“L’Angleterre est une nation de boutiquiers.”
When he referred to England as a nation of shopkeepers, Napoleon insists it wasn’t meant to be derisive. He recognized that England’s power was thanks in no small part to its economy, and that its commercial strength was rooted in the diversity of its small businesses.
You can probably learn more about Napoleon at one of several French restaurants here in town. In fact, you might soon be able to read about him in the new local bookstore—because as the trees begin to bloom on First Street, those strolling down Hoboken’s “other main drag” will see a few new sprouts among the hearty old perennial storefronts that line way.
When it comes to small business, it sixty years is pretty hearty. Piccolo’s and its staff certainly fit that description, while most of the regulars have been around Hoboken for a number of years as well. What keeps them coming back? They return day in day out, year after year because of a great proprietor who offers a fantastic product.
Behind all these small businesses are the entrepreneurs who recognized a formula for success—sometimes after a number of failures—and had the tenacity and the self-belief to persevere, building their own economic engine more or less from scratch.
Hoboken has risk takers. We have people here who climb mountains, start breweries, write TV shows—and still find time to inspire the next generation. We have people who know a good thing when they see it, see a good thing and make it better, make a good thing and make it more exciting, or even take the most exciting thing they know and make it their own.
You’ll find all of that in this issue of hMAG. As we continue to grow ourselves, we look forward to hearing from you. Hopefully by now you’ve seen the resurgence of hMAG.com. Meanwhile, we’re always looking for bold new ideas to fill the pages of this publication.
Let us know more about what you want to see. It’s your magazine…
Christopher M. Halleron
(cover image by Joe Epstein)