By Cheryl Conway
When it comes to a large selection of liquor, beer and other hard to find alcoholic beverages, Sandy’s Wine & Spirits is in everyone’s corner…literally with stores in both cities inside Mt. Olive.
And in the center of it all is this hard working woman- Sandy Kranti of Budd Lake. As owner/founder since opening her first store in Budd Lake 18 years ago, Kranti, 61, operates both locations in Budd Lake and Flanders.
For Kranti, her success is a result of finding her passion, hard work and believing in herself.
“Be passionate about your dreams/goals, and success is inevitable,” Kranti advises other women in their road to fulfillment.
“To the women of all ages, find your passion and do more of the things that make you happy!”
March- the month dedicated to honoring women nationally and internationally for their strides with equality- is coming to a close but women should always be recognized.
“A woman deserves to be recognized as much as men for their accomplishments, sacrifices and hard work!” says Kranti.
While many women may still encounter obstacles in most professions, Kranti says her journey may have been less bumpy than others.
“Fortunately I have not had any womanly struggles but have had startup and entrepreneurial challenges most entrepreneurs face,” says Kranti.
“Growing the business took tremendous amount of hard work, perseverance and drive which sometimes thinking back is hard to fathom,” explains Kranti. “It is a tough business but is a lot of fun as we are passionate about it. However, I have had a good team around me with great employees and professional relationships to make this business successful.”
Originally from India, Kranti had been visiting the United States since the late 70’s. She has lived in the U.S. since 1993 and has operated several businesses with her family since that time.
“I was involved in the restaurant business in California for several years and then into commercial and residential real estate,” explains Kranti. “The opportunity for this business [Sandy’s Wine & Spirits] was brought to our attention and after some due diligence we decided to dive into it.”
Successful Business Owner
Sandy’s Wine & Spirits opened in 2001, on Route 46, across from Budd Lake and later relocated east to its current location at 100 Rt. 46, Budd Lake.
Her second store just opened two years ago and has already expanded.
“We just launched our second location in late 2017 and is trending to be one of the leading stores in the area,” says Kranti. This second location is located at 293 Rt. 206 in Flanders.
Sandy’s is an upbeat and trendy specialty alcoholic beverage store specializing in boutique winery; direct wine with a large selection of liquor, beer and other hard to find alcoholic beverages. Both stores are 6,000 sq. ft. with one of the largest selections and a wide variety of alcoholic products.
Outside of her business, Kranti enjoys family, fitness and health.
“I definitely have my hands full with the businesses and family,” says Kranti. “I am a mother of one son who is in the business with me and I am also blessed with two grandchildren. I am also a dog lover and have my bulldogs who are celebrities in Mt. Olive.
“My son is 35 and my grandchildren are at a fun age of 3 and 1,” continues Kranti. “I am passionate about fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle and I just became a certified yoga instructor. I am a big purveyor of mental health and practice different types of yoga along with my regular gym and aerobics routines.”
Moving forward, Kranti hopes to increase her involvement within Mt. Olive.
“Since I have been living in the area since 2001 and now have two stores that are a big part of the community, our goal is to be more involved with the town and local activities,” says Kranti. “Over the years I have contributed significantly to local authorities as well as the township as they are pillars of our community. I have also done charitable events through my businesses to raise money for various causes.”
Being able to handle all that’s “in her cup,” is a skill she works on every day, and like a good glass of wine…only gets better with age.
“I wear a lot of hats and have to juggle numerous things from day to day being a business owner so definitely have developed some special skills along the way,” concludes Kranti. “However, I have an excellent palate for wine and now am a certified yoga instructor!”
Clip Coupons for SANDY'S WINE & SPIRITS
By Cheryl Conway
Long hours, hard work, support from her husband and the notion that failure does not exist has paid off for this local female entrepreneur.
Sabita Singh, 42, of Flanders is the retail business owner of Dollar & Party Mart in Flanders and Hackettstown. As the owner for the past 15 years, Singh’s stores specialize in the sale of
party supplies, party rentals and general dollar merchandise.
Born and raised in India, Singh has lived in the United States for about 19 years. She is an inspiration to many for her success in making it in a land that was foreign to her at first with language barriers and gender obstacles.
“It has been an extraordinary journey for me to acclimate to the culture and learn the language,” says Singh who completed high school in India, and took ESL classes for two years when she came to the U.S.
“I’m proud of myself for successfully transitioning into an entrepreneur,” she says. “My experience has given me a lot self-confidence. Something I’ve picked up along this journey is to negotiate and be fair. I believe this is an essential skill to have regardless.”
Singh has enjoyed her time as a business owner.
“I enjoy interpersonal connections and love to meet and work with people,” she says. “Through my business venture, I've had the opportunity to meet various vendors and establish a rapport with them. I’ve built a diverse team to help support my business. I find immense happiness in caring for my customers and successfully meeting their needs.
“I enjoy participating in events in my township like food trucks and carnivals,” she adds. “It is a great opportunity to meet and network with other entrepreneurs like myself and build relationships. You can learn a great deal about how to make your town better by going and participating in these events.”
Outside of work, Singh finds time for her family and pastimes.
“I really enjoy travelling and learning about new places,” says Singh. “I’ve been happily married for 28 years and I’m a mother of two children - a 27 year old daughter, Suchitra; and a 23-year old son, Rahul.
“I also have a Siberian husky, Rontu, who is 7 years old and my youngest,” she adds.
Juggling her role as a mother, wife and female entrepreneur had its challenges, admits Singh.
“It was very important to me to gain trust and respect as a woman running a business,” says Singh. “Needless to say, the stress level and expectations were high. My husband was very supportive and helped with investing to buy a store and setting me up to get started in my venture.
“Failure was not an option for me,” she says. “I worried that I wouldn’t be able to manage my home amidst pursuing my goals. I worked very long hours and put in plenty of hard work in the beginning and I didn’t want to neglect my kids. My husband and I were true partners and took turns with managing home and work responsibilities.”
With March designated, both nationally and internationally, as a time to recognize the strides women have taken to “make it in this world,” Singh is one of those women to complement for her job well done.
“Women are the best at inspiring each other,” says Singh. “Showcasing successful women and their challenges will help other women to be able to relate. Other women’s successes in the face of hardship will no doubt motivate aspiring female entrepreneurs to grow in their own space. We can all learn from each other, regardless of background and experience.”
She offers some well thought-out advice to other women who have goals and dreams that are striving to achieve.
“Take advantage of opportunities when they appear but at the same time don’t just wait for them come your way,” advises Singh. “Follow your dreams and work hard to create opportunities for yourself. Take risks - sometimes it will be worth and sometimes not. The key is to never give up. “Failure” is just a chance to forge an alternative path. There are always solutions to all problems, you just have to preserve and find right solutions for you and your business.
“It is important for us women to make your own identity in our families as well as in the society,” says Singh. “Build yourself and your brand until people recognize you and your work and continue to forge the way forward.”
Willing to learn from one’s mistakes is also a huge step in the right direction toward success, she says.
“One mistake I made as a business woman was making emotional decisions,” explains Singh. “I had to face the repercussions of doing so by having to forcefully close one of my stores due to problematic higher management and unrealistic financial demands. I chose, however, to open up another store in the same town without doing objectively doing my research. This is something I regret because it wasn’t the smartest decision. I poured my time and money into something that ultimately wasn’t fruitful. Always think and consider your options comprehensively and objectively before making a decision.”
Be open to change and believing in oneself also goes a long way.
“It is important to be flexible and adapt as the world changes,” says Singh. “The retail industry is constantly change and it is essential to listen to the customer’s needs and evolve with it. Last but not least, believe in yourself!”
Help share her success story
The month of March is known for quite a few things such as the start of spring, March Madness for college basketball fans, Daylight Savings, St. Patrick’s Day and Purim. At a national level, March has been recognized in so many various ways such as National Craft Month, National Kidney Month, Red Cross Month, Music in Our Schools Month, National Nutrition Month, National Puppy Day, National Peanut Month, International Waffle Month, to name a few.
While puppies, and peanut butter, music and basketball are loved by many, women are also recognized in the month of March- both nationally and internationally with National Women’s History Month and International Women's Day, celebrated annually on March 8 as a focal point in the movement for women’s rights and women's achievements.
Each year centers around a different theme such as Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives in 2018; Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030 in 2017; Equality for Women is Progress for All in 2014; and Empower Rural Women, End Poverty and Hunger in 2012.
For this year, the International Women's Day 2019 campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter, which is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world, according to the International Women’s Day website.
Although International Women's Day is celebrated annually on March 8, the global campaign theme continues all year long to encourage action.
According to Wikipedia, International Women’s Day dates back to Feb. 28, 1909, when the Socialist Party of America organized a Women's Day in New York; the 1910 International Socialist Woman's Conference suggested a Women's Day be held annually. March 8 then became a national holiday in Soviet Russia in 1917, after women gained suffrage there, and then grew internationally in 1975 when the United Nations adopted the day.
Today, International Women's Day is a public holiday recognized in some countries. Some plans protests that day, others celebrate womanhood.
To celebrate National Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, Mt. Olive Online has been recognizing local women and their achievements, whether small or great. Throughout the month of March, this publication has been featuring women from Flanders and Budd Lake who have made some kind of impact or change, or have gone above and beyond in making a difference.
By Cheryl Conway
Those who like to walk or hike through Turkey Brook Park can thank this local teen who recently built bridges for a smoother trail.
Mt. Olive High School senior Colin McCutcheon, soon to be 18 on April 6, built three puncheons or small bridges on the local White Trail near Turkey Brook Park. The work was McCutcheon’s Eagle Scout project.
“I chose this project mainly because I believe it benefits in the community, in that it upgrades a trail that is contained within the community that anyone can use to get out in nature,” says McCutcheon of Budd Lake.
Since he was in middle school, McCutcheon has been a member of Boy Scout Troop 312, based out of Sandshore Elementary School, but his days with scouting trace back to his elementary school years as a Cub Scout.
“I had joined Boy Scouts as a natural extension of Cub Scouts, and I joined Cub Scouts mostly because my brother was already involved in scouting; he also became an Eagle Scout before I did,” says McCutcheon.
While there are many things he likes about being a Boy Scout, McCutcheon says camping and hiking ranks high on that list.
“Although I've been busy recently as a senior with college stuff, camping/hiking is a great way to get out into nature and just wind down and take a break,” he says.
In order to be an Eagle Scout, members are requested to complete a project that benefits the community.
“My Eagle Project was building three puncheons, small bridges, on the local White Trail (10, 20, and 30 feet) near Turkey Brook Park in order to make traversing marshy areas easier,” he explains. “The materials I used most were 6 ft. X 6 ft. and 10 ft. X 2 ft. wooden planks along with screws.”
Work on the project began almost a year ago and is complete.
“I started working on the project around April/May 2018, which was mostly my planning phase where I was deciding the scope and purpose of the project,” he says.
“It is finished; the planning and approval process took several months, but the actual preparation and construction only took two days to complete as I had a fair amount of volunteers, around 20,” he says.
To help conceptualize the idea for his project, McCutcheon says he worked with a township employee.
“The area that I worked on was shown to me by a member of the Open Spaces Committee in Mt. Olive who had worked with other scouts on their Eagle Projects from my troop, and I worked with this individual to pinpoint areas of the trail that needed the most attention,” he says.
The cost of the project was about round $1,500, he says, with funds “all raised via donations given either directly or through the GoFundMe website by members of the community, with some people donating as much as $100.
“Besides the donations I received, I was helped immensely by the scouts and adults of my troop, as well as by some friends of mine and family members,” he adds.
McCutcheon is pleased with his completed project, and so too is the community.
“I think the project went extremely well and I am satisfied with the result,” he says. ”I am incredibly grateful for all the support I received for this project.
“I got positive feedback and support both during and after the project,” he says.
“Besides the support shown through monetary donations, I received multiple messages over Facebook and social media from members of the community. These comments either touched on how they used the trail and the project would be beneficial to them, or were just general positive support comments.”
More work needs to be done and can make great projects for other Scouts working toward their Eagle Scout.
“I wish I had more time and resources to touch on other parts of the trail that need attention, but those spots can be the focus of future eagle projects,” says McCutcheon, who serves as the president of MOHS chapter of Science National Honor Society; treasurer of the senior class; member of National English Honor Society, National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, and World Language Honor Society; and is part of DECA, a business role-playing club.
Pictured in photo: Colin McCutcheon
The Mt. Olive Police Department is looking for donations to support its upcoming Police Unity Tour.
As participants since 2002, several members of the MOPD plan to take part on May 9 through May 12 and are seeking community support.
The Police Unity Tour, established in 1997, is a 300-mile bicycle ride from New Jersey to Washington D.C., which raises awareness and honors those law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty.
Since its establishment, the Police Unity Tour has donated nearly 16 million dollars to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (nleomf.com) based in Washington D.C., according to a support letter from the MOPD. Those donations have come directly from the fund raising efforts of local, state and federal law enforcement officers who are required to individually raise a minimum of $1,950 to take part in the ride.
As with previous years, officers from the MOPD have primarily relied on the generous donations made by Mt. Olive businesses and community members to participate.
This year, four Mt. Olive officers- Chad Rossy, George Jadue, Christopher Saunders and Tyler Mullooly- will look to take part in the Police Unity Tour, which will be starting in East Hanover on May 9, and arrive in Washington D.C. on May 12.
“In order our reach our financial requirements for the ride, we are seeking donations from our local community members and businesses,” the MOPD letter states. “Your donation to the Police Unity Tour is fully tax deductible (Tax ID #22-3530541) and most importantly greatly appreciated.”
Donation Checks should be made payable to: Police Unity Tour – Mount Olive, P.O. Box 134, Budd Lake, NJ 07828.
The Morris Museum in Morristown is once again hosting the Fine Art and Design Program Portfolio Exhibition featuring fine art and design-work created by students at County College of Morris in Randolph. This event provides CCM students a venue to display their work to a larger audience outside of the college.
The exhibition, consisting of works produced by students taking the Portfolio and Presentation class through CCM’s Department of Art and Design, runs through April 22. A reception, free and open to the public, will take place Thursday, April 18, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“Portfolio development is the focus of our programs and an effective portfolio is the calling card of every creative professional,” says Clayton E. Allen, CCM professor of Visual Arts. “Students learn to critique and select their best work to gain invaluable experience installing and exhibiting in a prestigious professional setting. On display are a variety of professional portfolio elements such as websites, business cards, PowerPoints, printed books and written documents for the purpose of marketing their work. Students may submit these materials to galleries, museums and prospective clients or use them to transfer to four-year colleges and universities. The exhibition at the Morris Museum is a wonderful opportunity for our students to showcase their exceptional creative work.”
The exhibition represents the summation of all of a student’s work from his or her years of creative studies at CCM. For information on the Department of Art and Design at CCM, visithttp://tinyurl.com/yc4pfzef/.
“The Promethean,” the award-winning County College of Morris (CCM) student art and literary publication, once again has come out a winner competing against professional design firms.
The 2017-2018 edition of “The Promethean” was presented with a Graphic Design USA American Graphic Design Award, marking the 13th time since 2005 the publication has been selected for recognition in that contest.
The American Graphic Design Award is the largest showcase for original work created by professional design firms and individuals, including publications, invitations, self-promotional items, signage and websites. There is no separate category for student-produced work, meaning “The Promethean” was judged against professionally produced material.
More than 10,000 items were submitted for consideration this year, but only about 1,000, or 10 percent, of the entries were selected for recognition.
“The Promethean” student design team for the 2017-2018 edition consisted of Dhrupa Patel, of Parsippany; Matthew Wotasek, of Hackettstown; Emily Ambrosi, of Denville; and Margaret Koenig, of Mt. Olive Twp.
The 2017-2018 edition also recently was presented with the Graphic Design USA American Inhouse Design Award. That was the seventh time the publication received an Inhouse Design Award since the contest was instituted in 2011.
“The Promethean is a showcase for the best that CCM has to offer,” said Professor Kathy McNeil, adviser for the publication. “I am so proud of our students who worked on this edition, once again demonstrating the strength of our design programs.”
To learn more about the design programs and other degrees and certificates offered by CCM, attend the Open House on Saturday, April 13. For more information on the Open House, go to www.ccm.edu/openhouse2019/.
Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, (D-11th District) toured County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph on Tuesday, March 19, to learn about the programs and facilities the college provides to ensure students obtain a high-quality education and are prepared to excel in the jobs of tomorrow.
“It’s a pleasure to learn about all the new and innovative things that are going on at County College of Morris,” said Sherrill. “I’m so proud to represent a district that includes CCM. Our community colleges are doing it best. They are nimble and able to move through changes quickly.”
Sherrill was provided with tours of the college’s engineering lab, nursing facilities, media center, art gallery and music technology center. During her visit, college officials shared that more than half of the nurses and about 90 percent of the radiographers and respiratory therapists who work in Morris County are CCM graduates.
Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, president of CCM, noted that the college’s nursing graduates consistently exceed national pass rates on the licensure exam. In addition, he conveyed that as part of the college’s Forward campaign funding has been raised to construct a healthcare simulation center that will further enhance the learning of healthcare professionals.
“We would not be able accomplish what we do without strong partnerships with government officials, businesses and organizations such as the Morris County Chamber of Commerce,” said Iacono.
In the area of manufacturing and engineering, the college has broken ground for an Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center to help meet the demand for skilled professionals in those areas and expanding fields such as robotics. The college also offers a program, in conjunction with the Morris County Vocational School District, for high school students where they earn college credits in engineering, design and advanced manufacturing. As part of that program, they work as contractors for NASA building parts for equipment, such as storage lockers, for the International Space Station.
Chairwoman of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Sherrill commented that such efforts are particularly valuable as artificial intelligence continues to develop and the jobs of the future start to emerge.
Also taking part in the tour were Randolph Mayor Jim Loveys and Township Manager Stephen Mountain, Morris County Chamber of Commerce President Meghan Hunscher, CCM Trustee Chair Paul Licitra and Trustees Jeffrey Advokat and Barbara Hadzima.
Wrapping up her visit, Sherrill spoke with CCM student leaders and answered their questions about state and national issues, as she shared some of her impressions of the college.
“A lot of what we need to focus on is the future of work,” she said. “Its places like CCM that are at the forefront of the new economy.”
CCM To Host Morris Growth Conference For Area Businesses
Business owners looking for new strategies to grow their companies will have an opportunity to hear from leading experts in such areas as branding, peak performance, sales and more at Morris Growth Con 2019 at County College of Morris in Randolph.
Morris Growth Con 2019 will bring together eight nationally recognized motivational speakers on Monday, April 15, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Student Community Center.
Organized by Jacobi Enterprises, together with CCM and the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, the event will offer business owners the opportunity to learn how to stay on track with their growth plans, better meet the needs of the marketplace, keep their teams motivated and inspired and stay ahead of their competition.
“CCM is highly regarded for the quality of its academic programs, but the other part of our responsibility is to support businesses,” says Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, president of CCM. “As I like to say, our business is to make your business work even better and Morris Growth Con is designed to help accomplish that.”
James Jacobi, owner of Jacobi Enterprises, says “We’re bringing together world-class experts to equip business owners to grow their companies. Top-down leadership is the key ingredient to the success of business and this is an excellent venue to obtain new ideas and strategies to grow your business.”
Speaking at the event will be Tricia Benn, executive vice president of the C-Suite Network; Coach Burt, coach for aggressive-minded companies and individuals; Roddy Chong, world-premiere violinist and business motivational speaker; Danelle Delgado, international speaker and business strategist; David Meltzer, CEO of Sports 1 Marketing; Hank Norman, brand builder and media mogul; Jason Sisneros, public speaker, entrepreneur and philanthropist; and Lee Smith, CEO of Sales Fuel, one of the top leading sales consultants of 2018.
“Entrepreneurship is on the rise and Morris County is the home of innovation, determination and potential,” says Jacobi. “Morris Growth Con is designed to help business owners to take advantage of the opportunities to grow in our thriving community.”
“The synergy that will be there will be absolutely explosive and exciting,” adds Iacono. “I think that we're going to see a lot of partnering, a lot of great ideas being exchanged, and a lot of businesses coming together for our future on that day.”
The cost of the event ranges from $97 for live stream; $197 for general admission; $897 for the Executive All-Access Pass, which includes 15 minutes with a speaker, along with breakfast, lunch and a wine reception. To view all price packages and to register, go to www.morrisgrowthcon.com/.
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Join in at the First Presbyterian Church’s Chapel in Hackettstown on Friday, April 26, from 5 p.m.-7 p.m., for the “Tastefully British” Fish & Chips Dinner.
Tickets are $15 for adults; and $8 for children under 12.
Advanced ticket purchase is required! For tickets, call Ellen at 908-637-6236.
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