In 2011, I decided to quit the Manhattan commute from Summit. You know the drill, a cup of coffee in one hand and a baked good in the other from Mavi's train kiosk as you race down the steps to catch the train to Penn Station.
Well, I now work here at the Douglas Auto Group (comprised of Douglas Infiniti and Douglas Volkswagen) about a 5 minute walk from my Summit residence. I must say it's the wisest choice I've made since getting that woman I live with to marry me 7 1/2 years ago. Now that I live and work in Summit, I've gotten to know a lot of the local businesses pretty well and I just want to take the time to highlight a few who stand out above everyone else.
This winter I headed down to Magic Fountain to purchase a "holiday tree." Being raised Catholic but converting to Judaism upon marriage, the "holiday tree" has always been a conundrum. My wife Sharon has agreed to get a "Chanukah tree", which is basically a white fake tree with blue ornaments. This year she said, "get a Christmas tree." I excitedly raced down to purchase the big green tree I had come to know and love growing up. When I got home, she told me she never said get a Christmas tree but agreed to use it this year. Anyway...I couldn't properly secure the Christmas tree to the roof of my car. The owner's son at Magic Fountain said if I purchased the tree, he would throw it into the back of his pickup truck and drop it off at my house. I agreed and to this day am struck by the level of generosity and service that he provided. Anyone from Summit knows it's not like Magic Fountain is hurting for business with its mammoth lines during the warm weather days.
Being from New York, my family always appreciates a high quality bagel. They look at bagels the way wine connoisseurs treat wine. They have to be a certain color, crispness and flavor to them. Me? My grandparents grew up starving in Ireland. Whatever is put in front of my face, I eat. Sometimes I still instinctively look to show everyone my plate is clean. Phil, the owner at Summit Bagel, allows my high maintenance family to call him up and special order 3 Whole Wheat Sesame crispy bagels from scratch every weekend. Even if he's jammed packed on the weekends (which is usually the case), he always takes the time out to cater to my family. Phil was also the first person in Summit I reached out to for help with the Douglas Fill 'Er Up Food Drive and he happily obliged.
Village Trattoria has always been overly accommodating towards my family. As I stated earlier, I eat anything but my family only eats sauce pizza. That's right, just sauce. To me that's like buying a car without wheels. I mean, who doesn't like cheese, sauce and bread combo? But whether it's a whole sauce pie when I'm away or a half sauce pie when I'm around, Village Trattoria is always happy to accomodate. When I ran the food drive, I was looking for a high traffic Summit establishment to allow signage of the event and of course they agreed. A few times I've gone there and forgotten my wallet. They always tell me to just take the food and come back whenever to pay.
On a serious note, I'd also like to point out the Douglas Auto Group as a place of high character. My father passed away on my 5th day of work at Douglas. Not only did ownership tell me to leave and come back whenever I was ready, there was a paycheck from the week I was out on my desk at Douglas Infiniti. I was literally floored at the kindness and generosity exhibited. I know the owners probably don't like me highlighting what they do behind the scenes. But I can assure you their core tenets of integrity and morality aren't hollow words. They practice what they preach. You can't stay in business in Summit since 1965 without those virtues.
When I first moved out to NJ 7 years ago from NY, I was spooked by how kind everyone was to me. I felt like I was in another country. But over the years, I've grown used to this way of life. So I'd like to say thanks again to the businesses I've referenced for always allowing me to feel like I'm at home no matter where I travel in Summit.