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Mango Jam, located on N. Broad Street, sells carefully curated gifts such as ceramics, candles, figurines, holiday and home decor, with many local Jersey vendors represented. 

The Ridgewood Guild, an organization formed to promote the town’s central business district, was created after the town got hit hard by the 2008 recession, when there were over 40 storefront and rental vacancies. The Guild hosts events year-round, such as the Music Fest, a Film Festival, Movies in the Park, and Music in the Night, which takes place on Friday evenings between Memorial Day and Labor Day when musicians play all throughout town. “It just changes the whole vibe of the town,” said Damiano.

Ultimately, according to Damiano, “the people really make up the fabric of Ridgewood,” he said. “It’s a vibrant community.” 

Stay tuned for more dispatches from Ridgewood coming soon from HomeGrown and TAPintoTV.