Apr 4, 2007
Mother and daughter rule the roost at shopBy Tammy McKillipIndependent

KEYPORT – They’ve been living in the Keyport area their whole lives, but it took a simple twist of fate to land them right smack in the middle of downtown, with their own retail business and a group of loyal customers. Now, locals and tourists alike flock like birds of a feather to share in The Clever Hen’s cozy, social atmosphere.

“My daughter and I had always talked about opening some kind of store in town,” said Teresa Bolte, who co-owns her West Front Street shop with daughter, Keyport Councilwoman Christian Bolte. “We were always looking for places that were empty, and this just sort of popped up, so we decided to give it a go.”

Bolte, who was born in Union Beach and has lived in Keyport for over 35 years, said that she had worked for the previous store’s owner, Mary Paskel, until that store closed its doors three-and-a-half years ago. Her daughter, who had planned on being a stay-at-home mom after leaving her investment banking job in Ridgefield Park, decided to join her mother in business and now splits the floor shift, working weekends.

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