‘Jersey Roots’ takes you back to your happy place in NJ
While the pandemic was keeping many people in New Jersey apart, Joe Amore and John Crisafulli were bringing us together. They created a Facebook Page called "Jersey Roots". Designed to take people back to their happy places and times growing up in New Jersey, this public page has over 80,000 members and is growing rapidly.
Crisafulli AKA (Johnny C The Pizza Guy) is also the Vice President of First Commerce Bank. When John isn't eating pizza, he's the Vice President, Senior Business Development Officer at First Commerce Bank, and has been in the NJ Community Banking industry for 27 years. Joe Amore has worked on the sale of automobile properties all over the county. Both Johnny and Joe were guests on my New Jersey 101.5 show taking calls, and he explained the page to me through Email and sent photos he felt resonated with the Jersey Roots page.
How did Jersey Roots get started?
It started at Joe Amore's kitchen table in Toms River. Joe and I (John Crisafulli aka Johnny C The Pizza Guy) were talking about our memories in Essex County, two different eras but similar memories, especially bakeries, eateries and the great towns of Essex County. We agreed we meet so many people in Ocean County who have cherished roots and memories to North Jersey. I shared with Joe that I wanted to create a page that not only gave a platform for people in NJ to connect and reminisce, and Joe added many from NJ have moved to states like Florida; and they also would appreciate and probably get involved. Joe was right as Florida is the 2nd state most of our members are from, so we should focus on not just North Jersey, thus Jersey Roots. We discussed how we would want members to bring their memories and those cherished memories of their loved ones back to life, and to reconnect with loved ones and old friends. Basically, taking their family photo albums off the shelves and, in a way, bringing them back to life; even as an inspiration. We agreed the page needs to be positive, and keep to specific rules, but still be a fun place to vent and let loose. We then started by sharing our Jersey Roots, and the page was born on February 28, 2021.
What has the response been like?
We were shocked when we hit 5,000 members in a monthm and members started inviting all their friends to join. People started reuniting immediately and connecting with old neighbors from their old neighborhoods. In 1 year we exceeded 50,000 Members and are now at 81,400 Members! Our page is also public and in the last 60 days 1.4 Million people have looked at our page! We have many media outlets and journalists also utilizing our page to share positive news and places to visit in NJ. It's truly the go-to place to escape the everyday challenges and stresses in life, and remember better times too. It's truly an inspirational place that promotes our Veterans, First Responders, and all things great and important about the State of NJ! Individual member posts have reached in excess of 60,000, and that is not uncommon stats!
What are the rules of the page?
1. Don't post anything against our Rules or by Facebook.
This group is intended to be a positive group to promote all good things about New Jersey including your memories and current attractions. Violation of the above rules and Membership Question may cause a Member to be muted or blocked. Any FB rules not followed could cause you to be removed from the page.
2. America and New Jersey
You agree to honor America and New Jersey with your posts and comments.
3. Be Kind, No Hate Speech or Bullying
Create a welcoming environment, and treat everyone with respect. No foul language, no posts or comments about race, religion, culture sexual orientation, gender, or identity. Keep all posts and comments civil.
4. No Promotions or Spam, Respect Everyone's Privacy
No self-promotion, advertising/charitable events/fundraising/personal causes, soliciting, spam, promoting, and irrelevant links aren't allowed. Politically related posts will not be allowed. Admin Approval is required for exceptions to Promotional or Advertising Posts. 5. No Negativity
Refrain from posting negative debate-provoking posts and comments.
6. No Talk About Taxes
No discussion or mention of taxes.
7. Multiple Daily Posting
We look closely at multiple single Member posts per day and will moderate case by case.
8. Commenting on Posts
We look closely at multiple negative comments that go against our Rules or Membership Question, if deemed necessary commenting will be turned off on specific posts.
9. Watch Parties
No watch parties may be shared to the group.
10. Respect Everyone's Privacy
Being part of this group requires mutual trust. Authentic, expressive discussions make groups great but may also be sensitive and private.
Can you give me a few stories of the people that have used Jersey Roots and how they connected or the great times that they've had using it?
Many 'influencers in NJ' kind of like myself, a Foodie in NJ, have used the page to share their passions in NJ; and we sure have great food in NJ. This includes members sharing their family recipes and how they have taken their Jersey food family traditions across the Country. This includes those who love the Jersey Shore sharing their favorite beaches and points of interest, those who go on nature trails, and visiting the many State and County Parks in NJ. Even a member who is on a mission to visit every NJ Diner! Plus, a Member who worked in the NJ Courthouse system and he shares historic photos of every NJ Courthouse. Some have used the page to promote class reunion events or even reconnect with classmates from over 50 years ago! People reunite every day on the page with family and old friends. We have had NJ authors share writings from their books and periodicals about their lives in NJ ,which has increased their followers and supported their positive passions. This includes so many NJ artists who share their cherished paintings, too. Journalists also use the page to gain readership and engagement. It's an emotional page too, as those who have lost their loved ones share their pictures and the memories they hold on to each and every day. Business owners who are smart share their Jersey Roots and gain trusted friends and then obtain new clients. This includes restaurants and so many small business owners, the backbone of our economy.
Many say they wake up and go on Jersey Roots first thing to check local news, be inspired, or just share a Jersey Good Morning; and of course in the evening a Jersey Good Night! So many beautiful NJ sunrises and sunsets are shared each day, including the many NJ animals we share this great land with. Members celebrate the holidays and even neighborhood feasts that have been going on for decades. The seasons bring new posts each year, and one of the most celebrated on our page is in the Spring when the cherry blossoms in Branch Brook Park in Newark bloom. The many photos are beyond special. Many even ask for prayers and support, so we are a place for hope, peace and healing. I always say Jersey Roots is therapeutic, and a place to relive and cherish history and family roots in NJ. We believe even the NJ Lottery has witnessed the unbelievable engagement with the ongoing Taylor Ham vs Pork Roll Debate, and recently launched a scratch-off titled 'The Jersey Debate' with this cherished debate meat on the ticket.
What's the purpose of Jersey Roots?
The purpose of our page is to promote all the great things about NJ, support tourism and small business, and be a resource for NJ residents and those visiting NJ; even those considering moving to NJ and building Jersey Roots. Members are encouraged to bring their memories in NJ back to life, honor their loved ones who have moved on, and most importantly keep NJ on the mind of the world as our members are worldwide!
NJ county fairs are back! Check out the 2023 summer schedule
How to pronounce these 20 town names in NJ
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
You can now listen to Steve Trevelise — On Demand! Discover more about New Jersey’s personalities and what makes the Garden State interesting. Download the Steve Trevelise show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.