HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — Surrounded by more than two dozen employees, store manager Scott Jackson cut the ribbon Monday, Jan. 1 to mark the opening of the new Hobby Lobby store in Hamilton Commons on the Black Horse Pike.
About a dozen early shoppers braved the single-digit temperatures to be there for the 9 a.m. opening, where they were welcomed by sales associates and treated to coffee and baked goods.
Within an hour, dozens of cars filled the parking lot in front of the store, which formerly housed Sports Authority, with shoppers eager to visit the area’s newest retail store.
Among the early visitors were Hammonton residents Karen Berenotto and Debby Crescenzo.
“We used to travel to their stores in Millville and Sicklerville,” Berenotto said. “It is really a wonderful store. But I may need to get a bigger house.”
“I am so happy that this store is so close,” Cresenzo said.
Among those greeting shoppers was Erik Jones of Egg Harbor Township, who said he left the construction business for the job at Hobby Lobby.
“This fits my personality better because I am very personable and like to be hands-on with the customers,” he said.
“We are more than honored to be a part of this community,” Jackson said. “We will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily except on Sundays, when we are closed to allow the employees to have time with their families.”
District manager Troy Moore said the store is the chain’s 813th, and the 15th to open in New Jersey.
“In less than 14 days we went from bare four walls to opening our doors,” he said.
"Thus far the community has been very warm and welcoming.”
Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce President Joe Kelly welcomed the management and employees.
“What a great asset for our marketplace,” Kelly said.
"We are also pleased with the employment opportunities it provides. This is a great way to start the new year.”
The store offers more than 70,000 crafting and home decor products including floral, fabric, needle arts supplies, custom framing, baskets, home accents, wearable art, wedding supplies, arts and crafts, jewelry findings, and scrapbooking and paper crafting supplies.
The store has 65 employees.
Hamilton Township Mayor John Kurtz visited the store later that morning.
“For people who like to make things, they have it all,” he said. “This is definitely a plus for the township, especially since it is providing jobs for our local people.”