Letter from the EDITOR:


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Hello 08840! Oh summer, you are here! Are you ready for those cookouts and/or amusement parks? I sure am! And I am excited for you to check out our Summer edition magazine dedicated to the lifestyle and community of Metuchen.

We start our issue with Hazel-Anne Johnson-Marcus, who sat down with 08840 to discuss her hectic – color-coordinated – calendar. It reflects the many hats she wears in the borough from chair of the Metuchen Human Relations Commission to vice president of the Metuchen Board of Education. As well as her full-time job as a professor and associate dean in the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations. But first and foremost, she is a wife to Courtney Marcus, and mother to two girls, Hannah, 10 and Norah, 8. Learn all about Johnson-Marcus and her driving force: “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” for all starting on page 5.

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Next we head to AwesomeYo’s Kitchen on Pearl Street for our Boro Bites segment. It’s a family-owned business that started with “Oma” Donabella Louise Sanget, who had an American dream to open up a business. Her daughter, Yolanda VanWettering, was able to make that happen for her when they opened their first location on Main Street in 2018. The business specializes in custom cakes and offers a breakfast and lunch menu that includes traditional Indonesian dishes ranging in levels of spice. Along with a breakfast and lunch menu, there is also a bubble tea menu along with a number of desserts to choose from, including an Indonesian pineapple tart cookie called Nastar, which the community has lovingly dubbed “Mama’s cookie” after Oma. The family has had two “not meant to be” experiences to get them to where they are today. Learn all about AwesomeYo and what they have to offer starting on page 8.

We round out our Summer edition with Metuchen’s Mount Zion Lodge No. 135 which is celebrating150 years of free masonry this year. The milestone of brotherhood is nothing more than one “brick in the castle” for the Freemason organization which was formed by stoneworkers in the 1700s. Today, they represent the average Joes, the community leaders, dads, uncles, and granddads of Metuchen—find these men and others like them in any town with a local lodge. Learn all about the organization that strives to “make good men better,” starting on page 12.

Also check out our Metuchen on the Move on page 14 for future community events. All of this and more awaits on the pages ahead!


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