New Jersey doesn't always get the credit it deserves. Up north, we live in the shadow of the greatest city in the world. Down south, New Jerseyeans play second fiddle to the city that helped birth our national independence. The perception of our great state has been soured by Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Even our football teams take their name from our neighbor across the Hudson despite the fact that they play every single home game in East Rutherford, NJ.
State residents have found ways to deal with this neglect, but it would appear that the state has finally found something that the city folks in New York can't: space. And this is no more evident than in the deluge of food companies moving and setting up shop in the Garden State.
Take, for instance, Junior's, known for creating the quintessential New York cheesecake. The company, located in Brooklyn since 1950 with a 20,000-sq. ft. production facility in Maspeth, Queens, is in the process of moving to a 103,000-sq. ft. location in Burlington, NJ. Owner Alan Rosen praises the extra space and cost savings. Junior's isn't the only company to make a move of this sort, either. In April, Goya Foods opened a new location in Jersey City, with plans to rennovate their existing Secaucus location. Peapod, the online delivery service, opened a 345,000-sq. ft. distribution center last year in Jersey City, as well. This fall, Italian meat company Fratelli Beretta will open a U.S. headquarters and processing plant in Mount Olive, N.J.
Space and cost savings on rent aren't the only reason companies are moving to New Jersey. The state is also a transportation hub, with connections to rail, highways, airports and seaports. Forty percent of the American population lives within a day's drive of New Jersey, which is good news for companies looking to truck their goods. Newark International Airport and the Elizabeth seaport offer options for shipping further distances. Goya is situated right next to Secaucus Junction, giving it easy access to shipping via rail.
The move to New Jersey makes sense logistically and financially, and I think it's safe to assume that more and more companies will make the move out of the city into New Jersey for those reasons. Companies can still reach their customers, and more often than not, can do so at a lower price. And that's something New Jerseyeans can be proud of.
Now, if we can only get those football teams on board...