Michael Buess, owner, Bodega Shoppe

Michael Buess, owner, Bodega Shoppe

The horserace for creative business names around our city continues. I present to you the backstory for six more monikers below.

Bodega Shoppe

“I’ve lived in New York City for more than twenty years and the corner bodega is where I go for everything,” said Mike Buess, owner, of one of my favorite stores in town. “Corner markets sell a little bit of everything – similar to what I do at Bodega Shoppe which is a lifestyle store selling home furnishings, gifts and personal accessories. I added ‘shoppe’ to differentiate my store from a real bodega.”


“It’s my maiden name,” said Kathleen Banks, owner of the fab mid-century modern home furnishing store on the Boardwalk. “It also means shield or armor. I have been wearing it proudly – and it has helped me a lot – for my entire life.”

WindMill Restaurant

“The original name for the restaurant was ‘WindMill Drive-In,’ said Rena Levine-Levy, chief operating officer of this chain that sells 12,000 fantastic hotdogs each week. “In 1964, my parents and their partners were looking for a location to open a drive-in. They found the building shaped like a wind mill – in the middle of what was a pretty empty landscape back then – and named the business after the distinctive shape of the building. Many don’t know the building came before the restaurant.”

Aww Mama Productions

“Whenever my dog Kayla did something cute my friends and I would say ‘aww mama,’” said Jill Potter, founder. “The phrase ‘aww mama’ has just become familiar lingo for me, so I incorporated it into my new business.”

Pyramid Productions

“I have always been intrigued by the mystery of the pyramids,” said Aaron Coleman, founder. “The creation of an event, to me, is like the building of a pyramid. And the actual logo is the same as my tattoo.”

Stone Pony (per its website)

In 1974, friends John “Jack” Roig and Robert “Butch” Pielka opened the doors of the Stone Pony. Jack purchased the abandoned building formerly a restaurant and leveraged the managerial and construction skills of Butch. During the building’s renovation, the club’s name simply came to Butch in a dream. The rest would be Asbury Park history.

Previous columns at reveal the genesis of other local great business’ names, such as Synaxis, Clementine’s and Munch.

Briefly: There is a grand new addition to Ocean Grove – and I am not talking about the monster building under construction on Ocean Pathway that is changing the historic skyline forever.

Thanks to Animal Planet’s “Underdog to Wonderdog” – the show that pairs stray dogs with loving homes – resident Kelli Chaffers has adopted a wonderful adult collie mix, Nellie, from a shelter. Production, which included improvements to Kelli’s home and a makeover and training for Nellie, took place during the past two weeks in the City.

Further details about the taping from the production team are more hush-hush than the Frost-Nixon interview.

Except, I know Nellie was feted Thursday in fab Asbury Park fashion at Robert DeSanto’s beautiful home with many friends and cocktails.

The show featuring Kelli and Nellie – and hottie host Ryan Smith – will air Sat. March 14, 8 pm.