S.O. Senior Citizens Committee Gives Local Businesses Age-Friendly Awards

by The Village Green
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From the South Orange Senior Citizen Advisory Committee:

The South Orange Senior Citizen Advisory Committee presented its first Age-Friendly Business Awards last week to Kitchen a la Mode and Jackie & Son.  

Jackie, owner of Jackie & Son, with the outdoor seating that enables residents to eat safely outside.

Both businesses have been recognized by the Committee for their efforts to include older customers.  Kitchen a la Mode installed a railing at its entrance to help people enter the store. During the Master Plan Review sessions, several older residents noted the difficulty in entering some stores on the hill between Scotland and Sloan, where navigating the slope of the sidewalk and steps to an entrance can be challenging for people with limited mobility. The railing gives people safe and easy access to the store. Jackie & Son has provided exceptional service in accommodating older residents as well as offering heart healthy food options and an easy-to-read menu. Members of the Committee note how staff has made eating there under COVID safe with outside seating and service.

Members of the Senior Citizens Advisory Committee, masked up and outside, present the award to Cat Fisher at Kitchen a la Mode.

Karen Hartshorn Hilton, South Orange Trustee and Liaison to the Senior Citizen Advisory Committee, is pleased to recognize the efforts of local businesses to serve older customers. “Many people choose to retire in South Orange for the thriving, walkable downtown. We know that many older residents shop locally, are dedicated customers, and support businesses that can help support them. These awards are to let them know their efforts are appreciated and are good business practices for residents of all ages.” 

According to Age-Friendly NYC, the older adult consumer population is diverse, growing and controls 50% of discretionary spending in the US.  About 14% of South Orange residents are over 60 and tend to shop locally.  Senior Advisory Chair Tonia Moore says “For many reasons, seniors love to support local businesses. It is more convenient and more personal and makes us feel good to foster our town.”  

The Committee wants to show its appreciation for age friendly efforts and is available to help other local businesses with advice that may attract more older customers. There are many ways a business can be age friendly – sometimes it means physical changes and sometimes it is service oriented.  It can be as simple as better lighting, increased font size on the menu, or having some chairs with arms available for guests who need extra support. If you notice a South Orange business you would like to recognize for age-friendly practices or would like to learn more about how to make your business more age-friendly, contact SOMA2towns@gmail.com or (973) 558-0863.

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