Important Update on First Financial’s Response to COVID-19 in Our Area

March 19, 2020

Effective beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 all First Financial branches in Freehold/Howell, Neptune, and Toms River will be operating using Drive Thru and ATM services only during our regular business hours. All branch lobbies will be closed to walk-in visitors until further notice.

Please know this decision did not come lightly. Our senior management team has weighed each and every scenario, and ultimately made the decision that practicing our New Jersey governor’s recommendation of social distancing and limiting face-to-face contact is in the best interest of our staff, membership, and the local community.

We will still do everything we can to meet your banking needs during this difficult time. Our Member Relationship Phone Center will be available to take your calls during regular business hours of Monday-Friday 8am to 6pm, and Saturday 9am to 12:30pm.

We will continue to schedule in-branch visits for loan closings, account openings, and the Investment & Retirement Center by appointment only during regular business hours. Please call us at 732.312.1500 to schedule an appointment at your nearest branch.

As always, you can access your First Financial accounts through the electronic banking services we have available:

Despite this inconvenience, we continue to remain committed to serving you and your family with as little service disruption to your banking experience as possible.

Should you have any questions or concerns during this unprecedented time, please contact our Member Relationship Phone Center at 732.312.1500.

Thank you for your understanding and be well,

 

 

 

 

Issa Stephan
President/CEO
First Financial Federal Credit Union
732.312.1500 – Local Callers
866.750.0100 – Out of Area
www.firstffcu.com

Small Business Spotlight: The Revolutionary Lounge Cafe

We are pleased to present a blog post which features one of our current businesses, how they got started, and how First Financial has helped them grow their business. If this inspires you to want to expand your business goals or see how First Financial can assist you further, feel free to reach out to us. Keep reading to learn more about our featured Business of the Month, The Revolutionary Lounge Cafe in Toms River. 

The revolution is here! Peter Perea and Jill Mulligan have teamed up to create The Revolutionary Lounge and Cafe, a coffee house that has adopted a theme based on the United States’ part in the American revolution.

Peter Perea (Builder and Handyman) and Jill Mulligan (General Manager and Chef)

Years in Business: 8 years

What do you love most about the business?

It’s a cliche answer, but it would be the people. We have a really wonderful and loyal following throughout Ocean County and even further. Folks who love real coffee, real tea, and simply just real ingredients and local flavors – are able to appreciate what we do and that’s awesome to see. Beyond that, we are able to take more time with having a creative design inside our space. Certain coffee chains are all the same inside, but our cafe has the love of a lot of people throughout it’s design, and that’s enjoyable to see for a change. Not to mention, we have a continuous flow of coffee and espresso available at all times which doesn’t hurt either!

What has your biggest challenge been in business?

The biggest challenge is simply choosing what you want to do today, tomorrow, next week, and next year. Business is always changing and evolving, and you want to do everything – but when you’re small you’ve got to pick and choose what works best for you. That can be tough when you’re a little impatient and want to give everything a try.

What do you like most about banking with First Financial?

Cliche again, but the people and the cozier atmosphere. Sure, it’s still a financial institution, but FFFCU isn’t some giant too-big-to-fail Wall Street heavyweight…it’s a local place with local people whom we’ve come to know and appreciate. The folks at First Financial know our business, and that’s a lot more than you’ll get out of any big bank. We’re a small business, so we want to support the companies out there that support small businesses too, and that’s First Financial.

What is your key to success?

Most people will occasionally complain that they don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything they want, but we’ve discovered that with a continuous flow of caffeine you can reach hummingbird-like speeds and squeeze about 2 hours out of every 60 minutes. With 48 hours in a day how can you fail?

To learn more about The Revolutionary Lounge Cafe and see their menu, click here, email hi@revlounge.com or call 732.608.7819. You can visit their new location at 1256 Indian Head Road in Toms River.

Ready to grow your business? Call the Business Development Department at 732.312.1500, email business@firstffcu.com or stop by any branch location. Learn more about our Business Account products and services on our website.

Small Business Spotlight: MOCEANS Center for Independent Living

We are pleased to present a blog post which features one of our current businesses, how they got started, and how First Financial has helped them grow their business. If this inspires you to want to expand your business goals or see how First Financial can assist you further, feel free to reach out to us. Keep reading to learn more about our featured Business of the Month, MOCEANS Center for Independent Living in Long Branch and Toms River. 

Judyth Brown: Executive Director of MOCEANS Center for Independent Living

Tell us a bit about MOCEANS. We are the community hub for people who live with disability. We have a Monmouth County office in Long Branch, and an Ocean County office in Toms River. I used to say that we were like the guidance counselor for life after High School, but that metaphor only works if your guidance counselor is also a neighbor who has a disability. We’re the go-to place to find answers, solve problems, get access to support and services, peer support and advocacy. 50% of our staff are people who live with a disability, so we know about the obstacles and challenges that disability imposes on everyday living.

What are some of the keys to your success in growing the organization?
For me it’s really been about returning to our mission (providing information, instruction and support for people living with disability, their families, friends and allies in the community. Also promoting public awareness and barrier-free access in the community while supporting individual choice, advancing the independent living philosophy, promoting the civil rights and inclusion of all people living with disabilities). MOCEANS has been working for 30 years and the original need is just as pressing as it ever was. We’ve seen progress, sure, but we’ve also seen new challenges develop. So, we’ve turned back to our original mission to find ways to make our responses more relevant.

Tell me about your goals for MOCEANS, what does the future hold?
We’re dedicated to reaching people across the lifespan. We are primarily a resource for adults, but we want to be there at the times of life that make a difference. We’re looking to offer resources that make a lasting difference in people’s lives. So for the foreseeable future we’re looking to support young people in their transition to adult life, and we’re traveling to senior centers to support older caregivers too.

How can members of the local community help to support MOCEANS?
We have social and fundraising events, so we always need hands. We had our first annual Beach Bash this year, it was a fully accessible day at the beach in Long Branch. Volunteer help with events like that are priceless. Of course, we are a 501C3 and monetary donations keep us working in the community. But the most important support the community can render, is to be sure that anyone who needs assistance gets our number. Our services are free of charge and confidential.

What do you like most about First Financial FCU? I like the feel of a home town bank, First Financial is clearly invested in the welfare of the community. You support financial literacy with more than words, you go out to make sure that young and vulnerable people have the resources they need to manage their financial life, and that really speaks to me.

To learn more about MOCEANS and how you can help support the organization, visit their website at https://www.moceanscil.org/ 

Ready to grow your business? Call the Business Development Department at 732.312.1500, email business@firstffcu.com or stop by any branch location. Learn more about our Business Account products and services on our website.

Small Business Spotlight: We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym in Waretown

We are pleased to present a blog post which features one of our current businesses, how they got started, and how First Financial has helped them grow their business. If this inspires you to want to expand your business goals or see how First Financial can assist you further, feel free to reach out to us. Keep reading to learn more about our featured Business of the Month, We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym in Waretown. 

Jeff Kachuba and Mary Topoleski: Owners of We Rock The Spectrum Kids Gym

What made you open a kids’ gym? Jeff and Mary’s four year old, Nicholas, was diagnosed with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) at age 2. Jeff and Mary were driving long distances to facilities with equipment designed specifically to help people with SPD. SPD is a condition where the brain has difficulty receiving and reacting to sensory information. Kids’ gyms with specialized equipment provide sensory integration therapy, which is the best form of treatment for SPD. There was a real need for this type of gym in Ocean County and Jeff and Mary stepped in to meet that need.

What do you like most about being in business? It is great to be able to provide a place for children to be themselves. Being a business owner is exciting and provides new and different challenges every day.

What do you like most about banking with First Financial?
The easy to use personalized service of the Business Development Department is great. Also the fact that they provided the loan to help open up the business was a plus!

A bit about the facility…
We Rock The Spectrum is a nationwide franchise with more than 50 locations. Jeff and Mary’s Waretown location is the third in New Jersey and the first in the Ocean County area.

We Rock The Spectrum Waretown is a 3,800 square foot facility containing a zip line, crash pit, a variety of swings, tunnels, trampoline, rotators, puzzles and more. The gym is for all children, but includes equipment to provide sensory integration therapy. The gym’s motto is “Finally, a place where you never have to say you’re sorry.”  It is completely okay for autistic children to act out at the gym, no apology necessary and no need for parents to feel awkward!

The facility offers a gathering room to host private birthday parties. Private class trips, special needs private class trips and open play class trips are also available at the gym.

To learn more about We Rock The Spectrum or to schedule a trip or event, give them a call at 609-622-8285, email info@werockthespectrumwaretown.com or visit their website at www.werockthespectrumwaretown.com/  

Ready to grow your business? Call the Business Development Department at 732.312.1500, email business@firstffcu.com or stop by any branch location. Learn more about our Business Account products and services on our website.

Small Business Spotlight: Nino’s Coal Fired Pizza in Brick

We are pleased to present a blog post which features one of our current businesses, how they got started, and how First Financial has helped them grow their business. If this inspires you to want to expand your business goals or see how First Financial can assist you further, feel free to reach out to us. Keep reading to learn more about our featured Business of the Month, Anthony Schifilliti: Owner of Nino’s Coal Fired Pizza. 

Anthony Schifilliti: Owner of Nino’s Coal Fired Pizza

Get your fresh pizza from Nino’s Coal Fired Pizza in Brick, NJ. Owner Anthony Shifilliti has been in the restaurant business for over 31 years, and has owned Nino’s for the last 10 years. Nino’s takes great pride in their food and customer satisfaction. During the week – Nino’s has theme nights, from 20% off your bill to children under age 10 eat for free with a regular adult entrée.

Business Owner: Anthony Schifilliti

Years in Business: 31 years

What do you love most about the business? Interactions with the customers and the satisfaction of what we create here at Nino’s.

What has your biggest challenge been in business? Not being complacent, I am always trying to improve the overall product.

What do you like most about banking with First Financial? First the one on one personal relationships, I know everyone by name and know I am not just another member. I love to recommend everyone I can to First Financial Federal Credit Union!

What is your key to success? Being excited, having passion, and truly putting the product and customer satisfaction before profit.

Visit Nino’s website for more information and to check out their delicious menu! 

Ready to grow your business? Call the Business Development Department at 732.312.1500, email business@firstffcu.com or stop by any branch location. Learn more about our Business Account products and services on our website.

Small Business Spotlight: Capt’n Hippo in Toms River

We are pleased to present a blog post which features one of our current businesses, how they got started, and how First Financial has helped them grow their business. If this inspires you to want to expand your business goals or see how First Financial can assist you further, feel free to reach out to us. Keep reading to learn more about our featured Business of the Month, Capt’n Hippo Bait & Tackle in Toms River. 

Capt’n Hippo Bait & Tackle:

Fishing or crabbing? Get your fresh bait and gear at Capt’n Hippo Bait & Tackle in South Toms River, NJ. Owners Lenny and Sandy Hahn have over 20 years experience fishing the Toms River and surrounding waters. Capt’n Hippo is proud of their small size.  They have everything needed to get you started at a very reasonable price. In fact, there is nothing in the store that costs more than $100.00! Lenny and Sandy are local, genuine, knowledgeable, and love to help people just starting out.  

Owners: Lenny and Sandy Hahn

Years in Business: 8+

Previous Careers: Lenny was a Civil Engineer CAD Manager for 25+ years. When he was laid off he had the choice of either finding a new job or starting his own business. Lenny had always loved fishing, so a bait and tackle store was the perfect fit. Capt’n Hippo was born!

What do you love most about the business?

The customers!  Making new friends and seeing parents bringing children in to learn how to fish.

What has your biggest challenge been in business?

Getting people in the door and keeping operating costs down.

What do you like most about banking with First Financial?

Ease of use, and the people at First Financial are great!

What is your key to success?

Smiling! All of the shops have the same inventory on the shelves; it is the people behind the counter that make the difference.

You can find Capt’n Hippo Bait & Tackle at:

334 Atlantic City Blvd

Toms River NJ 08757

Phone: (732) 505-3500

https://www.facebook.com/CaptnHippo/

Ready to grow your business? Call the Business Development Department at 732.312.1500, email business@firstffcu.com or stop by any branch location. Learn more about our Business Account products and services on our website.