Brant Beach Bulletin – March 8, 2024

Brant Beach Bulletin – March 8, 2024

This issue covers Township topics and continues our series of articles spotlighting Brant Beach businesses. This month, we highlight The Island Shop.

Representatives from the Brant Beach Taxpayers Association including Pete Potochney, Donn O’Brien and Ben Tonti attended the March 4 Long Beach Township Commissioner’s Meeting.

The Beach Badge Shack on 68th Street opens Friday, March 29 from 9am–3pm. Easter weekend hours continue on Saturday 9am–3 pm and Sunday 9am–12 noon. Beginning April 1, the shack will be open daily from 9am–3pm. A seasonal badge is $40 when purchased pre-season.

LBI Beach Replenishment is on schedule. The expectation is bids will go out at the end of this month, with contract award in April, and work commencing in June. Beach replenishment should start in Harvey Cedars and move south, but the specific sites were not announced.

Easter Egg Hunt  Who doesn’t love a chance to spend time with an alpaca, who will be there along with music, refreshments, and the Easter Bunny at the Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 23 from 12–2 pm at Bayview Park. The rain date is Sunday, March 24.

Bring your own basket and join the LBT Police Department and LBT PBA #373 at 68th Street in Brant Beach for this annual event, featuring all the activities mentioned above plus crafts and bouncy houses. For questions, call Gina at 609-361-6697 or email

First Responders Certification Program.  Commissioner Lattanzi, who is also a practicing physician, announced that this program, inaugurated last year in partnership with the Beach Haven Volunteer First Aid Squad, is making “very good progress” in building out the emergency medical squad for this year. The goal is to find and train volunteers for the squad that serves Brant Beach. While the Commissioner said it was too soon to declare victory, he is very pleased with the results so far. The alternative would be paid services, which would increase our taxes considerably.

WaterSmart App.  If you haven’t yet signed up for the free WaterSmart app, please do so – it’s easy!  With the app you can monitor water usage in nearly real-time and, most importantly, you can sign up for usage alerts so you’ll know if your house has a leak before you get there. Go to the LBT website OR to get started. You’ll need your water/sewer account number to complete the sign-up. Not sure what it is? You can find your account information here under Utilities.

Welcome New LBT Police Officer Kelley Lutz.  After summarizing his superlative qualifications and experience so far with the LBT Police Department, Captain Michel Brennan conducted the swearing-in ceremony of Officer Lutz, who is now a full-time Class II Officer. His brother Ryan, a distinguished police officer with the Ocean City Police Department, held the Bible during the ceremony, which was attended by family members and many other LBT police officers.

LBT Municipal Offices are closed Friday, March 29 for Good Friday except the Beach Badge Shack is open 9am–3 pm.

LBI Shuttle and Gator Service will be offered this season with no major changes anticipated.


❖ Proposed on First Reading.  First reading ordinances are temporarily unavailable on the LBT website while it undergoes redesign. They are available at the Township building.

24-09C  This ordinance clarifies the requirement for oceanfront homeowners to roll up and store their beach access walkways November 2–March 31. Rollover beach access walkways would be permitted April 1–November 1.

24-07  Allows the municipal appropriation budget to be exceeded and establishes a 2024 cap bank. This ordinance is introduced and passed every year under a new identification number. It allows the budget cap of 2.5% imposed by the State of New Jersey to be raised to 3.5% if needed. Mayor Mancini reaffirmed that even though this ordinance appears annually like clockwork, it has never been used and he does not expect to use it this year.

24-08C  This ordinance, required by state law, repeals and replaces current regulations related to pawnbrokers and dealers in secondhand goods. Since there are no such business establishments operating in LBT, it is proposed only to fulfill the state’s requirement.

❖ Passed on Second Reading

24-02 & 24-03  Authorizes bonds in the amounts of $235,000 and $965,000, respectively, for equipment for the Water/Sewer and Public Works Departments.

23-04  Clarifies parking space requirements for new construction. Each required space must have adequate ingress and egress to the street.

24-05  Establishes landscaping fees, requires construction permits for any plantings over 12 inches in height and revises upward the distance plantings must be from public roadways.

23-06  Requires businesses to have insurance certifications and Mercantile licenses for commercial establishments with outdoor seating.

Spotlight on our Brant Beach businesses:

The Island Shop 

The popular Island Shop in Brant Beach has an inspiring history of women’s entrepreneurship.

In 1944, the tide of war was turning in favor of the Allies, and Mrs. Ann Hoffman of Beach Haven was a smart, newly married housewife when she astutely observed that there was no women’s clothing store on the island. With the proceeds of a $300 war bond, she bought seven stylish dresses from a wholesaler, strung a line across the large window of her living room (which is now the Show Place Ice Cream Parlor), sold them to her friends, and reinvested the profits. And she did it again and again.

Within a year, the Island Shop was incorporated. By 1960 the store had outgrown several interim locations, so Ann bought a former boat repair shop on a large lot facing the Boulevard at 42nd Street. She grew her enterprise into a destination store for women’s casual attire, attracting island locals as well as summer residents and mainlanders.

A decade later, Ann’s teenage son John met young Jessica Herrman at Schooner’s Wharf in Beach Haven. Coincidentally, Jessica had a strong interest in apparel and dreamed of attending the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. Ann was planning to sell the shop and retire, but John convinced his mother to wait and see how his relationship with Jessica developed. A few years later, Jessica graduated from FIT, honed her skills at Saks Fifth Avenue, and became John’s bride. In 1979, Ann sold the business to her son and new daughter-in-law.

Jessica Hoffman has now run the Island Shop for 49 of its 75 years and has no plans to stop other than possibly passing it to the next generation. She owns a house in Brant Beach, but in the busy summer months, she often stays in the store’s upstairs apartment in order to stretch her days.

What is it like to be the owner of an independent clothing store? Jessica thrives on it. She relies on her excellent long-term contacts in the Garment District. Each June, several of her most loyal customers make appointments for private shopping after store hours to buy their entire summer wardrobe. Others ask to be notified when a certain line of clothing arrives. She has dressed clients for weddings, television appearances and Commodore’s Dinners. But her focus remains on attentive service to every customer and offering clothes that are up to date, good quality, and priced within reach. Customers frequently walk in and say, “I need an outfit for such-and-such”. With a knowledgeable glance, the salesperson accurately estimates the right clothing size before gathering half a dozen hangers for consideration. At both casual and splashy BBYC events, it’s well known that The Island Shop has dressed quite a few of the women.

Every September, Jessica orchestrates a clearance sale, offering the season’s merchandise at very attractive prices. This period also marks the beginning of her personal time for rejuvenation and inspiration. During the winter months, she embarks on travels, plans for the upcoming year, and rekindles her passion for her work. Jessica appreciates the supportive business environment fostered by the Township.

Has she considered selling her valuable commercial real estate for a life of year-round relaxation?  “Absolutely not,” she asserts. “Once a landmark is gone, it’s gone forever.” Despite the profound personal losses she has faced, including the tragic passing of her husband in a small airplane accident and the heartbreaking loss of two of her sons to illness, Jessica finds strength in her unwavering happiness with life. Her resilience is bolstered by the love for her family, many of whom call LBI their home, her deep-rooted faith, and the support of close friends from St. Francis and the Brant Beach Yacht Club.

The Island Shop is set to open on Wednesday, April 17, with a carefully curated selection of women’s casual attire emphasizing everyday wearability, as well as a large selection of jewelry and beach sandals. As Brant Beach moves into another year, The Island Shop remains an iconic presence, symbolizing not just fashion but a commitment to community and continuity.

Thank you for being a part of the

Brant Beach Taxpayers Association