When anyone talks about kind, smart, energetic, engaged, beautiful people in town, one person I think of immediately is Donna Forcier, owner of Uptown Tile and Stone Gallery.

Donna is a blonde bolt of seriously positive energy running around town and Uptown Tile is the area’s go-to store for the most fabulous tile and stone.

Looking at samples in the store makes me want to take a jackhammer to the renovation I did to my house four years ago and start over.  Ug.

“We are like a bakery here,” said Donna.  “We get fresh selections every week – from traditional to modern.  Sometimes our inventory is more than half-off the prices of other stores.”

Donna has been serving up the best in the world of flooring, walling (is that a word?), backsplashes and whatever else can sit still long enough to slap a little Thinset on, for more than 20 years.

She began her business in 1986, with her husband, creating and developing the flooring upgrade programs developers such as K. Hovnanian, Toll Brothers and Kara Homes offered customers.

Thank you Donna for putting an end to horrifically generic four inch by four inch beige and white tile in new construction.  Amen.

Nothing about Asbury Park is builder’s-grade.  The properties here can’t be either.

As Asbury Park grew over the years, so did Donna’s retail business.  In 2004, Donna, armed with a new personal vision, re-launched the store as Uptown Tile and Stone Gallery – creating a comfortable boutique environment, bathed in natural light, for homeowners to review flooring options in, while continuing to keep the construction-types happy too, with quick turnarounds on orders and innovative products.

“This is not work for me,” said Donna.  “I love helping homeowners and pulling ideas together.  The team here has more than fifty years combined experience so there is a huge satisfaction in guiding customers with their renovations.”

I never thought it was possible get excited about flooring until I walked around Donna’s store:  basketweave carrera and onyx, pillow-edged porcelain subway tile, limestone that’s smoother than butter in any size or shape, spa-like tumbled river stone, sleek stainless steel, elegant glass and marble hybrid and whatever else your imagination or aesthetic demands.  Recession-friendly pricing included.

“Trends in tile are mixing textures such as glass with natural stone, pebbles on shower floors and randomly mixing sizes of small tiles,” Donna continued.

Great, now where is that jackhammer?

Briefly:  Congrats to the Gay Pride Business Network (see March 26 column at, celebrating its Third Anniversary on Tuesday, September 24.  Join the party at Moonstruck – 6 pm.

And, Check out Lance and Debbie’s Wonder Bar (Wonder “Car” in the ads) in the background of the Dillard’s ads in September’s Vanity Fair and W Magazine.  Very fun.

One more – see you at the Deal Lake Regatta benefit this Saturday evening.  Boat parade and fundraisers begin at 5 pm.