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Cafe sign by Nancy EllenAmong the works on display  at Sickles Market Saturday are mixed-media, coastal-themed wall hangings by Yolanda Fleming, above. Orchids fill the greenhouse,on Sunday. (Above photo by Nancy Ellen Photography) 

orchidLocals know the greenhouse area at Sickles Market in Little Silver as a place where the concept of sunnier, greener seasons truly takes a stand against the outside-world onslaught of winter and its slippery discontents.

The warm vibes beneath the bubble of the Sickles greenhouse commence this Saturday with the return of Artists’ Day — an annual event (formerly Artists’ Weekend) that showcases the work of a dozen different creative community members amid the flora of the garden center. Read More »


reindeerReindeer wrangler Mark Sopko brings his reindeer to a Christmas season kickoff at Sickles Market Friday evening. (Click to enlarge)

Sickles reindeerYou needn’t have lived here for long to deduce that the Greater Red Bank Green is the area’s uncontested, unofficial Capital of Yuletide/ year-end holiday hoopla. And you don’t have to be the poor soul whose job it is to stock the aisles at the chain pharmacy to know that the Season of Santa is here and now, and has been since long before the last unwanted bag of candy Halloween pumpkins hit the remainder rack.

This Friday evening, Santa’s helpers fire their first shot across the boughs of holly, with the opening of the Holiday Open House event at Sickles Market in Little Silver.

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090915roshhashana3This week, PieHole shopped the Greater Red Bank Green for Rosh Hashanah eats, and came up with a selection that’s like to appeal to tastebuds of many persuasions. Take it here for the rundown to Sunday’s sundown, when the holiday commences (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)



090915roshhashana3Three light dessert cakes from Antoinette Boulangerie, above, and a box of honeybee and apple cake pops from Lil Cutie Pops make tasteful gifts.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)


090915roshhashana4Delectable and symbolic foods for Rosh Hashanah, a celebration of the Jewish New Year that begins at sundown on Sunday are popping up all around the Greater Green.

Preparing a holiday dinner for a few or many, finding the right ingredients and cooking all day can often take the fun out of the feast. PieHole has done some of the legwork for you, rounding up sources for pre-made dinners, desserts, hostess gifts and basics for a sweet new year.

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tomatoThe stakes are high once again, as three-peat champion (and top-seeded competitor) Michael Mansfield prepares to defend his crown in the 2015 Biggest Tomato Contest, scheduled for Saturday at Sickles Market.

It’s fast becoming one of the most highly anticipated homegrown competitions of the summer season — an annual event that’s been dominated by a single champion whose reign is ripe for a challenge.

This Saturday, August 29 marks the 2015 edition of the Biggest Tomato Contest, sponsored by Sickles Market and hosted for the fourth consecutive year at the garden center of the Little Silver landmark. With weigh-in time at 1 pm, this is scarcely your run-of-the-mill county fair contest, as three-time winner Michael Mansfield is expected to make another bid for dominance and heavyweight bragging rights. The Oceanport resident’s current record holder of 4.4 pounds pasted the competition last year; leaving all other tomato growers to stew for another season (and vow to ketchup this year).

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SicklesTrifectaJersey-fresh tomatoes, corn and peaches is the main attraction Thursday as Sickles Market celebrates 350 years of farming in the Garden State with a public-welcome community BBQ.  

HOT-TOPIC_03In the event that you missed out on the hoopla last year, New Jersey celebrated its 350th anniversary – and on Thursday, Little Silver’s landmark Sickles Market marks its long agricultural history in the Garden State with a summer BBQ extravaganza that spotlights three colorful guests of honor.

Those welcome visitors are the “fabulous and famous summer trifecta” of Jersey corn, tomatoes and peaches, and between the hours of 5 and 8 p.m., they’ll be the center of attention at a public-welcome event that boasts a full barbecue menu, live music by the Danjos, kids’ activities and a gamut of get-acquainted tasting opportunities by a bevy of local food producers and vendors.

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canterbury fair 1St. George’s-by-the-River in Rumson hosts the Canterbury Fair rain-or-shine on Saturday. (Photos courtesy of St. George’s. Click to enlarge)

canterbury fair 2For 66 years, it’s served as a low-key kickoff to the summer-to-come, as well as a lookback to the past.

Now, with the run-up to summer 2015 in full swing, it’s again time for the Rumson event known as Canterbury Fair.

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empty bowlsRumson-Fair Haven senior Olivia Rosenberg and RFH art teacher Zack Wilson display the ceramic bowls that were created and sold to benefit The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

The recent “Empty Bowls” event hosted by Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School raised enough funds to provide 5,190 meals for the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

Named for the empty bowls faced by local families who struggle to put food on the table, the fundraiser was open to the community and held on the evening of March 10 at Bingham Hall in Rumson. It featured beautiful original artwork in the form of 150 bowls created by RFH Ceramics students, as well as members of the RFH National Art Honor Society. The purchased ceramic bowls were filled with a variety of soups provided by members of the RFH school community.

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KRFEventCommitteeDSC_3675Press release from Salt Creek Grille Rumson; photo by Amy Pinard

The recent Wine and Martini Tasting fundraiser at Rumson’s Salt Creek Grille raised nearly $115,000 for pediatric brain cancer research, on behalf of this year’s designated beneficiary, The Kortney Rose Foundation (KRF). Generous support at the sold-out event helped the Oceanport-based foundation hit the million-dollar mark in cumulative donations to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

To date, over $845,000 has been raised by Salt Creek Grille’s Wine and Martini Tastings, an annual event for which a different locally based charity is specified each year. One hundred percent of the proceeds have gone directly to the organizations, thanks to donations of goods and services made by Salt Creek Grille and its purveyors (including Sickles Market, Lusty Lobster and The Bobby Boyd Trio).

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Earth_Day_CLASS_PICStudents from Point Road School in Little Silver present grocery bags decorated with Earth-friendly messages as part of the eighth annual Earth Day partnership between the school and Sickles Market. 

Press release from Sickles Market

As part of a local Earth Day Celebration that’s now in its eighth year, the students of Point Road School in Little Silver will be presenting hundreds of hand-decorated grocery bags to Sickles Market at 2:10 pm on Friday, April 17.

Sickles Market will then display the bags — each of them customized with the students’ Earth Day messages — until Earth Day, Wednesday April 22, when the Sickles staff will distribute the colorful grocery bags to their delighted customers.

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BunnyThe locally based creators of the book and toy package THE BUNNY WITH THE BASKET AND THE GOLDEN EGG visit Brookdale College this Thursday — and hit the trail for additional appearances in Little Silver and Shrewsbury — during the lead-up to the Easter holiday.

If the secular merchandising part of the Easter holiday is all about the Bunny, then attention must also be paid to the Chicks — specifically, the three Monmouth County women who formed Just Three Chicks LLC, a partnership that’s been hitting the bunny trail of late to promote its first book-and-toy project, Bunny with the Basket and the Golden Egg.

Created by a trio of Rumson-based “authors, moms and friends” (Jennifer Diehl, Shauna Murray and Lisa Rettino), the Bunny with the Basket storybook is illustrated by Little Silver resident Brian Meulener — a former advertising art director and current dental student (his father is Little Silver’s own Dr. Carlos Meulener) who studied art with the late and legendary Evelyn Leavens.

This Thursday, March 19, the Just Three Chicks partners will join the Easter Bunny for a 4 pm in-person appearance at the Scroll and Pen Bookstore (inside the Student Life Center at Brookdale Community College) — part of a busy slate of promotional appearances that range from Manhattan to Manasquan, with upcoming stopovers at Sickles Market (Sunday March 22, 2 – 4 pm), Little Silver Public Library (Tuesday March 24, 3:30 pm) and the Williams-Sonoma store at The Grove in Shrewsbury (Saturday March 28, 10 – 11 am).

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girls nightPress release from Sickles Market

Need a new quick hair up do? A fresh fitness workout? A new look for your deck? Or just a fun night out with your BFFs with great wines and delicious food? It’s been a cruel winter. Sign up now for Sickles Market’s annual “Girls Night Out,” an evening of wine, food, fitness tips and fun that offers advice and interactive workshops for a vivacious lifestyle.

Going on between 7 to 9 pm on Friday, March 20, the event offers a chance to see the latest in spring fashion and fitness trends, learn more about gardening and custom potting, while sipping premium wines donated by Rumson Wine and Spirits in the midst of a beautiful greenhouse brimming with colorful, fragrant flowers. Attendees can listen and learn from local beauty and health experts (and Sickles Market’s garden specialists) while enjoying tasty selections made by the Sickles kitchen and other fine food purveyors. There’s also a chance to dance, to the musical skills of DJ Jake from Affair 2 Remember.

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CircusSummerThe Kennedy Mystique: the egg-tempera CIRCUS SUMMER by Eileen Kennedy is among the items included in DREAMSCAPES AND SHAPED DREAMS — an exhibit of works by the painter and her cousin Lynne Kennedy, going up on the walls of the Oyster Point Hotel.

The river breezes may still be blowing more bitter than sweet, but as sure a sign of Spring — surer even than Punxsatawney prognosticators, or pudgy pitchers — is the sudden proliferation of art exhibitions in our area’s galleries, grand lodgings, and even greenhouses. It’s an explosion of color that begins, appropriately enough, amid the plant life of Sickles Market in Little Silver this weekend — and it continues, in the days and evenings to come, in places both safe and surprising.

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Salt CreekRaising the flag for the annual Wine and Martini Tasting event at Salt Creek Grille — a benefit for the Kortney Rose Foundation — are Lori Missig, Jennifer Egan, Rich Gillette, Ina Kichen, Pam Ruoff, Nancy Phillips, Kristen Gillette, Suzie Mazzei, and Salt Creek co-owner Steve Bidgood.

Press release from Culinary Communications

Each year, the Salt Creek Grille in Rumson hosts a Wine and Martini Tasting that ranks among the most popular annual events at the Rumson restaurant. Several wine vendors pour premium wines for attendees, and a spirits vendor serves up specialty martinis for the occasion, while the Salt Creek kitchen provides passed hors d’oeuvres, pasta, carving stations and more.

The tasting sessions also represent a fundraising vehicle that benefits a selected nonprofit organization — and over the course of 11 years, the event has raised over $730,000 for 11 locally based charities that serve children’s needs, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to the charity, thanks to the generous support and donations of goods and services made by Salt Creek Grille and purveyors.

The 12th annual Wine and Martini Tasting will take place on Thursday, April 16 — with this year’s edition benefitting The Kortney Rose Foundation (KRF), an Oceanport-based nonprofit that helps to fund research and treatment for children who have been diagnosed with brain tumors. The foundation was established by Kortney’s mother, Kristen Gillette, to honor Kortney’s memory and celebrate her life — and more than 95 percent of every dollar donated to KRF goes directly to the life-saving research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, specifically their Large-Scale Genome Project and the new world-class Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium.

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