Pig & Pepper

02 Apr 2014, Posted by JCVillage in Spotlights

Husband and wife Lou and Karen Galli — the owners of new shop Pig and Pepper, located at 277 Newark Ave. in the Village neighborhood — love living in Jersey City, and love to work and shop in it, too. Lou, 42, and Karen, 39, were tired of always having to trek out into New York City or elsewhere to find high-quality home goods, clothing, and other items. Hailing from entrepreneurial families and having previously owned their own businesses (Lou owned a DVD authoring company and Karen owns local consulting firm One Leadership Group), the couple knew what they had to do.

“We’ve always been explorers, so we found ourselves saying over and over again, ‘Jersey City needs a shop that sells….’ And that’s when we realized we were already planning our own little shop,” says Karen. “We’ve always been drawn to the idea that you create the life you want. We knew we wanted to not just live in Jersey City, but work here too.” Pig and Pepper — which took its name from the curious, whimsical tales of “Alice in Wonderland” — offers an array of goods including solar chargers for electronic devices, ceramic vases, pitchers, bowls, mugs, funky utensils, organic soaps, clothing, accessories, and toys.

Standout items include Threads 4 Thought organic clothing; Cubebot wooden toys that can be put into various poses or folded into a cube; and Sprout watches, a biodegradable and bio-based line of tickers that have become some of Lou’s favorites. “The Sprout watches have convinced him, once a decades-long ‘No-Watch-Wearing Man’ to start wearing watches,” says Karen. Karen’s most fond of their selection of used clothing.

“We have a new shipment every week, so there’s a fun, surprise element,” she says. “The price point is really affordable to encourage people to recycle clothing and to participate in sustainable living…We hope to melt the stigma about used clothes being cheap or the opposite, which is that the deals are used Madison Avenue brands.” The Gallis also want to use their store to build up the Village and Jersey City as a whole.

For example, Karen says they hope to accept clothing donations and sell a portion of those sales to a local children’s charity. Currently, they are partnered with PS5 and are donating 5% of all used clothing sales to the school. They are also accepting point of purchase donations of $1 increments that will also go to the school.


While the Gallis live in the Van Vorst Park neighborhood, they chose to open in the Village to give its residents a nice place to shop, Karen says. “Everyone who’s come into the store has been incredibly nice, welcoming and proud of our community,” she says. “I love that on my way to work, I’ll run into two or three people and have a friendly ‘Good morning!’ exchange. It’s an exciting time to be in the Village; we’re excited to see the neighborhood continue to develop!”

Pig and Pepper is located at 277 Newark Ave. For more information, call (201) 898-0252 or visit their website PigandPepperJC.com.

Village Business Spotlight: For over 100 years, small businesses have played a vital role in shaping the Village. The Village Neighborhood Association is committed to bringing awareness and support to those businesses that embrace the long-standing values and enduring community spirit of our neighborhood.

Photography by Mike McNamara