Cuttler Produce Inc., a wholesale produce distributor, is now nestled in at 749 Hope Road, Eatontown, but that has not always been the homes of the business.
Cuttler Produce enjoyed a long and successful run serving its customers from its Long Branch for 12 years.
Life was good for brothers and business partners Ken Cuttler, of Tinton Falls and Stuart Cuttler, of Freehold, until one terrible night ruined everything.
A fire broke out near the rear of their building located on West Avenue last August and severely damaging the Cuttlers' business. The building was closed down and Cuttler Produce and other businesses using the space including Mid Atlantic Food Distributors were also forced to leave.
"How do you recover from something like that," Ken remembers asking himself as he watched the fire destroy his business."We built the business from the business up and worked 80-90 hours per week.
The cause of the fire, which is suspected to be arson, is still under investigation, according to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.
"It's frustrating to not have a resolution, but thank God nobody was hurt," Ken said.
The fire made the building uninhabitable and the Cuttlers were forced to find a new place from which to operate their business
Fortunately, they were able to find a temporary home in a very short time.
"I was sitting in the street outside of the old building the day aftet the fire and one of my vendors called me and said they had a small refrigerator cooler and they offered it to us," Ken said.
Tri-County Cooperative of Hightstown became Cuttler Produce's temporary location for about six months until the Cuttlers opened their new location on Hope Road.
"We've done everything we can to keep on going, and in the end, we were only closed for 48 hours," Ken said. "Now we want to grow with Eatontown and the other surrounding areas."
Ken said he is thankful to all his customers and vendors for supporting him and his brother after the fire.
"The loyalty of our customers was tremendous," he said.
Ken said although he loves his new location, he will always be grateful for everything Long Branch provided for his business
"The town was good to me and helped me build a nucleus in the area," he said. "We want to continue to have a good relationship with the area."