Two of Lakewood Township’s newest businesses held their grand openings recently – a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owned by Ram Hegde and his family, and a Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches franchise, the first in Ocean County, owned by Garrett and Courtney Hogan.

Steven Reinman, the director of economic development for Lakewood, said, “We are pleased to see more commercial development along the Rt. 70 corridor. These businesses will serve the local population and the many companies in our industrial parks, the second largest in New Jersey. We are happy to welcome these businesses to the community.”

“This is part of the efforts to boost business in Lakewood and it is part of the continuing goal to revitalize and rejuvenate existing commercial areas throughout the township,” said David Nicola, executive director of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held December 12 at both businesses, which are located next to each other in the strip mall Shore Plaza at 700 Route 70.

Throughout the day, customers stopped by for a free cup of medium coffee that Ram Hegde’s employees were serving up or for a snack-size portion of turkey, roast beef, or ham and cheese subs that Hogan was handing out.

Hogan, a Point Pleasant resident who grew up in Brick, said it took two years to go through the process of deciding to become a business owner and opening up a franchise. Robert B. Goodyear, chairman of the Ocean County Chapter of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and a member of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, said he assisted Hogan, who is a friend, through the process.

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