Arlee’s Raw Blends, which offers a variety of organic cold pressed healthy raw juices and organic raw and vegan food products, plans to open its doors in downtown Trenton in mid-November with support from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA’s) Small Business Lease Assistance Program.
Co-founded by entrepreneur Paula Taylor and her brother Brian Moore, Arlee’s Raw Blends has been selling its products to customers since 2013. The new, 900-square-foot location on South Warren Street in Trenton is a complement to the already thriving Arlee’s Raw Blends shop in downtown Princeton, which currently employs 11 people. Taylor noted that the Trenton store will be open seven days a week and will offer in-store seating and online ordering, as well as pickup and delivery options.
“My brother and I started selling our raw juice blends to customers on the sidewalks of Warren Street when the city used to host weekly Wednesdays on Warren Street festivals, and they now participate on Thursdays at the Capital City Farmers Market,” Taylor said. “Establishing a permanent storefront here in the Capital City fulfills a longstanding dream for us, and I am very grateful to the NJEDA for helping me turn this dream into a reality.”
Taylor plans to hire up to eight employees from the Trenton area to staff the new location. She also noted that the contractor she is using to put the finishing touches on the South Warren Street location is also a Trenton resident.
The Small Business Lease Assistance Program reimburses businesses and nonprofit organizations 15 percent of annual lease payments for two years when they rent market-rate, first-floor office, industrial, or retail spaces for a minimum 5-year term. Businesses in the program can lease spaces of any size but will only receive NJEDA reimbursements on the first 5,000 square feet of leased space. The program is available in select areas in thirteen cities: Atlantic City, Camden, Trenton, Passaic, Paterson, Bridgeton, Jersey City, Millville, Mt. Holly, Phillipsburg, Plainfield, Salem, and Vineland. To ensure the greatest possible impact, the NJEDA has coordinated with participating municipalities to target specific areas of eligibility that fit the city’s long-term vision.
“Helping small businesses flourish in downtown commercial corridors is a key component of Governor Phil Murphy’s vision for a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy,” NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan said. “Seeing entrepreneurs creating jobs and opportunities for local residents underscores the economic value of the Small Business Lease Assistance Program.”
Taylor also credited the Trenton Downtown Association (TDA) with helping to offset the cost of her business’s façade. The Façade Improvement Grant Program helps downtown businesses within the Special Improvement District upgrade and refurbish their commercial business facade. She added that the TDA and the Trenton Parking Authority are partners in the Trenton Parking Initiative, which offers discounted garage parking for small business owners and their employees. In addition, the Parking Initiative provides visitors and patrons with one hour of free parking at the centrally located Liberty Commons Garage at 16 E. Front Street.