Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

NOT THE USUAL GOING, GOING, GONE

Margarets1_2

By LINDA G. RASTELLI

Amid the scraps of one retailer’s failed dream, an astonishing leap of trust took place took place on Monmouth Street Thursday, and a new business venture appears to have been born.

Two women bidding for the inventory at Margaret’s Jewelry, which was shut down by the state in April for unpaid taxes, became instant business partners, though they’d never before met.

“We didn’t even know each other’s names,” said Lorraine Shaheen, of Little Silver, who purchased all the store’s jewelry and watches in auction Lot 1 for $8,000.

The minimum bid for Lot 1 had been advertised by the Division of Taxation as $30,000, but the auctioneer, Steve Kelleher, received no bids at that price, and was forced to drop down to $5,000 before receiving an opening bid from Shaheen.

Monica de Guzman, a Lincroft resident, paid $1,500 for the rest of the store’s merchandise, including clothing, mirrors, glassware, rugs, ceramic items and artwork, plus another $500 for all the store’s furnishings, or Lots 2 and 3.

But within the details of how those second and third lots were sold lies a story of instant capitalism.

Margarets2_2

The two women were the only bidders in the auction, although approximately six people were registered to bid, said Joseph Stack, regional supervisor for the division of taxation office in Asbury Park.

After Shaheen took Lot 1, she found herself bidding against de Guzman for the other two lots. She asked the auctioneer to pause the bidding, and approached de Guzman.

“I said, ‘Are you an honest person?'” Shaheen told redbankgreen afterward. “That’s what I said!”

Margarets3a

The answer appears to have been satisfactory, because Shaheen immediately stopped bidding, allowing de Guzman to purchase the last two lots for a song — $2,000.

The two women, along with de Guzman’s business partner, Beth Screen Arena, also of Lincroft, agreed to go into a retail business together.

Right there, on the spot.

“It was meant to be,” said Arena.

Now the three women hope to find a Red Bank location for their nascent business. Arena had previously approached the landlord of 8 Monmouth Street, but the space was already taken, she said.

“We’re trying to re-open it here in Red Bank,” said Arena. “Everybody seems to love Margaret’s.”

Shaheen’s daughter, who was present at the auction but declined to give her name, had worked in the store as a clerk.

Margaret’s owners, Paul and Margaret Van Glahn, owed slightly more than $100,000 in back taxes and were unable to pay, Stack said afterward. They are now out of the country, he said.

The taxman also explained his rationale for letting the place go at fire-sale prices.

“The last thing we wanted to do is sell an inventory like this for $10,000,” he said. But in the absence of additional bids, it would be difficult to transport and store the goods and expect to get a better price, he said.

The three women agreed there was only one explanation for the day’s strange events.

“Please say it was by the grace of God,” said Shaheen.

Email this story

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
“IT’S A PARTY AT WAWA!”
You wish you could vibe like Brian, who lives on the other side of Hubbard’s Bridge. He caught redbankgreen’s attention in Red B ...
POPE OKS ORATORY
RED BANK: St. Anthony of Padua obtains papal approval to establish Oratory of St. Philip Neri, a community of priests and brothers devoted t ...
RED BANK: NEW MURAL BRIGHTENS CORNER
RED BANK: Lunch Break founder Norma Todd is depicted in a mural painted this week on the front of the newly renovated social service agency.
TULIPS TOGETHER
Spring tulips taking in the sunset outside the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank Monday evening.
RIVER RANGERS RETURN
River Rangers, a summer canoeing program offered by the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association, returns this summer for up to 20 participa ...
DOUBLE DYLAN IN RED BANK
Trucks for a production company filming what one worker said was a Bob Dylan biography have lined Monmouth Street the past two days with cre ...
AFTER THE RAIN
A pear tree branch brought down by a brief overnight storm left a lovely tableau on the sidewalk in front of Red Bank's Riverside Gardens Pa ...
CONE OF UNCERTAINTY
Asked by a redbankgreen reporter why these cones were on top of cars, the owner of the car in the foreground responded: “That’s ...
RAIL RIDER’S VIEW
A commuter's view of Cooper's Bridge and the Navesink River from North Jersey Coast Line train 3320 out of Red Bank Tuesday morning.
PUT ME IN COACH!
Red Bank T-Ball kicked off at East Side park on Saturday morning. The brisk weather proved to be no deterrent to the young players, ranging ...
IT’S A SIGN!
Once proudly declaring its all-but-certain arrival in Spring 2019, the project previously known as Azalea Gardens springs to life again with ...
SPRINGTIME MEMORIES OF CARL
The Easter Bunny getup and St. Patrick’s Day hat that belonged to longtime Red Bank crossing guard and neighborhood smile-creator Carl ...
RED TRUCKS AT RED ROCK
A small dishwasher fire at Red Rock Tap and Grill was put out quickly by firefighters overnight, causing minimal damage. Red Bank Fire Depar ...
CREATIVE COVER UP
The windows of Pearl Street Consignment on Monmouth Street were smashed when a driver crashed their car through them injuring an employee la ...
THEY’RE BACK!
Ospreys returned to the skies over Red Bank this week for the first time since they migrated to warmer climes in late fall. With temperature ...
SPRING IS SPRUNG
RED BANK: Spring 2024 arrives on the Greater Red Bank Green with the vernal equinox at 11:06 p.m. Tuesday.
RED BANK’S FINEST – AND NEWEST
Red Bank Police Officer Eliot Ramos was sworn in as the force’s newest patrolman Thursday, and if you’re doing a double take thinkin ...
EASTER EGG MAYHEM AT THE PARK
An errant whistle spurred an unexpectedly early start to the Spring Egg Hunt on Sunday, which had been scheduled to begin at eggsactly 11am ...
PRESEASON DOCKWORK
RED BANK: With winter winding down, marina gets ready for boating season with some dockwork on our beautiful Navesink River.
CORNED BEEF AND DISCO FRIES?
It’s Friday, and smart Lent-observing Leprechauns know the pot of gold at the end of Red Bank’s rainbow is actually the deliciou ...