As you may imagine, canvassing South Jersey for our annual Best of the Best feature is no small job. It’s the culmination of a year’s worth of eating, drinking, shopping and pampering. OK, we realize that doesn’t actually sound too bad, but trust us, it’s a lot of hard work. We traveled through¬out the area in search of worthy winners from both well-known establishments and those off the beaten path. The payoff is being able to bring you our selections for everything from chocolates and cigars to fine jewelry and flowers. To make the list even more comprehensive, we’ve also included our readers’ choices for their favorite places in a variety of categories. It certainly was a busy year, but we’re always up for the job.
Paper Source’s greeting cards, unique gifts and wrapping paper selection will delight even the most seasoned DIY-er, while the friendly staff and cozy interior feels more like a local staple than national chain. Personally, we love the greeting card selection. Anyone tired of the usual sentimental selections will appreciate the shop’s eclectic offerings: Think quippy sayings and surly cats in birthday hats. Marlton, (856) 552-2141, PaperSource.com
PET SUPPLY STORE
Concord Pet Foods & Supplies
If your pet has more dietary restrictions than you do, this local shop will soon be your go-to in caring for your furry companion. Carrying high-end food brands ranging from Fromm to Primal freeze dried raw food to Science Diet, quality treats and real, meaty bones—yes, we’re serious—you’ll find everything you’ll ever need for your dog, cat, fish, reptile, bunny and more. Cherry Hill, (856) 429-1690; Mount Laurel, (856) 780-5552; ConcordPetFoods.com
The Village Quilter
DIY-ers everywhere know the frustration that comes with not being able to find the material for a big project. The Village Quilter puts your fears at ease with hundreds of different fabric materials, designs and designers, ranging from crafty and trendy swatches to more timeless colors and collections that will leave you with limitless possibilities. Mount Holly, (609) 265-0011, TheVillageQuilter.com
HARD-TO-FIND WOMEN’S DESIGNER WARES
The local staple, which recently relocated to the Moorestown Mall after leaving its Marlton location, carries hard-to-find designer wares from the likes of Jerome Dreyfuss, Phillip Lim, Matthew Williamson and Ivan Grundahl. It’s a well-curated, minimalist fashionista’s haven. Moorestown, (856) 914-0300, Erdon.co
HIGH-END WOMEN’S CLOTHING
Tehen has long been known as a destination for securing women’s designer clothing and accessories. But it’s the personal attention and style-savvy advice customers receive from the staff while perusing the racks of Trina Turk, Tory Burch, Tahari and the like that has consistently pushed this boutique into Best of the Best territory. Cherry Hill, (856) 424-4347, LeeNewman.com
BEAUTY SUPPLY STORE
This smallish storefront with two Marlton locations has quickly become our favorite place to score hard-to-find beauty bounty. From Nars lipstick in nearly every shade available to Clarins’ top-of-the-line skincare serums and sunscreens, Blue Mercury has got you covered. Marlton, (856) 985-9226, (856) 810-7606, BlueMercury.com
From Pandora to Vera Bradley to Brighton Collectibles, you’re bound to procure a small token of appreciation for any woman in your life. But it’s their selection of Alex & Ani bracelets that really impresses us. We might just pick up a few for ourselves, thank you very much. Medford, (856) 596-6536, Fond-Memories.com
If your specs need an upgrade, why not try on a pair of Tom Fords, Ditas or Chanels for size? This local purveyor of eyewear is family owned and operated, and has something for every taste—and after visiting, you can guarantee no one else will see the world quite like you do. Marlton, (856) 797-0600, FortunaOptical.net
The folks at Lee Newman know how to make a man look good, with lots of casual looks, shoes and accessories. But when it’s time to get buttoned up, their array of high quality suits, dress shirts and ties will have you looking better than you ever have. Not sure if a look is for you? The friendly and knowledgeable staff will make sure you’re on the cutting edge without overdoing it. Cherry Hill, (856) 424-8388, LeeNewman.com
Gorshin Trading Post
This charming Haddonfield storefront boasts a collection of unique and artisan men’s accessories, sure to please even the most discerning of shoppers. Think handcrafted shavers and brush sets, Bulldog Skincare items and an impressive selection of rugged, yet functional, duffels, field bags and briefcases, perfect for him to take to work—or on his next adventure. Haddonfield, (856) 427-6800, Gorshin.com
This Marlton shop has all the usual baubles and jewels one would come to expect from a high-end jewelry shop, but it’s their custom designs that really shine. With threef full-time designers on staff, and a combination of computer design and good old-fashioned pencil and paper, one of their master craftsmen just might create your next family heirloom. Marlton, (856) 983-6337, FamilyJewelers.com
This Medford jeweler has an unparallel selection of necklaces—from diamond pendants to precious stones with halos, to the trendy gold monogram necklaces, the perfect choice for any woman in your life, from your wife to your mother to your teenage daughter. Medford, (609) 654-2234, JGKronenberger.com
Put a ring on it with the help of this longtime respected South Jersey jeweler. Billig has a massive collection of engagement rings, from brands like Zeghani, Michael M., Danhov and Scott Kay. Seal the deal with his-and-hers wedding bands, ranging from diamond-encrusted to simple gold varieties. Marlton, (856) 983-2300, BilligJewelers.com
Haddonfield Fine Jewelers
From show stopping cocktail rings to yellow diamond earrings to geometric pendants, this Haddonfield shop—a reincarnation of the former Sam S. Yampell Jewelers—isn’t just defined by its top-notch jewelry selection; the staff is knowledgeable, helpful and truly committed to helping you select the perfect piece for that someone special. Haddonfield, (856) 427-4465, HaddonfieldJewelers.com
David Arlen Jewelers
Sometimes, the brand name matters. Just ask David Arlen Jewelers in Hainesport, which carries top designers such as Simon G. and Pandora to Movado and Philip Stein—and a knowledgeable staff and impressive selection, to boot. Hainesport, (609) 914-0404, DavidArlen.com
Jay Roberts Jewelers
If you’re going to invest in a new watch, you want to make sure you’ve got the cream of the crop to pick from. Jay Roberts carries all the best designers, like Tag Heuer, Breitling, Cartier and Movado, brands with a reputation for success that will make you the envy of the board room. Marlton, (856) 596-8600, JayRobertsJewelers.com
Young Minds Toys
Founded on the belief that learning should be fun, Young Minds Toys is a store stocked with games, puzzles and toys that encourage children’s creativity and challenge their imagination. We love the broad range of categories, from arts and crafts to vintage collectibles, and there is even a section of the store dedicated to STEM for the future generation of engineers. Marlton, (856) 810-1122, YoungMindsToys.com
Hops and Grapes
They say variety is the spice of life, and at Hops and Grapes, where they offer an unprecedented selection of wine, liquor and beer—be sure to check out their craft assortment—you’ll be able to try something new every time you visit. And their cheese shop isn’t too shabby either. Glassboro, (856) 582-8110, HopsAndGrapesOnline.com
The Running Co.
If you’re familiar with the running scene, you know shoe companies change the designs of their shoes every year—hello, Mizuno Wave Rider 18. Even if you’re not, know that The Running Co. carries all the latest shoe styles—and running attire—and will even offer to fit you into the best shoe type for your feet. We guarantee one visit will make you the most current runner out there. Haddonfield, (856) 428-1666; Medford, (609) 451-5191; Moorestown, (856) 234-9371; Mullica Hill, (856) 223-9350; RunningCo.com
Brava Vita Flowers
Owned and operated by the D’Orazio family from 1974 to 1988, this shop was reopened by the original owner’s son two years ago with a new name that means “the good life.” Their stunning flowers and creative designs will spice up your wedding day or special event, or even earn you points at home as a surprise gift for your spouse. Washington Township, (856) 256-2020, BravaVitaFlowersAndGifts.com
Heritage Premium Cigar Shop
Tucked away in a shopping center off the beaten path is this cigar-lovers’ paradise. You’ll find all your favorite sticks from Ashton, Padron, Fuente and many more, but we recommend becoming a member to enjoy their slick lounge where you can chop it up with other aficionados while seated in plush leather chairs watching the game on the big screen. Marlton, (856) 988-7665, HeritagePremiumCigars.com
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 4 (July, 2015).
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