The Current State of Main Street


Photo courtesy Flemington Community Partnership

A common trend noticed as a result of the pandemic is the increase in the number of self-owned businesses. As stated by Aimee Picch, a writer of CBS news: “Through September, Americans have filed a record 1.4 million applications to start new businesses, according to an analysis of Census data by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG).” And as anticipated, this country-wide trend is also represented in our own Main Street in Flemington. As more and more places begin to scale back policies requiring masks, Main Street is beginning to return to the same bustling center it once was before the pandemic. Through the pandemic, this iconic road has seen the opening of new stores and a surge in new boutiques and restaurants, showcasing how sometimes good can come after bad times.

One example of a newly established business is Little Egypt Oasis, located on 79 Main Street. Little Egypt Oasis is a place where people can go to enjoy a variety of flavors of boba tea such as matcha, mango, and dragon fruit. Boba tea is not the only product they serve, however, as they also offer a wider variety of other specialty drinks such as smoothies, slushies and sherbet in addition to rolled ice cream. Not only does the customer have the option of adding a variety of 25 toppings, but they can also have fresh fruit added to their ice cream. Little Egypt Oasis has dairy-free and zero sugar ice cream flavors, and offers services in English, Spanish, and Arabic. This highlights how much they care for their customers and how they truly value customer service. Little Egypt exemplifies not only the introduction of new businesses after a time of being stuck indoors but it also represents an opportunity for discovering new flavors with the addition of family and friends, while still being mindful of the pandemic of course.

An alternative business that is located on 18-B Church Street in Flemington, moreso geared towards fashion, is that of Constanza Boutique. This clothing business aims to provide clothing for mothers as well as for their children, helping to supply families with a much calmer atmosphere to shop and thus taking away the stress of shopping in larger and busier stores. Additionally, they also help to maintain accessibility to the overall public not only due to its proximity to the bustle of Main Street, but also due to how it offers services in both Spanish and English. The owner herself went on to elaborate on her decision to start her businesses near Main Street by saying, “I chose the location because I really like the space and proximity to Main Street. There are many people, specifically people who speak Spanish, in this area. It makes me feel more comfortable to be able to do business in an area of people like me.” This demonstrates not only how much this business means to her, but also shows how through her business she is able to feel connected to the community, a feeling that I am confident is mutually shared by the customers.

While the amount of businesses owned by those in our community has surely risen, so has Main Street’s support of young talent. One such example is during the summer of both 2020 and 2021, the pizza joint, Gabby’s Pizza and Pasta, entertained their customers by hosting performances provided by artists from our school such as Toby Chernesky, Amelia Aversano, Jessica Schuchardt, and many others. This is not the only instance of when events are held on Main Street though. Love, Flemington, or The Flemington Community Partnership, described as “a Business Improvement District with the mission of fostering a thriving business community in the Borough of Flemington”, who tends to spread the word of upcoming events, even those occurring at our very own school. They do this through their Instagram page, which helps to garner many more people as a result of their large platform. Additionally, they also promote upcoming and new businesses sprouting up in Main Street, shouting out new business owners and providing them with the encouragement to continue.

Though the world is still going through a very hard time with the continuation of the pandemic, the blooming of new businesses and the promotion of new talent on this historic street not only gives the community hope but also gives them something to look forward to during their free time, allowing them a sense of what pre-pandemic life felt like even if we are still not there quite yet.