The big box stores may be preparing for all-night post-Thanksgiving melees, held at ever less civilized hours, but the area’s smaller, independent shops and businesses are preparing for the day after Black Friday — “Small Business Saturday” — with at least one special event and an unusual coupon offer.
The coupon promotion is offered by the six oldest family-run businesses in Princeton through January 1. Any customer who brings in a special coupon will generate a donation of 20 percent of their purchase to the Morven Museum & Garden. The coupons, which can be used as often as a customer chooses, have been mailed to 3,500 households and are also available at the Morven website, www.morven.org/holiday-shop-local. Cards will also be available in the participating shops. For information, call 609-924-8144.
While Morven was built in the 1750s and was the home of Declaration of Independence signer Richard Stockton (and later New Jersey governors), the stores earmarking a percentage of sales in its support represent a slice of downtown Princeton history dating back to the 19th century:
Kopps Cycle Shop, 38 Spring Street. Founded in Princeton in 1891, it is thought to be the oldest bicycle shop in the country. The current owner’s father, Olympic cycling coach Fred Kuhn, bought the store in 1948.
Hinkson’s, 28 Spring Street. Co-owner John Roberto’s father bought the store from Harold M. Hinkson in 1960. Founded in 1900, the store was relocated from Nassau Street to its present location in 2005. It is operated by Roberto and his cousin, Andrew Mangone.
Landau’s, 102 Nassau Street, Owned by the Landau family since 1914, this clothing store has been in Princeton since 1955.
Hulit’s Shoes, 142 Nassau Street. The grandfather of the current owner, Chuck Simone, founded the store in 1929.
Princeton Army Navy, 14.5 Witherspoon Street, was founded in 1948. Michael Bonin, the current owner, is the grandson of the founder.
Jay’s Cycles, 249 Nassau Street, Owner Jay Mironov opened the shop in 1977, building on the demand for bicycle parts at his father’s hardware store on Witherspoon Street, Tiger Auto.
The day after Black Friday, an online consortium of small, independent businesses will celebrate Small Business Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. at Tre Piani restaurant in Forrestal Village.
The event will feature holiday vendors, a “Take Your Picture with Santa,” activity for the kids, tricky tray with prize baskets, and a magic show. It is coordinated by an online, small business website called localchatbox.com, the creation of Suzanne O’Rourke, who founded the site in 2011 to serve locally owned businesses in Princeton, Plainsboro, South Brunswick, Franklin Park, Jamesburg, and Monroe, among other towns.