Action News' John Paul helps show GMA what makes Haddonfield, New Jersey special

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Thursday, July 4, 2024
Take a look at Main Street in Haddonfield, New Jersey
Haddonfield, New Jersey is stitched with historical landmarks and an unlikely prehistoric discovery! Take a look at what makes it so great!

HADDONFIELD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- GMA is celebrating communities across the country that embody the American spirit and Thursday morning, Haddonfield, New Jersey got the spotlight.

Kings Highway is stitched with historical landmarks and an unlikely prehistoric discovery: the Hadrosaurus.

But it's how the town was founded that has influenced today's bustling Main Street, namely Elizabeth Haddon.

"in 1701, Elizabeth had traveled here as a 21-year-old young woman, representing her father to stake claim on the property he purchased. So, we were founded by an incredibly young, strong woman," said Haddonfield Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich.

For Michelle Gillen-Doobrajh, the owner of Tildie's Toy Box -- a gender-neutral toy store -- her business is essential in reviving part of Main Street.

"It is a spot that needed some vibrancy. It's great to see the businesses that are on this end thriving and supporting one another and working together," Gillen-Doobrajh said.

Right across the shop, chef and chocolatier, Melissa Crandley, set out to launch Mecha Chocolate, to fold in small-town charm with every bite.

"I could always see the great interaction between the customers and the businesses. So, it's not just a business level, it's on a personal level to the customers," Crandley said.

A few blocks down is a spot called Hooked. Owned by Danique Martin, she left her corporate job to go into business for herself in 2012.

"The 'shop small' mentality is really the crux of why we have businesses here in Haddonfield," she said.

And every summer, the town gathers for their biggest celebration of the year: Their Fourth of July parade.

"July 4 is really a beautiful day here in Haddonfield because it's so much about celebrating our nation's history, our state's history. And it's really something that brings joy to a lot of people," Mayor Bianco Bezich said.