Story by Joe Mindak
Photos by Robert Wagner
Walking down Washington Street has always been one of the best reasons to live and visit Hoboken. You can see all the great shops that have staked claim to Hoboken as the place to open their business. From the Mom & Pop shops to the familiar franchise chains, we are able to find just about anything we are looking for from food to clothing to products.
What most residents don’t realize is beyond what we see on Washington Street there are many international companies that have also setup “shop” in Hoboken. Companies from France, England, Portugal and Australia to name a few have decided to make Hoboken its United States headquarters. As Hoboken continues to grow more companies are following suit.
Viva La France!
BEABA launched in 1989 in Oyonnax, France with the intention of marketing baby products f or m others who were looking for high quality, easy to use and innovative lines. With the release of its Babycook line the company took off to become one of the most innovative baby products suppliers i n Europe. The Babycook s teams, cooks and blends food all in one system. BEABA was the first to introduce this revolutionary product. They also feature unique design and color with three lines to choose from; The Classic, Pro and Pro2X. In 1998, BEABA was ready to introduce their product lines to the United States.
Finding the right location to head ups its operations was the first step and they chose Hoboken as their Headquarters. Olivier Foglizzo, CEO of BEABA USA , says Hoboken is the perfect fit for the US expansion. Its proximity to New York City is a key advantage. All while reaping the benefits of the Garden State. They don’t have the sky high rental prices of Manhattan, or have to deal with the crowds and the pressure that comes along with working in the city.
The company also loves the fact that Hoboken is an easy place to commute for employees who come in from various towns around the New York/New Jersey area. Hoboken gives them the feel of working in a city with all the shops, restaurants and nightlife without the hassle of getting around New York. Olivier elaborates that there are many lunch options, visitors can stay at local hotels and it’s a great place to entertain clients. Plus, he adds, the skyline view of the city is amazing.
Hoboken was also an ideal place for the company to test its products on its main target demographic: Moms. In the past 10 years, more families have begun to call Hoboken home leaving a company like BEABA to be able to bring in local mothers for focus groups. BEABA has been able to showcase its product lines through groups like the Metro- Moms Network and Hoboken Mommies by showcasing their products at events taking place in Hoboken.
Currently you can find BEABA products at stores such as Buy Buy Baby and Giggle but also locally at Wee Babe and Copper Kettles on Washington Street. With its great success in the US market BEABA is poised to expand but will be looking for larger off ice s pace right here in town before it looks anywhere else.
Esporao Wines started back in 1973 in Portugal by the Roquette family and has remained a family business ever since. They are currently the largest and most popular wine in Portugal and can be found in over 50 countries. From standard reds and whites to its vintage series Esporao has been producing quality wines for over 40 years. The Esporao Reserva is a very distinct wine with its unique label produced each year with new artwork by a local Portuguese artist.
Its first US stop was in Newark where they continue to distribute the wine with a local distributor. When Esporao was looking for a new home for the US Headquarters and they landed in Hoboken. The incredible restaurant and bar scene in Hoboken made it the perfect place to highlight their wines. P edro Lopes Vieira, North America Sales Manager, says “Hoboken has the great mix of restaurants, bars and nightlife” that makes for an ideal testing ground for his wines. If you are looking to give Esporao a try it is currently carried by Giannone Wines, Havana Cafe and served to guests at The W Hotel.
Another family winery is also happy to call Hoboken home. Started in 1928 by Italian immigrants, De Bortoli Wines is now the largest family owned winery in Australia. That focus is on quality wines at great price points. Their focus is working with over 27 million cases a year sold in Australia alone and over 75 countries distributing their wines. They currently have the number one ranked Consumer Reports “Best Buy” for its Emeri Pink Moscato. Craig Orchard, Executive Vice President of North America, proclaims one of their biggest goals is “being creative in the marketplace” and always comingup with new blends.
It was at a meeting in Georgia when someone announced “Hoboken was the place to be,” and next thing De Bortoli was residing in the Monroe Center. They spent nine years there before finding a space on the corner of 1st and Jefferson where they have spent the last three years. T he De Bortoli family was intrigued by Hoboken and the fact that it held the same Italian qualities of family that they held dear to their hearts. Hoboken was all about the community and more importantly focused on great food and great wine. What better place to introduce their brand?
Craig says their team loves the walkability of Hoboken with great options a few steps away from their office. They also find Hoboken a great place to relax as opposed to the chaos of the big city. You can give De Bortoli a try at local establishments like Leo’s, 10th and Willow or The Clinton Social. Or stop by at 1st and Jefferson and you may be lucky enough to be given a private tasting.
The British are coming. The British are coming…
After over a year of negotiations with city and state officials Person Publishing officially named Hoboken as its new US Headquarters. Consolidating various offices in the New York and New Jersey area Pearson was solicited by many towns to choose from but ultimately Hoboken was their choice. The ultimate reason for Hoboken came down to attracting the young, educated professionals that are focused on technology. Richard Berzine, the lead broker for Pearson stated, “We wanted to attract the digerati,” which basically translates to they want the best and brightest in the computer industry.
Pearson Publishing is one of the world’s largest educational book publishers. Pearson International is headquartered in London with offices across Europe, Asia and South America. Their online chat support is based in the Philippines. In 1998 Pearson purchased the education division of Simon & Schuster from Viacom and merged it with its own education division Longman to form Pearson Education. Located in over 70 countries, Pearson derives 60% of its sales through North America so it’s only suitable to obtain a large US Headquarters.
Pearson plans on moving over 900 employees from its Upper Saddle River and Old Tappan locations into a newly constructed, 14 story LEED certified building taking up 200,000 square feet of office space. Other businesses will be setting up shop in the new SJP property with 25,000 square feet of retail space and a 200 car underground garage.
This is great news for Hoboken on many levels as it will attract new retail businesses, other larger corporations to consider Hoboken for its Headquarters and will bring money into the local economy through jobs and employees spending locally.