Meghan Buchert moved from the Upper East Side to Franklin Lakes, NJ. She just recently launched Jardin Infusions, an innovative Champagne and Spirits mixer. Meghan tells us how she juggles being a mom, wife, food scientist and entrepreneur. She shares her story- how she struggled to make friends at first, how she adjusted to life in the suburbs and her current life now as a Bergen County mom launching a new product line. Here is Jardin Infusions, Meghan Buchert’s Life in Franklin Lakes, NJ.
Tell me about your move from New York City to New Jersey
Why did you choose to move to Franklin Lakes, NJ?
After I left my Food Science job in Princeton, I decided to pursue my passion in Fine Fragrance Research. I received a great relocation package from a massive fragrance and personal care company to help sell my condo in Princeton and to buy a house. My husband and I looked all over Bergen County and some parts of New York. We wanted a big yard and privacy. We looked into Warwick – I still love that town but it was too far for my husband. We chose our town because of our jobs. I had such an incredible relocation package that favored buying a home so we decided to buy a house because of the huge savings and sell it if we didn’t like it. But we love it here. We have a large yard with lots of trees and animals. I have my gardens and that’s where I find peace. Even if it’s yard work I find it meditative. The house became a home.
When you moved to your F
ranklin Lakes, NJ, did you know anyone?
When we first moved here, I did not know anybody and it took me a while to meet people. It’s a pretty quiet town. I envisioned a Norman Rockwell experience but it wasn’t like that. I regretted not buying a house in a walking town. I joined a club to meet friends and didn’t really mesh with the women since I was working and they were not. Then I tried to join a gardening club but it was all older folks. As a result, my husband and I would go to the city often to see our friends. I only started to meet people when I had my son. It was a hard adjustment. I am happy here now but it took me some time.
Can you describe your social life?
I currently have a great social life. I have a few girlfriends and we get together quite a bit. I met one of my girlfriends at a park at my first ever playdate. We hit it off and have been great friends since. At her son’s birthday party, I met her neighbor who has a networking organization, Lady Savant, and we hit it off too. I didn’t join at first but she always invited me to events. It wasn’t until I started my company that I joined for all the benefits. I met another close friend through her networking group and some other great ladies. I met one friend at a library story group and we bonded over our boys getting into trouble together!
You have started a new business, can you describe your typical day?
I wish I could say it was calm, but I am only a couple months into the product launch of Jardin Floral Infusions. It’s a mixer for Champagne. It’s all natural, one of a kind, and has rocked my world. The momentum has been fantastic, and I am really proud of myself for following through and launching it. There were so many times I wanted to give up, but I just bared down and tried to remember to breathe. It’s a ton of work but I truly love being on this side of the business. The learning curve is extraordinary so I am grateful to add it to my bio. I have had my consulting business for years but launching my own product requires a tremendous amount of attention to details and a lot of juggling and learning and executing. There is always something that needs to be done and I do everything (and my husband, can’t forget him!).
This was my Monday: I woke up with my 2-year-old singing as loud as he could my name. I got all of us ready, made breakfast and dropped children off at the in-laws (who are a Godsend). My babysitter is gone for a month on a European Vacation and my mother just moved. As I headed to the production site for a manufacturing run, I made a few sales calls to gourmet stores in the Hamptons. Some went well, some not so well. After my visit with the manufacturer, I made a few more stops before heading home to prepare my products for final packaging. I followed up on a couple more sales calls and got myself into a meeting in town. Score! I head over to pick up kids. Make dinner. Put crying baby to bed before dinner knowing he and I will be up at 2am. Play with my 6-year-old on playground and try not to shriek as he shows me all of the creepy crawlies he pulled from under the rocks. I should be used to this as a boy mom. Husband gets home. We sit down for dinner and some wine outside on our patio and relax a bit before working again. Both of us have a ton of work to do still. Tonight, I am making a cocktail menu to go with my sales samples. After tucking the kids in bed, I work on the menu. Three more cocktails to go. Give some to my husband and he approves. I am good at this cocktail making thing. 9:45pm, run out of Ketel One and head to the liquor store in town. Decide that I should also send finished product samples with the cocktail menu because it’s a nice touch, so I do that for another hour. At 12am, I start the physical menu and make headway and of course it gets deleted…ARGH always happens! I go to bed then the baby wakes up at 2 am but thankfully husband takes the baby tonight. I relieve him at 4am and now it’s Tuesday.
How old are your kids? What do you like to do with your kids in your area?
My children are 6 and 2 years old. I have two boys. We go to the park, playground and gym. Usually once a week we do an impromptu day trip into the city or the beach. We also sometimes run errands, but I try to make it fun for them. We love the Central Park zoo and have our annual membership there. We also like the Bergen County Zoo in Van Saun Park for local trips. We go on walks, hikes and they like to play on their playground at home.
What are the best playgrounds and parks in the area?
Bergen County has so many to choose from. The Franklin Lakes Library, the Wyckoff Library, the playground near the Glen Rock Pool.
How would you describe the residents of Franklin Lakes?
The residents around here are super nice and friendly.
You have a Franklin Lakes, NJ address but are districted to Oakland schools?
Yes, it’s a bit confusing. We are districted for Oakland schools and pay taxes to Oakland. Our mailing address is Franklin Lakes but if you address it as Oakland, your mail gets returned. My son missed the Kindergarten Registration because it was mailed to Oakland. Fortunately the Oakland Board of Education was so helpful and kind and they let us in without any issues.
What are your favorite restaurants in the area?
We like Varka Estiatorio in Ramsey, Bottagra in Hawthorne, Blue Moon Mexican Cafe in Wykoff.
What are your go-to places in your town or in the area?
The Whole Foods in Ridgewood, Oakland Farmers Market, Market Basket in Franklin Lakes.
Are you a member of a country club?
One day I will sit down and complete the application for the Indian Trail Club in Franklin Lakes. There is a crazy long wait list and a lot of forms to fill out. I’ll do it when my youngest is out of diapers. It’s truly beautiful and I grew up on a lake, so I would like my children to have a similar experience.
What has your experience been so far with schools in your area?
Schools are great here. I interviewed at least ten preschools and we had a hard time deciding between five of them. My advice would be not to get so caught up in curriculum or style that you forget to look at the actual teachers teaching your children. Do the children look happy? Is the curriculum logical? What is the student teacher ratio? We narrowed down our list of schools to two but had difficulty picking which school, so I had my son sit in one day. He had a nice time. The place was clean, teachers were nice. Check. Check, Check. But I got a sense that the children were a bit lonely. I think kids need to be kids. Let them scream and be wild and run during recess and have a personality. Also, that school seemed intense, they had speed learning sessions where kids spent thirty seconds at each spot to intensely learn. I decided that my son would not go there, and we chose the other school, Green Twig School in Midland Park which was fantastic.
Any tips/advice you wished someone had told you when you were looking to move to the suburbs?
Rent first if you are unfamiliar with the area.
About Meghan Buchert
Meghan Buchert is the founder of MAD Liquid Innovation, a product development consulting company helping individuals develop market ready products. After a career as a Food Scientist in the Ingredient Supplier industry and also as a Scientist for Fine Fragrance R&D, Meghan decided to launch her own product, Jardin Infusions. Jardin Infusions are 3 Calories, Floral Infused Mixers for Champagne and other spirits. She uses thousands of flower blossoms to create the non-GMO, all-natural shimmering mixers. Aside from Jardin Infusions, she is passionate about Lady Savant Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps children though empowerment and education. She sits on the board. A portion of Jardin Infusions proceeds go toward the foundation. She resides in Bergen County, NJ with her husband and two children.
Flower Infusions. Enhancing your drinking occasion by creating a hip, fun and luxurious experience at home or with friends. Lavender, Rose & Honeysuckle Non-Alcoholic Mixers for Champagne. 3 Calories. Non-GMO, Natural, Preservatives free, 20X Concentrated. Floral Infusions.
Our 2018 mission is to build a school in Liberia, Africa. 100% of proceeds from our upcoming fundraiser will provide students their right to a quality education in Africa.
@jardininfusions on Instagram
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