Here at Best of NJ, we love to support our local communities. Of course, a major part of any community is the local commerce and, more specifically, the independent stores looking to compete with franchises, chains and other big names. In an effort to try and level the playing field (as best we can), we’re always mindful of ways we can feature the noteworthy — and eclectic — independent stores found throughout New Jersey.

But do you know what independent stores rely on even more than the help of the media? Loyal customers and good word-of-mouth! With that in mind, if you appreciate or personally recommend any of the independent shops we feature in our various articles, you can make a real difference in your community: Help us support local businesses by reading (and sharing!) our features spotlighting The Best Independent Stores in New Jersey, and join us in our mission to get these great stores the recognition they deserve!

The Best Independent Stores in New Jersey

Independent Gift Stores in New Jersey

The Best Independent Gift Stores

When it comes to picking out presents, there’s no shortage of stores hoping to win your business. Depending on your price range and personal preference, you can choose to go with a department store chain, a mid-sized retailer or a local merchant selling products made by artists from your community. If you’re looking for books, toys, clothes, antiques, records or comics, these alluring independent NJ stores might be just the place…

Independent Stores in New Jersey

The Best Independent Toy Stores

There’s nothing quite as magical as stepping through the doors of an authentic, old-school toy store. With warm and welcoming atmospheres, local toy shops are staffed with friendly, attentive folks who love children and genuinely want to make them smile. New Jersey is home to several wonderful independent toy stores that all carry a great selection, including many unique items you won’t find in those big retail stores…

Independent Stores in New Jersey

Best Shops for Back-to-School Fashion

Back-to-school time for kids generally goes hand-in-hand with the purchase of new fall fashions (as TV commercials tell you every child needs a new wardrobe). The new school year means new clothes! In this feature, we’ve rounded up the best independent boutiques in New Jersey that offer stylish back-to-school fashion for boys and girls. Read on to find out what’s popular this season for your little trendsetters…

Independent Stores in New Jersey

The Best Christening & Communion Boutiques

As much as we appreciate department and chain stores for their convenience, they don’t offer the same personal touch and unique inventory provided by local indie shops. New Jersey is home to many adorable boutiques that sell one-of-a-kind children’s outfits for christenings, communions and other formal events. we’ve rounded up ten wonderful spots that specialize in beautiful special-occasion attire for children…

Independent Stores in New Jersey

Best Independent Bookstores in NJ

Every avid reader knows the struggle. You aimlessly click through links, reading reviews. You check the bestsellers list. But how can you really find your next great read online? Easy — you can’t. Instead, head to your local bookstore. There’s no other place to get specially selected books, attend unique and exciting author events, and speak to staff who love books just as much as you do. It’s a one-of-a-kind book-buying experience…

Independent Stores in New Jersey

Best Irish Shops & Boutiques

Every St. Patrick’s Day, we dig through our closets looking for something green to wear. Sure, you can stop in your local party store and grab a few festive accessories (think green plastic beads and shamrock sunglasses). But if you really want to impress with some authentic Irish apparel, look no further than one of New Jersey’s Irish shops. These quaint boutiques carry everything you’ll need…

Independent Stores in New Jersey

NJ’s Best Independent Ice Cream Shops

Is there any better way to top off a day than with a scoop (or two) of ice cream? (Especially on warm summer days, but really, there’s never a bad time to have ice cream.) New Jersey certainly isn’t lacking in ice cream shops to choose from. While everyone has their own local favorite, some spots are simply too good to be missed. We scoped — or should we say scooped — out the Garden State’s best ice cream parlors…

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