Blog

Meet Jen & Dave, Abandoned Luncheonette

A creative couple providing a profound community experience through their business.

About

Jen & Dave have created a welcoming “nosh-n-shop” that truly represents their personality. The Abandoned Luncheonette, located in Moorestown NJ, is a vegetarian restaurant / coffee shop that sells cool crafts, affordable art, a curated selection of vinyl records, CD’s, movies, books and vintage items and curiosities.

Jen and Dave think of the Abandoned Luncheonette as an ongoing project that allows them to have fun and be creative as it continues to evolve as a community gathering space.

People can expect to find delicious vegetarian and vegan food prepared with intention, using a variety of local ingredients. In addition, you may find an array of interesting beverage options utilizing ingredients from like-minded vendors.

The Shop

The Abandoned Luncheonette is a small space that can accommodate 12-15 seated customers. Its location is off-the-beaten-path, several blocks away from Main Street, the town’s primary commercial thoroughfare.

Please press play to view video

“We feel like the combination of the food we offer, the merchandise we carry, and the cozy, welcoming environment inside makes our place unlike any other in the area,” says Dave.

During store hours, Jen takes care of the cooking/food preparation and Dave takes food orders. The shop has a steady flow of costumers and folks rarely wait to find a seat. Moreover, outside the store, merch is displayed on tables along the sidewalk.

The Abandoned Luncheonette hosts different kinds of events throughout the year. Usually there is special activity like live music, bingo, music sharing, book reading/signing, special guest, etc. During the event Jen & Dave like to limit the menu to select snacks/treats, rather than full-service. These events often occur outside of their typical Saturday 9am-3pm hours.

Moreover, some menu items stay the same week-to-week, and throughout the seasons the menu keeps changing for various reasons.

“It depends on what ingredients are in-season, what is selling well, and the goals of having some consistency as well as new food items/ingredients/variations for our customers to try,” says Jen.

Community

Jen and Dave are aware that access to good food, good music, good books, friendly people, and safe places to hang out are essential to any great community. Based on the warm feedback they receive from the community, we can assume that they provide all those things, in addition to hosting fun events, supporting local artists, and raising funds and awareness for causes they like to support.

The abandoned luncheonette has collaborated with others to plan and promote several events. These include:

Art show with wood worker Sean Kain (from Moorestown)

Book signing/food tasting with chefs/authors Ruth Fox and Vicky Cohen (Cherry Hill area)

Live music performances by Red Desert Motel (Woodbury area)

Collector, Music Band (Moorestown)

Film screening/discussion with Moorestown natives Jon Khanlian and Haig Hovnanian,

Vegan dessert night with The Chilly Banana (Moorestown/Philadelphia area)

Recently, they also have collaborated with Pee-Wee’s Pints ice cream (Haddon Township) to create the world’s greatest Chipwich.

And of course, they have had a table set up on Main St. for Moorestown Day. They are proud members of the Moorestown Business Association.

Future Plans

Their long-range plans are ever-changing; however, they plan on continuing the Abandoned Luncheonette project unless it’s no longer fun. On the other hand, they are having fun with how things are now. They hope to have special events every month or two, including artists / musicians / authors / chefs with whom they have not collaborated before.

Meet John Welch

A young electronic dance music (EDM) producer shines in Moorestown, NJ. 

This hobby started five years ago when Mr. Welch was first introduced to EDM by a friend and since then his love for the genre has increased exponentially. In respect to his EDM passion, he is self-taught; however, he carries a strong music background; seven years of drum and two years of piano lessons which helps him to fine-tune his new electric creations. 

“I think the fact that all you really need is a laptop and the appropriate software, has helped me to become a better producer. It’s such an easy and casual habit to pick up in terms of convenience and equipment needed. I especially love the idea that anyone can create a “Hit Song.”” says Mr. Welch. 

Furthermore, Mr. Welch became interested in DJing along with two other friends. While in high school, they started to DJ for a few years performing for school events, sweet sixteens, graduation parties and shows at a club in Philadelphia opening for a few big name EDM artists. 

“I think the most satisfying thing for me is to listen to a song I created a couple years ago and compare the overall quality to something I’ve made more recently. This helps me realize how far I’ve actually come in terms of experience in producing. In addition, my biggest goal is to create music that others can enjoy.” says Mr. Welch.

Near the end of Mr. Welch’s high school year, his desire for creating his own electronic music was omnipresent in his mind. As a result, on his own he began by simply playing with music software. For the past couple of years, from his home studio he shared his music to a close trusted group of people, and as of now, he knows that he has progressed to the point where he feels comfortable releasing his music through public outlets. 

Video: John Welch talks about his hobby, producing eletronic dance music.

“For me it’s less about “being famous” and more about enjoying what I do. If more and more people start to listen to my music in the future, then that’s just a perk of doing what I love.” says Mr. Welch.

Meet Gary Pizzigati

What happens when the simple act of walking becomes your passion

Gary Pizzigati reveals the hidden benefits of his lifetime passion.

Nancy & Gary Pizzigati

“The runner’s high can also be achieved through walking.”  GP 

Gary Pizzigati is an engineer who retired in 2017 from the defense industry, and a permanent resident of Moorestown, NJ. He has been walking four to six miles almost every day for over three decades. 

Mr. Pizzigati grew up on Long Island, NY and studied mechanical engineering at Lehigh University. In 1981 he moved to Moorestown NJ to work for RCA main plant, now Lockheed Martin. There he met his wife Nancy. 

Gary_Pizzigati_Interview_170726_1168.jpg

“She’s the wonderment of my life!” says, Mr. Pizzigati.

Mr. Pizzigati started jogging with a group of fellow engineers during lunch time at work. However, he had to switch from running to walking after several leg injuries. After adjusting to walking, he realized that he could get the same results as when he was jogging, which are the physical exercise and mental clarity. In other words, Mr. Pizzigati had a breakthrough and walking became his passion and a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This moment was so significant to him that for ten days he avoided using his car, since he was at reasonable proximity to work and local stores where he frequently shops. From this point on, Mr. Pizzigati was resolute to incorporate walking in his daily routines, and the results opened the floodgates to a happier life.     

Mr. Pizzigati says that when he walked to work his thinking was more efficient, and on the way back home he cleared his mind from the workday stress. 

Mr. Pizzigati became more committed to walking thanks to the help of his first dog, Duchess, who helped him establish a firm routine. Currently, Mr. Pizzigati walks with Chaser, their second dog. Chaser can’t walk very far nowadays because she is older and injured. However, Mr. Pizzigati manages to get his long distance walk after walking Chaser in the early morning.  

Gary_Pizzigatti_170818_1698.jpg

Mr. Pizzigati is a friendly person, and enjoys sharing a quick hello with new and familiar people he sees on his walks. In other instances, people beep their horns when they see him. Also, he enjoys exchanging waves with the town’s police and local municipal workers. 

“…. there’s the fellow on Main Street who’s lots of times smoking a cigar on his front porch when I pass him. He’ll always look at his watch when he sees me and let me know if I’m on time or late,” says Mr. Pizzigati.

Mr. Pizzigati gets his motivation to walk from the discipline of a schedule and knowing what is to gain after a good long morning walk. 

“It’s my time. My time to think through a problem. Or my time to just let my mind wander. I don’t do meditation. But I suspect I get the same sort of benefits from the time I spend walking – and a good bit of cardio at the same time,” says Mr. Pizzigati.

Mr. Pizzigati continues to walk every day, in fact, it is rare not to see him walking (at a high pace) throughout the town waving hello to people and sometimes stopping to chat. His passion for walking is very inspiring. In addition, Mr. Pizzigati enjoys being friendly and having face to face interactions with others and I believe that today’s world benefits from people like him. 

Chaser and Gary Pizzigati

Mr. Pizzigati is also very aware that he is not alone on this planet and thinks beyond himself. 

“Every time we can substitute a mile of walking for a mile of driving, we’re doing good by the planet. We’re also doing good by ourselves. If Americans walked more and sat less, we’d have a healthier – and I think happier – society,” says Mr. Pizzigati.

by Randhy Rodriguez