The Healthy Way
Unlike other waterproofers in New Jersey, we provide our customers with a streamlined process for all of their waterproofing needs. Our goal is to get to the crux of your home's issues. If we spot signs of water in your basement, we go right to the source of the problem, working hard to fix structural deficiencies to prevent problems like mold growth and foundation damage. We are proud to be New Jersey's one-stop shop for all of your basement waterproofing needs. New Jersey homeowners choose Healthy Way because our experts are friendly, experienced, harworking, and fully certified. We won't rest until your waterproofing problems are solved. Because we specialize in both interior and exterior waterproofing services, you won't have to worry about hiring a laundry list of contractors to correct your moisture problems. Healthy Way provides all-inclusive basement waterproofing in Hazlet, it's no surprise that New Jersey residents trust Healthy Way to make their homes more livable every day.
The Healthy Way Difference
At Healthy Way, we strive to set ourselves apart from the competition by offering the best basement waterproofing services in New Jersey. We won't be happy with our work until you are 100% satisfied, whether you need a thorough moisture inspection or a large-scale waterproofing project. Our basement waterproofing experts are certified, trained, and have worked on more than 4,000 repairs. They understand that your moisture problems aren't like anybody else's, which is why all of our waterproofing proposals are created specifically for your home. You won't find any "one-size-fits-all" solutions here, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
- Best warranties in the industry
- Free initial inspection
- Full-service basement waterproofing
- Mold remediation
- Foundation repair
- Water management solutions tailored to your unique situation
Once your basement waterproofing project is complete, we make it a point to keep our staff available to address any questions or concerns you may have. Our goal is your 100% satisfaction, from the moment you call our office to schedule an inspection to the time you sign off on our work.
Waterproofing Services in New Jersey
With more than two decades of experience and a team of fully certified and trained waterproofing professionals, there is no waterproofing project in New Jersey that we can't handle. When not addressed, water and moisture problems can cause serious health risks for your family. We're talking buckling walls, sinking foundations, and even toxic mold. With your home's value and your family's health on the line, you must attack these problems head-on, and the best way to do that is by bringing in the Healthy Way team. Some signs of existing water problems in your home can include:
- Signs of rust or oxidation on metal fixtures
- Mildew residue
- Water stains on your foundation's walls and floors
- Erosion of your concrete
- Mineral deposits found on pipes
- Flooded landscaping after heavy rain or snow
- Pooling water around your foundation's interior
- Humidity levels above 60% in your basement or crawlspace
Basement Waterproofing in Hazlet
Healthy Way has been providing the most trusted, effective basement waterproofing in New Jersey since 2007. Waterproofing your basement is crucial to protecting the value of your home and the safety of your family. That is why we only employ the best, brightest, fully-certified experts, who will treat your home like it was their very own. Taking shortcuts just isn't in our nature. We use innovative technology and time-tested techniques to discover and solve your basement's water-related problems.
Because basement wall leaks and water seepage are often caused by structural issues, external waterproofing is required. While some companies only seal the interior walls of your basement, Healthy Way goes the extra mile to fix your water issues inside and out. That way, your basement leaks stop for good.
Once we find the root of the water issues in your basement, we will get to work on a custom-designed solution that will exceed your basement waterproofing needs.
Our basement waterproofing services in New Jersey help prevent the following problems:
- Mold growth, which can cause serious health hazards for your family
- Basement flooding
- Loss of valuables
- Serious water damage to your home's walls and floors
- Decrease in home value
Don't wait to address the moisture developing in your basement - call Healthy Way today for a customized solution to your water seepage problems.
What Causes Moisture in Your Basement?
It's easy to spot water leaking through a crack in your basement, but most homeowners don't know that there is a potential for water issues without heavy rains or obvious signs of standing water. At Healthy Way, we try to educate our clients on the real causes of water in your basement. Here are two of the most common reasons why you might need basement waterproofing in Hazlet:
The "Clay Bowl" Effect
It might not be evident on the surface, but many basements are built in a below-grade dip, which is surrounded by backfill. Because backfill is made up of soil that was removed during foundation digging, it creates an empty shape or "bowl" effect. Once the foundation is finished, this loose soil is placed back around the foundation. Unfortunately, soil of this consistency is more absorbent and porous than the undisturbed soil around it, which is hard-packed and less porous. When rain or thunderstorms occurs, the soil closest to your home becomes saturated, putting pressure on your basement walls.
This kind of pressure affects homeowners with property built below the water table or on a hillside where water runs down a hill. When the soil around your foundation becomes saturated, it will expand and put intense pressure on the walls of your foundation and basement. This pressure can create cracks, giving water an easy route into your basement.
How Healthy Way Solves Your Basement Waterproofing Needs
Having a wet basement not only puts your health at risk, it lowers the value of your home and makes it more difficult to sell. The good news? We offer a number of waterproofing services and products to solve your problems fast. A few of our solutions include:
- Sump pumps
- Perimeter drainage systems
- Doorway drainage systems
- High-strength washer hoses
- Floor and wall crack repair
- Replacement windows
- Flood protection for your water heater
When you use Healthy Way for basement waterproofing in New Jersey, you can rest easy knowing that all our systems come with a written, lifetime warranty. This warranty is transferrable, meaning you can re-establish your home's value and give future owners confidence knowing that their new home is protected.
The Healthy Way Basement Waterproofing Process
Because every home is different, your basement waterproofing solution could be vastly different than that of your next-door neighbor. Many factors play a part when it comes to keeping your basement dry and safe for living. As a general rule, we approach each issue with a "prevention over repair" mindset. By taking this stance, we give our clients a more cost-effective, long-term resolution. We're not in the business of putting a "Band-Aid" on your water problem - we want to fix your issue completely, so you don't have to worry about recurring problems. Our effective basement waterproofing systems include a mix of the following strategies:
Interior waterproofing methods usually start with our team ensuring that any holes or cracks in your basement floors, walls, and windows are sealed properly. Sealing cracks in your basement is an important first step since this is usually the first place where water can enter your home. Our sealants keep your basement dry and help prevent more moisture from finding its way into your home. Interior waterproofing strategies like these also help lower humidity levels in your basement. While sealants and other interior waterproofing strategies help correct initial issues, they don't usually solve the underlying problem causing leaks in your basement. Those issues are most often found outside your home.
Once our team is finished with your interior waterproofing, we will move to the exterior of your home. Waterproofing the outside of your home is often a more complex, nuanced goal. Because of the difficult nature of exterior waterproofing, we recommend you consult with our team of professionals before tackling the job on your own. Generally speaking, our team beings the outdoor waterproofing process by excavating the soil around your home's foundation. Once we remove the soil surrounding your foundation, our experts will apply a polymer-based sealant to any cracks we discover. This sealant is a long-term solution and should remain intact for the life of your home. While the Healthy Way team solves your outdoor moisture problems, we will also check your downspouts, to make sure they aren't clogged. An inefficient gutter system does a poor job of directing water away from your home's foundation, which can cause more moisture to seep into your basement over time.
One of the most common reasons that people need basement waterproofing in cityname is because they have a poor drainage system. A proper drainage system is paramount in keeping your basement dry and your family safe. These systems are meant to direct water away from your home and come in many forms, from French Drains to simple systems like ground soil. If you're thinking of installing a complex drainage system, save yourself some time and check the soil around your foundation first to make sure it isn't retaining moisture. If a more complex system like a sump pump is required, it's best to work with certified professionals like those at Healthy Way, to make sure your drainage system is installed correctly.
WHICH WATERPROOFING SOLUTION IS RIGHT FOR ME?
Because every home is different, it's hard to say what kind of waterproofing solution is right for your situation. Most homeowners require a combination of interior and exterior waterproofing. There are dozens of factors that come into play when it comes to waterproofing your home, so the answer to your problem may be different than your neighbor's. The good news is that Healthy Way is fully equipped to handle whatever moisture issue you're having. We will work tirelessly to make certain your basement is dry, mold-free, and safe to enjoy. That way, you can get back to living life rather than worrying about mold growth or foundation damage.Contact Us
GET IT DONE RIGHT, THE FIRST TIME
Other companies may offer temporary or partial solutions. At Healthy Way, we believe in correcting the problem completely, so you save money and have long-term peace of mind. Our goal is to fix your problem to prevent it from coming back, or we won't do the work!
If you require quality basement waterproofing, it all starts with a FREE inspection from our certified waterproofing experts. We will take as much time as you need to find your problem, develop a solution, and walk you through our process step-by-step.
Don't let water leaks and foundation damage create a dangerous environment in your home; contact the experts at Healthy Way today!
Latest News in Hazlet, NJ
Actor Kevin Sebastian Recalls Hazlet Roots Ahead Of Film Fest
Kevin Sebastian's new TV series will help kick off Kevin Smith's Atlantic Highlands Smodcastle Film Festival next week.HAZLET, NJ — An actor whose love of the craft began right in Hazlet will be back in the area when his new television series is shown at the Smodcastle Film Festival in Atlantic Highlands.Opening night of the festival, Nov. 30, features Kevin Sebastian, who started as a local actor and has become a successful New York television mainstay.Another Kevin, local filmmaker and director Kevin Smith, wil...
Kevin Sebastian's new TV series will help kick off Kevin Smith's Atlantic Highlands Smodcastle Film Festival next week.
HAZLET, NJ — An actor whose love of the craft began right in Hazlet will be back in the area when his new television series is shown at the Smodcastle Film Festival in Atlantic Highlands.
Opening night of the festival, Nov. 30, features Kevin Sebastian, who started as a local actor and has become a successful New York television mainstay.
Another Kevin, local filmmaker and director Kevin Smith, will open the Smodcastle Film Festival at his Atlantic Movie House (now Smodcastle Cinemas) in Atlantic Highlands on Nov. 30.
Sebastian stars with Smith’s longtime collaborator Jason Mewes in the new series "The Undesirables," which is on tap for the festival's opening night, according to a publicist for the event.
"The comedy features a dysfunctional motley crew doing whatever it takes to prevent an evil real estate mogul (Sebastian) and his devilish boss from eliminating purgatory and sending everyone straight to hell," as the series is described in a news release.
Sebastian and the rest of "The Undesirables" cast will be among the fans when the Smodcastle Film Festival opens at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 at Smodcastle Cinemas, 82 First Ave. in Atlantic Highlands.
Tickets can be purchased at https://www.atlanticcinemas.com/smodcastlefilmfestival.
Sebastian attended Hazlet schools, including Raritan High School, where his theater director helped lay the foundation for his life in the theater and in television, he said.
Current Raritan High School theater director Melanie Taylor sparked Sebastian's penchant for performing, he said, "shepherding him through an array of plays and musicals during their four years together."
Teacher Melanie Taylor said she couldn't be prouder of Sebastian's success.
"He was an amazing student and a really talented actor," said Taylor, when reached at the school on Tuesday.
She said his ability to "disappear into his character" is the sign of a special talent.
She looks forward to seeing him in the new series, but Taylor, who herself lives in Atlantic Highlands, said she will be busy the night of the film festival and can't attend.
There is a technical rehearsal that night for the high school's new play, "Almost, Maine." The play is soon to be performed for the public and more on that opening will be coming soon.
After his high school years, Sebastian then attended Bergen County’s Ramapo College of New Jersey, graduating with a degree in theater and minoring in music.
And he has not missed in a beat since in developing his career.
During this time, Sebastian branched out to a number of Red Bank-based arts opportunities, including Red Bank Regional’s performing arts program and the old Fellowship Theater.
After graduation, Sebastian could be seen at many New Jersey professional theaters, including Monmouth County’s New Jersey Repertory in Long Branch, where he made a noted performance in "Sick."
Although theater has always been a staple of his career, garnering him a BroadwayWorld Best Actor Award earlier this year, the news release said, audiences may most often recognize Sebastian from his appearances on CBS shows "Blue Bloods," "Bull" and the "Murphy Brown" revival.
he has also had recent appearances on Amazon Prime’s "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and Netflix’s "Club de Cuervos" and "Friends from College."
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Christmas, Hanukkah Events In Holmdel and Hazlet
HOLMDEL-HAZLET, NJ — There is no shortage of things to do in the Holmdel and Hazlet area to get the winter holiday season off to a rollicking good start.Christmas and Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights, intersect this year, with Hanukkah running Dec. 18 to 26. Christmas, of course, is on Dec. 25, but you don’t have to wait to start taking in all the sights and sounds of the holidays.Holiday tree and menorah lightings in the Holmdel and Hazlet area include:Hazlet: ...
HOLMDEL-HAZLET, NJ — There is no shortage of things to do in the Holmdel and Hazlet area to get the winter holiday season off to a rollicking good start.
Christmas and Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights, intersect this year, with Hanukkah running Dec. 18 to 26. Christmas, of course, is on Dec. 25, but you don’t have to wait to start taking in all the sights and sounds of the holidays.
Holiday tree and menorah lightings in the Holmdel and Hazlet area include:
Hazlet: Holly Jolly & Tree Lighting, Saturday, Dec. 3. Family holiday fun with Santa starts at 3 p.m. with a family photo opportunity, ice skating, carolers, ice sculpting, holiday train rides and some special visitors. At 5 p.m. there is a countdown to the lighting of the Christmas tree. Contact Hazlet Recreation for more details. James J. Cullen Community Center, 1776 Union Ave.
Holmdel: The township Christmas tree and menorah lighting is Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Township Hall, 4 Crawfords Corner Road. The event will include music by DJ Mel Houston, the Holmdel Girl Scouts, strolling characters and face painting. Holmdel Fire and Rescue will help a special visitor from the North Pole arrive. Call the Recreation office with questions at 732-946-2820 ext. 1225.
Holmdel: Longstreet Farm, Monmouth County Park System; 19th Century Christmas Ballads are performed Saturdays, Dec. 3 and 10, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy 19th century Christmas ballads played on the piano. The Sounds of Christmas is Sunday, Dec. 11, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Celebrate the holidays taking a stroll on Longstreet Farm with the backdrop of wistful music as Larry Moser and Mary Nagin play Christmas carols on the hammered dulcimer and fiddle.
Red Bank: Various holiday events kicked off Friday, Nov. 25, but you can enjoy them all season long. Holiday Harmonies will be in town through Dec. 18. Nov. 27 look for Holiday Mannequins. Visit redbank.org for more information on downtown events.
Holiday lighting displays are another holiday favorite. Some to catch in Monmouth County are:
In Holmdel:PNC Bank Arts Center: Magic of Lights show through Dec. 30. See website for tickets and times.
Allaire Community Farm: Christmas Light Spectacular fundraiser for a sanctuary farm in Wall. There is also a large dreidel display this year. Take in the twinkling lights surrounding the farm as seen from our tractor-pulled holiday wagon as you spend the evening with family and friends. Tickets are $17 for anyone over age 2 and must be purchased online. No walks ups will be accepted. Christmas plants, baked goods, hot chocolate, hot cider and more will also be available for purchase inside the market; 1923 Baileys Corner Road, Wall.
More holiday tips:
Look here for suggestions for nearby places to visit Santa. And check out this Patch story to see where to get fresh Christmas trees.
Hazlet Recreation Summer Camp
Frequently Asked QuestionsSummer camp fun starts June 27 and continues weekdays through August 12 for Hazlet kids in grades K-6.Camp days will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for seven weeks, rain or shine.Here are some questions we've been answering. Does my camper have to wear a swimsuit or bring it with them?We suggest that your child wear their swimsuit under their clothes.Is there an area for my camper to change?Yes, we will have changing tents fo...
Frequently Asked Questions
Summer camp fun starts June 27 and continues weekdays through August 12 for Hazlet kids in grades K-6.
Camp days will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for seven weeks, rain or shine.
Here are some questions we've been answering.
Does my camper have to wear a swimsuit or bring it with them?We suggest that your child wear their swimsuit under their clothes.
Is there an area for my camper to change?Yes, we will have changing tents for the campers to change their clothes if they desire.
Do I have to put sunblock on them?Yes, please make sure you apply sunblock to your camper before they arrive, pack the rest in their backpacks so they can apply more later.
Where do I drop off in the morning?Parents should come in by way of Middle Road, enter onto Green Acres Drive and continue until they reach the front entrance for the Cullen Center, please do not exit your vehicle.
What time is drop off in the morning?Drop off for camp is between 9 a.m. and 9:15 a.m.
Where do I pick up my camper?Pick up will be located by the white fences in front of the playground. Your child will be brought to you, please do not exit your vehicle. Each family will have name tags (pick them up during orientation) that they will need to have on the right side of the dashboard visible for the Camp Supervisors to see.
What time is pick up?Camp pick-up is from 4 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., if you are later than that they will go into aftercare. $10 will be charged per child after 4:15 p.m.
Do you ask to see ID?Yes, we are still getting to know everyone and the same staff might not always be at pick-up. Please understand that this is for the safety of the child and they will not be released to anyone who is not on the pick-up list.
How do I pick my camper up early?Please let the counselors and supervisors know that you or someone else will be picking up the camper early. We will have them ready and when you arrive you will need to go to the pick-up area, park by the white fences and call (908) 839-5014 to let us know you are here.
Is the camp going on trips this year?No, this year we decided to have the events come to us. We will be having a Carnival, Bubble show, Magician's and much more! There is no extra fee.
If it rains where will my camper go?Let's hope for a sunny summer, but if it does rain we will all be in the Cullen Center watching a movie, doing some fun events, of playing games!
Do you serve lunch?Nope! This year all campers need to bring their lunch and a snack. We do not have refrigeration here so please use an insulated/thermal bag if lunch items need to be cool. All lunches will remain in the campers' backpacks.
Can you heat up a lunch?Sorry, we will not be able to heat up lunches so pack something accordingly.
Can my camper bring their cellphone or tablet?Campers should not bring any electronic devices to camp, we want them to "un-plug" and have fun this summer! Should they bring these to camp, and have them out of their backpacks, they will be asked to put them away OR they will be placed in the camp office until pick up. Just a reminder that Hazlet Township is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items. The camp still has land lines and if they need to speak with you we will get them access to a phone.
How often do they swim?Campers will have swimming one time a day. However, it's summer and we will have all kinds of water games for them, and in case of extreme heat they will swim more often!
Do you have a snack bar?Yes we do and campers will have access to this one time a day to purchase a snack item. Prices are reasonable so don't pack too much money in their backpacks.
Can my camper wear Crocs?Please make sure that your camper is wearing sneakers, as we travel all over the park and play sports. No sandals, flip flops or Crocs.
Where is the before and after care located?Before care drop off is at the Cullen Center at 7:30 a.m. and After care is located in the Cullen Center from 4 to 5 pm.
My child doesn't know how to swim, what will you be doing to ensure their safety?All campers will be swim tested, those that do not know how to swim will need to wear a flotation device. Our counselors will also be in the water with their groups to make sure they are within arm's reach of everyone!
What do I do if I have to drop off later than 9:30 a.m.?Please pull up to the pick-up area by the white fences, park and call (908) 839-5014 to let us know you are here, a staff member will come out to get the camper!
Does my camper have to wear a mask?We follow the CDC guidelines and at this time they do not, but if you feel more comfortable and would like them too that is fine as well!
Does my camper get a T-Shirt this year?No I'm sorry but since we are not going on trips and having special events come to us they won't need one.
Can my camper be with their siblings or friends in other groups?All groups are based on the ages of the camper, their activities are all age appropriate, so if their siblings are older then they will not be able to be with them.
Gregorys Coffee founder comes home, bringing his chain to Monmouth County
David P. Willishttps://www.app.com/story/money/business/main-street/whats-going-there/2022/08/04/gregorys-coffee-cafe-drive-up-opening-hazlet-nj/65390001007/
HAZLET - For Gregory Zamfotis, opening a Gregorys Coffee cafe and drive-up on Route 35 in Hazlet is like coming home.Zamfotis, who founded Gregorys Coffee in Manhattan in 2006, grew up in Holmdel and went to Holmdel High School. His sister and parents, who at one time had a pizza restaurant in a Route 35 location that would later become a Tim Horton's, all live in Monmouth County.Now Zamfotis is bringing Gregorys Coffee, which has 36 locations including five in New Jersey, to Monmouth County.The specialty ...
HAZLET - For Gregory Zamfotis, opening a Gregorys Coffee cafe and drive-up on Route 35 in Hazlet is like coming home.
Zamfotis, who founded Gregorys Coffee in Manhattan in 2006, grew up in Holmdel and went to Holmdel High School. His sister and parents, who at one time had a pizza restaurant in a Route 35 location that would later become a Tim Horton's, all live in Monmouth County.
Now Zamfotis is bringing Gregorys Coffee, which has 36 locations including five in New Jersey, to Monmouth County.
The specialty coffeehouse is leasing 1,500 square feet at the end of a new retail building that is replacing what was formerly Dino's Fishery. Danielle Brunelli, president of R.J. Brunelli & Co, represented Gregorys in the lease. Jonathan Greenberg of Katz Retail represented the landlord.
"It means a lot to me to have that business there and kind of come back home," Zamfotis said. He estimates that the cafe will open in the summer of 2023.
"I feel like we are very familiar with Hazlet, Route 35, the shopping corridor," said Zamfotis, who has been working to open cafes with drive-thru lanes. "When we had the opportunity to work on a drive-thru in Hazlet, we were really excited to make that happen."
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The new building will give a new look to a property that some may now consider an eyesore. The existing vacant building was most recently an indoor farmer's market, and previously Dino's Fishery.
"Anytime that there are empty shops that have been sitting out for quite some time, it's a look that we don't want as a town," Township Committeeman Peter Terranova said. "We are excited that there are new businesses that are recognizing that our town has value. We want to give them all the options that they need."
Change is coming. In June, the township Land Use Board approved a plan to demolish the one-story 3,937-square-foot store, formerly No. 1 Farm Market. In its place, the developer proposes to build a 2,892-square-foot retail building, which includes Gregorys.
Another 7,590-square-foot building, which sits in the back of the property, will be renovated.
Zamfotis said the property "needs some love."
"We want to be that central gathering place for people and make them feel comfortable and want them to keep coming back," Zamfotis said.
Gregorys Coffee roasts its coffee in New York City. Besides its coffee drinks, teas, smoothies and juices, the cafe also has baked goods, such as croissants and muffins, and breakfast sandwiches, among other items. "Everything we do is handmade by us," Zamfotis said. "You get the quality and the freshness from going to a local bakery, but you are getting it out of a specialty coffee shop."
David P. Willis, an award-winning business writer, has covered business and consumer news at the Asbury Park Press for more than 20 years. He writes APP.com's What's Going There column and can be reached at [email protected] Join his What's Going There page on Facebook for updates.
Wedding invitation led to new life in US, and Ray's Real Pizza in Hazlet
Special to the Asbury Park PressHAZLET - Marco Russo, owner of Ray’s Real Pizza in Hazlet, came to America at age 9 to attend his brother's wedding, but after being in the United States for just a month, his family decided to stay and pursue their own American dream.“I came here with my mother, father and two other brothers to be apart of Giuseppe’s wedding, we soon found that we liked America very much, and so, we made the choice to stay here and make a better life for ourselves,” Russo s...
Special to the Asbury Park Press
HAZLET - Marco Russo, owner of Ray’s Real Pizza in Hazlet, came to America at age 9 to attend his brother's wedding, but after being in the United States for just a month, his family decided to stay and pursue their own American dream.
“I came here with my mother, father and two other brothers to be apart of Giuseppe’s wedding, we soon found that we liked America very much, and so, we made the choice to stay here and make a better life for ourselves,” Russo said. “My two brothers that were already in the States had opened up a pizzeria in Brooklyn. With our whole family here together, we had the opportunity to open up more locations around the rest of Manhattan.”
“We started opening up more pizzerias,” Russo said. “Even though I was very young, I started to help out at age 13. It was great experience. I always liked this business and interacting with people. I wanted to learn and I was eager to do so. I started selling Italian ice inside the pizzeria and little by little, I graduated to working behind the counter and learning the business. By the time I was 15, I was running my own location in Brooklyn.“
Between 1983 and 2003, the Russo family would open seven different pizzerias around New York City.
“It was a space we were comfortable in,” Russo said. “My two oldest brothers had experience with running a pizzeria and they definitely passed down their knowledge to me and the rest of my family. I saw them doing something they were passionate about and I wanted to be included. It was our family business and I took it upon myself to contribute in my own way. I just wanted to be apart of something great.
“The process was well worth it,” Russo said. “I was not interested in school, so I knew this would be my life’s work and I was comfortable with that. I wanted to commit my efforts to this project. I knew it was something I could grow. We had a lot of employees and the overall establishment was worth all of the hard work. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it.”
Moving to New Jersey
In 2003, the Russos were at the height of their success and were doing great business with their pizzerias all around Manhattan, but rising New York rents were becoming unsustainable.
“The business was doing well overall, but the rent was just too much,” Russo said. “No matter how successful you are with a business, you need to put the money back into it to grow it continuously. When our landlord was raising the amount of money we were paying every month, it was more feasible to just close down the locations completely. It was a long time in the making and we had a lot of fun and great experiences, but in the end, we made the right decision to move on.
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“Although we closed down our pizzerias around the city, we still had some gas left in the tank,” Russo said. “We were still hungry to do more and we still had the potential to serve the public, but just in a different location this time. Later in that same year, we moved to New Jersey and found a place in Hazlet. This time, it was myself and my two older brothers that opened up a pizzeria and named it after my grandfather Ray. We named it Ray’s Real Pizza.”
All three brothers had an even slice of the pie until 2016, when both of Marco’s older brothers decided to retire and let Marco run the business by himself.
“I was truly honored to take the reins from my brothers and run the business with a strong commitment to serving great food and maintaining customer service to the highest level,” Russo said. “At the time that I had the opportunity to take over the business from my brothers, they both asked me if I wanted to just shut it down, but I felt just the opposite. I liked the area and the people and I just felt right at home. There was no place I would rather be. It was bittersweet.
“After taking over the business officially, I really invested a lot of time into making the business the best it could possibly be,” Russo said. “I had the background and the experience from my earlier years and I was in my element. I was able to take all of my positive energy from my past and insert it into this business. Little by little, we got our name out there and started to really draw in clientele from the locals and people that came from a distance. Everything really came together.”
'It’s not just a pizzeria'
Although Ray’s Real Pizza is mainly a pizzeria, it does serve other cuisine.
“We have a full-blown menu with our restaurant,” Russo said. “We do pork chops, fish and old-fashioned Italian pasta, in addition to our pizza. We do special orders for many of our customers and they really appreciate those specialty dishes. It’s not just a pizzeria, it’s more than that. We do our part to serve our customers and the community. It’s all about our connection with our customer base.”
Russo believes he has a bright future ahead of him.
“I want to keep going from where we are right now,” Russo said. “I would like to get my kids to one day take over the business and keep it running, but that decision is up to them. I’ve really enjoyed running the business up until this point and I think we will be a success, no matter what, but for now we will stick to what we know and that is serving our customers with a smile on our faces.”
Ray's Real Pizza
Owner: Marco Russo
Location: 3429 Route 35, Hazlet
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 10 p.m. Sundays