Katie Thompson (center) cuts the ribbon in celebration of the Grand Opening of her pottery studio, Hugs Ceramics. Also pictured from left are: Councilman Matt Gayle, Gloucester County Commissioner Heather Simmons, and Councilmen Travis Lawrence and Bruce Nordaby. (SJO Photo)
On November 19, 2022, Katie Thompson celebrated the Grand Opening of Hugs Ceramics in downtown Westville with a Ribbon Cutting where she was joined by local officials and a crowd of well-wishers.
Katie thanked everyone for their support. “I really appreciate you coming out to watch me cut the ribbon. I am happy to be here and I like it here. I hope to be for a long time!”
Also in attendance for the ribbon cutting were Gloucester County Commissioner, Heather Simmons, and Councilmen Travis Lawrence, Bruce Nordaby, and Matt Gayle.
Councilman Travis Lawrence officially welcomed Katie and Hugs Ceramics to Westville. He proudly explained that she is the first tenant to occupy space in a building that sat vacant for over two decades.
“We have really been doing a big push on redevelopment here in downtown…This building here sat vacant for 25 years. Due to the efforts of the Westville Business Association, Zoning and Planning, Council, and with the help of the Commissioners at the County level, this building is how you see it because of the redevelopment efforts of each and every part of that. We welcome you to town.”
Gloucester County Commissioner Heather Simmons welcomed Katie and Hugs Ceramics, not only to Westville, but also to Gloucester County. She noted that the studio will drive foot traffic to other businesses in the downtown area.
“What you can offer this community is even more important,” Commissioner Simmons said. “Businesses like yours bring foot traffic and extend people’s stay in this beautiful main street area. People will come here and then they go grab a drink at the brewery and then they grab something to eat. They are spending an afternoon or a day or an evening here because of you. We want to thank you, your family, and your employees for the investment that you are making in this community.”
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Commissioner Simmons also presented Katie with a Certificate on behalf of the Gloucester County Board of Freeholders acknowledging and congratulating her on the official grand opening.