ASBURY PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — As shops and restaurants struggle to stay open, one business owner in New Jersey is doing what she can to help other business owners.
Kimmee Masi owns Confections of a Rock$tar, a rock ‘n roll-themed cake shop on the hip Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park.
“We make confections. We don’t do breads. We don’t do rolls, but we do fun stuff,” Masi told CBS2’s Nick Caloway on Tuesday.
The sweet treats are named after hit songs.
“So we sell things like ‘Don’t Go Baking My Heart,'” Masi said.
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Like many small businesses, the bakery was rocked by COVID-19.
“At best, I want to say it was devastating, because we didn’t know if we were going to reopen,” Masi said.
She did reopen, but sales are way down. Still, as Masi struggles to keep the shop afloat, she’s trying to help other local businesses, too.
Masi started a video series called “What’s Up AP” on Instagram, spotlighting other small businesses in Asbury Park for her more than 18,000 followers.
She offered up a drink and found out more about her neighbors.
“Everybody’s got a story, and I figured why not? It’s a feel-good kind of thing,” Masi said.
Masi figures if a little bit of exposure means an extra customer or two for her neighbors, and even competitors, then why not?
“We don’t want to see anybody go out of business, so if we can do our part to help somebody else out, that’s a feel-good thing,” Masi said.
And the gesture hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“I think she recognizes that even small retail, in addition to the restaurants, really needs a spotlight, and needs people to know that we need their help to stay here,” said Carol Jafferjee, owner of Jafajems, which sells handmade gifts, accessories and home furnishings.
Many Asbury Park business owners pride themselves on the sense of community here.
This is a prime example of that.
“Because if they can stay alive, then so can we. And it’s a matter of helping each other,” Masi said.
Masi has done five episodes of What’s Up AP so far. Many of those businesses are closed on Tuesdays, but Caloway did speak by phone with the owner of the Twisted Tree Café. She was also grateful for Masi’s advocacy for small businesses, especially during these difficult times.
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