Business: North Beach Gallery and Gifts

Location: 5209 Atlantic Ave., Ventnor

Owner: Kimberly Romantino, of Margate

Employees: Owner-operated

Phone: 609-214-3994

North Beach Gallery and Gifts is trying to give back to the community. We support local artists and local musicians.

We also have a hospitality room, where someone can just come in, relax with a cup of coffee and read books, listen to music.

We have people come in and read poetry.

We also have handmade gifts, unique gifts, jewelry, ceramics and pottery.

And we do fundraisers. That’s a main thing. Once a month, I pick something for a fundraiser.

For example, we raised money for N.J. Audubon Society. We had an artist come in, Betsy Naumchik, of Galloway Township. She was the local artist, and she paints beautiful pictures of birds.

At the same time, her daughter, Rebecca Nell, who just moved to Vermont, performed outside the store for Malelani Cafe. We worked together on the fundraiser.

We had the live music, the artists and we sold tickets to a meet-and-greet for both. Rebecca just had a CD released, and she’s known as the Robin, so that’s why we picked N.J. Audubon. We also had the CD to sell.

In the front of the gallery, we have works on tables, walls and in cases, as well as a few chairs. In the back room, we have a couch and a couple of chairs, as well as some works on display.

We’re open Wednesdays through Sundays, 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays we stay open later, for the dinner crowd.

We’re seeking any local artists who are interested in displaying their work with us.

Entry: Previously I was a preschool teacher for 13 years. I had gone through a bad separation and a change in my life when I lost both of my parents. The people at Malelani Cafe helped me, and when the store became available next to them, he said, ‘Why don’t you take it, and I’ll help you out.’

I had done some open-mike standup comedy there and some promotional work with them. So I jumped right in and opened my own store.

The future: I’m hoping that within a year or two I can get enough artists and musicians involved to find a bigger place. I’d like to be able, for example, to have a women’s club come in and start a discussion group.

Business Editor Kevin Post