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Knee Pain Treatment & Specialist

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Avoid Surgery and Reduce Pain with

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Freehold, NJ

Are you experiencing knee pain symptoms such as popping, clicking, bone-on-bone grinding, achiness, or sharp stabs? You're not alone in this journey. Knee pain affects nearly 25% of adults in the United States, causing discomfort, swelling, and chronic pain that can hinder everyday activities like childcare, walking, and exercise. Shockingly, recent statistics from The American Academy of Family Physicians indicate a 65% increase in diagnosed knee pain cases.

In a world where invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers are often the default solutions, it's crucial to explore the effective non-invasive options that are available. These alternative treatments provide relief without the associated risks of surgery.

Today, many doctors still recommend invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers rather than exploring non-invasive options. While those treatments are needed in some circumstances, there are alternative treatments available that can help you overcome knee pain without needing to go under the knife.

NJ Sports Spine and Wellness' advanced knee pain treatment in Freehold, NJ gives men and women suffering from knee pain hope. Instead of relying on surgery, our team of doctors and physical therapists use non-invasive, highly effective treatments to help heal prevalent conditions such as:

Service Areas

Arthritis

Soft tissue injury

ACL tears

MCL tears

Patella dislocation

Misalignment of the kneecap

Patella tendonitis

Jumper's knee

Osgood Schlatter's Disease

Knee

With the right treatment,

many people can reduce their pain and improve their function, allowing them to return to normal daily activities. Plus, by taking preventative measures and seeking prompt care from our team, it's possible to reduce your risk of developing chronic knee pain and other painful knee conditions. If you've been searching for a non-invasive way to eliminate knee pain and get back to an active life, your journey to recovery starts here.

Let's take a closer look at some of the knee pain treatments available at NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, which all serve as great alternatives to knee replacement surgery.

Physical Therapy:

Optimizing Musculoskeletal Health with Conservative Care

The field of Physical Therapy (PT) aims to rehabilitate individuals who have experienced injury, illness, or disability by restoring their mobility and function. Physical therapists cater to patients of various ages and capabilities, ranging from young athletes to senior citizens, in order to help them surpass physical limitations and improve their standard of living with advanced knee pain treatment in Freehold, NJ.

At NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, our physical therapy program was founded on a patient-centric philosophy, where physical therapists work closely with patients to get a deep understanding of their goals, preferences, and capabilities. In doing so, they can create a tailor-made treatment strategy to address their unique knee pain with the goal of avoiding a knee replacement. Treatment may involve exercises that are therapeutic in nature and can include:

  • Joint mobilizations
  • Soft tissue mobilization using cupping
  • Graston technique
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Stretching of associated muscle groups

Joint Mobilization for Knee Pain

This unique knee pain solution involves physical therapists using skilled manual therapy techniques to help improve your joint range of motion while simultaneously reducing your knee pain.

During joint mobilization, a physical therapist applies targeted pressures or forces to a joint in specific directions to improve its mobility. The intensity of the force applied can vary, and it is adjusted based on the patient's comfort level. Joint mobilization is generally pain-free.

STM

Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM)

Soft Tissue Mobilization is a manual therapy technique that involves stretching and applying deep pressure to rigid muscle tissue. This helps to relax muscle tension and move fluids that are trapped in the tissues that cause pain and inflammation. This effective form of physical therapy is often used as an advanced knee pain treatment in Freehold, NJ for treating knee strains, knee sprains, knee pain, and more.

Graston

The Graston Technique

The Graston Technique involves the use of handheld instruments to identify and break up scar tissue through specialized massage. During a Graston Technique session, physical therapists use convex and concave tools for cross-friction massage, which involves rubbing or brushing against the grain of the scar tissue. This process re-introduces small amounts of trauma to the affected area. In some cases, this process temporarily causes inflammation, which can actually boost the amount and rate of blood flow in the knee. This process helps initiate and promote the healing process so you can get back to a normal life.

Massage

Soft Tissue Massage

Soft tissue massage is a less intense form of massage than it's deep-tissue relative. Instead of focusing on slow and firm strokes to reach the deep layers of muscles and tissues, this massage technique uses a variety of pressures, depths, and durations. Soft tissue massage is helpful in alleviating different types of knee aches, pains, and injuries. Soft tissue massages can also help reduce stress, improve circulation, and promote relaxation.

Advanced Mechanics and Technology:

The Future of Knee Pain Therapy

While knee pain is a common symptom that affects millions of Americans every year, no two cases of knee pain are ever exactly alike. Some types of knee injuries require non-traditional solutions. At New Jersey Sports Spine and Wellness, we offer a range of treatments that leverage mechanics and technology to help patients recover from injuries while treating inflammation and pain as well as resolve the root cause of the pain.

AlterAlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill is equipped with NASA Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology, which is a precise air calibration system that uses the user's actual body weight to enhance rehabilitation and training. By utilizing a pressurized air chamber, the AlterG allows patients and athletes to move without any pain or restrictions.

This advanced knee pain treatment in Freehold, NJ uniformly reduces gravitational load and body weight up to 80% in precise 1% increments. The results can be incredible, with patients reporting benefits such as:

  • Restoring and building of knee strength
  • Restored range of motion in the knee
  • Better balance
  • Improved knee function
  • More

What Makes the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill So Effective?

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill can monitor various metrics such as speed, gait pattern, stride length, and weight distribution. With real-time feedback and video monitoring, your rehabilitation team can promptly and accurately identify issues and pain points or monitor your progress throughout your knee pain rehabilitation journey.

One of the key benefits of this cutting-edge equipment is that it replicates natural walking and movement patterns without the artificial feel that hydrotherapy or harnesses create. This makes it an excellent choice for faster recovery after knee injuries or surgeries, as it allows for early mobilization while also preserving strength. Furthermore, it is ideal for sports recovery as athletes can use it for physical conditioning maintenance.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Freehold, NJ
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Freehold, NJ

Low-Level Laser Therapy

Our advanced treatment modalities for knee pain include laser therapy, which harnesses the revolutionary power of light through photobiomodulation (PBM). LiteCureâ„¢ low-level laser therapy is available for acute and chronic types of knee pain and can be hugely beneficial when coupled with physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic care, and sports recovery care.

Understanding Photobiomodulation (PBM)

PBM is a medical treatment that harnesses the power of light to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. The photons from the light penetrate deep into the tissue and interact with mitochondria, which results in a boost in energy production. This interaction sets off a biological chain reaction that increases cellular metabolism. Utilizing low-level light therapy has been shown to:

  • Alleviate knee pain
  • Speed up tissue healing
  • Promote overall health and wellness
  • Expedite knee pain injury recovery
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Freehold, NJ

Exclusive Access to

Pain Management Professionals

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we know that every patient requires a personalized approach to chronic knee pain and condition management. Sometimes, our patients need access to pain management professionals, who can offer relief in conjunction with physical therapy and other solutions like low-level laser therapy.

Two of the most common services we offer for pain management includes acupuncture which can assist in avoiding knee replacement surgery.

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Freehold, NJ

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Freehold, NJ

What Happens During Acupuncture Therapy for Knee Pain?

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Freehold, NJ

Is Acupuncture Actually Effective for Knee Pain?

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Avoid Knee Replacements with Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Freehold, NJ

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Freehold, NJ

When it comes to knee pain therapies and treatments, getting a knee replacement should be last on your list. Why put your body through such trauma if you haven't tried other non-invasive treatment options? Whether you're an athlete trying to work through a knee injury or you're over 65 and are dealing with osteoarthritis, NJ Sports Spine and Wellness can help.

It all starts with an introductory consultation at our office in Matawan or Marlboro. During your first visit, we'll talk to you about your knee pain symptoms, the goals you have in mind, and the advanced knee pain treatments available to you at our practice. From there, it's only a matter of time before you get back to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Every day you wait can worsen your knee condition. Contact us today and let our team help get you on the road to recovery and life with painful knees.

Latest News in Freehold, NJ

10 most expensive homes sold in Freehold, Sept. 11-17

A house that sold for $1.4 million tops the list of the most expensive residential real estate sales in Freehold in the past week.In total, 22 residential real estate sales were recorded in the area during the past week, with an average price of $692,979. The average price per square foot was $295.The prices in the list below concern real estate sales where the title was recorded during the week of Sep. 11 even if the property may have been sold earlier.10. $650,000, detached house at 27 Ticonderoga Blvd.The sal...

A house that sold for $1.4 million tops the list of the most expensive residential real estate sales in Freehold in the past week.

In total, 22 residential real estate sales were recorded in the area during the past week, with an average price of $692,979. The average price per square foot was $295.

The prices in the list below concern real estate sales where the title was recorded during the week of Sep. 11 even if the property may have been sold earlier.

10. $650,000, detached house at 27 Ticonderoga Blvd.

The sale of the single-family home at 27 Ticonderoga Blvd., Freehold, has been finalized. The price was $650,000, and the new owners took over the house in August. The house was built in 1971 and has a living area of 2,720 square feet. The price per square foot was $239. The deal was finalized on Aug. 18.

9. $650,000, single-family residence at 227 Monmouth Road

The 2,844 square-foot single-family house at 227 Monmouth Road, Freehold, has been sold. The transfer of ownership was settled in August and the total purchase price was $650,000, $229 per square foot. The house was built in 1909. The deal was finalized on Aug. 23.

8. $700,000, single-family home at 82 Sunnybrook Drive

The property at 82 Sunnybrook Drive in Freehold has new owners. The price was $700,000. The house was built in 1973 and has a living area of 2,562 square feet. The price per square foot is $273. The deal was finalized on Aug. 21.

7. $859,000, single-family house at 10 Avon Drive

The sale of the single family residence at 10 Avon Drive in Freehold has been finalized. The price was $859,000, and the new owners took over the house in August. The house was built in 2011 and has a living area of 2,671 square feet. The price per square foot was $322. The deal was finalized on Aug. 22.

6. $925,000, single-family house at 15 Lenape Trail

The property at 15 Lenape Trail in Freehold has new owners. The price was $925,000. The house was built in 1991 and has a living area of 2,903 square feet. The price per square foot is $319. The deal was finalized on Aug. 21.

5. $975,000, detached house at 80 Summit Drive

The 3,015 square-foot detached house at 80 Summit Drive in Freehold has been sold. The transfer of ownership was settled in August and the total purchase price was $975,000, $323 per square foot. The house was built in 1999. The deal was finalized on Aug. 23.

4. $1.1 million, single-family residence at 1 Bentley Court

A sale has been finalized for the single-family home at 1 Bentley Court in Freehold. The price was $1,070,000 and the new owners took over the house in August. The house was built in 1993 and the living area totals 3,070 square feet. The price per square foot ended up at $349. The deal was finalized on Aug. 24.

3. $1.1 million, single-family home at 420 Randolph Road

The 3,766 square-foot single-family home at 420 Randolph Road in Freehold has been sold. The transfer of ownership was settled in August and the total purchase price was $1,120,000, $297 per square foot. The house was built in 1987. The deal was finalized on Aug. 21.

2. $1.3 million, single-family residence at 9 Opatut Way

A sale has been finalized for the detached house at 9 Opatut Way in Freehold. The price was $1,325,000 and the new owners took over the house in August. The house was built in 2008 and the living area totals 4,456 square feet. The price per square foot ended up at $297. The deal was finalized on Aug. 21.

1. $1.4 million, single-family home at 15 Great Bridge Road

The property at 15 Great Bridge Road in Freehold has new owners. The price was $1,385,000. The house was built in 2007 and has a living area of 4,456 square feet. The price per square foot is $311. The deal was finalized on Aug. 18.

Real Estate Newswire is a service provided by United Robots, which uses machine learning to generate analysis of data from Propmix, an aggregator of national real-estate data.

Bruce Springsteen Spotted Dining At Freehold Eatery

FREEHOLD, NJ — Rocker and New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen stopped into a favorite Freehold eatery last week to enjoy a meal and spread some holiday cheer.Roberto's Freehold Grill shared a photo of The Boss, who stopped by the restaurant Friday and posed for a photo in the kitchen with two employees."The Boss stopped by the kitchen to spread som...

FREEHOLD, NJ — Rocker and New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen stopped into a favorite Freehold eatery last week to enjoy a meal and spread some holiday cheer.

Roberto's Freehold Grill shared a photo of The Boss, who stopped by the restaurant Friday and posed for a photo in the kitchen with two employees.

"The Boss stopped by the kitchen to spread some holiday cheer. Happy Holidays!!!" the restaurant wrote.

Springsteen has made it a point to stop by the Main Street eatery when he visits his hometown. Last month, he swung by the restaurant for an early breakfast after watching the Philadelphia Phillies take on the Houston Astros in the World Series in Philadelphia.

Sheryl Horowitz shared her own photo posing with Springsteen at Roberto's her friend. Horowitz told NJ Advance Media they were at Roberto’s celebrating her friend's birthday.

Horowitz told NJ.com she approached Springsteen in the kitchen after he took the photo with the owner. He hugged her and took a photo with her and her friend, she told the publication.

“He’s the nicest guy,” Horowitz said. “We can’t wait to retire and volunteer at the Bruce museum when it opens in the borough to help the younger generation appreciate the words, the music and the band, and explain to them how one plus one can equal three.”

The 74-year-old Music Hall of Famer began his career cutting his teeth at New Jersey venues like The Stone Pony in Asbury Park and later memorialized his native Freehold in “My Hometown,” among other hits.

Over a nearly six-decade career, he’s earned multiple Grammy, MTV Video Music and American Music awards.

Earlier this year, Gov. Phil Murphy issued a proclamation declaring Sept. 23 — the rocker's birthday — as “Bruce Springsteen Day” in New Jersey.

“Bruce Springsteen is one of the most iconic and influential musicians — and New Jerseyans — of all time, period," Murphy wrote.

He added, "Bruce Springsteen will forever be remembered as the voice of the Garden State, signaling to the world that New Jerseyans were born to run."

Smell of Nestlé coffee leaving N.J. town as iconic factory shuts down

The aroma of freshly ground coffee will no longer waft through the streets of Freehold as production at the borough’s 75-year-old Nestlé plant has officially ended, the Swiss food and beverage brand confirmed Tuesday.The last day of work at the Monmouth County manufacturing plant is Friday for approximately half of the factory’s 225 employees, a Nest...

The aroma of freshly ground coffee will no longer waft through the streets of Freehold as production at the borough’s 75-year-old Nestlé plant has officially ended, the Swiss food and beverage brand confirmed Tuesday.

The last day of work at the Monmouth County manufacturing plant is Friday for approximately half of the factory’s 225 employees, a Nestlé spokesperson said.

The remaining employees will stay on to help with the decommissioning process at the facility over the next few months.

“We’re honored to have been part of the Freehold community for the past 75 years,” a company spokesperson said Tuesday.

Nestlé first announced the Freehold factory would cease production in June. It’s the end of an era in more ways than one. The factory on Jerseyville Avenue was the company’s last remaining coffee production facility in the United States.

The production will move from New Jersey to Nestlé's facilities in Mexico and Brazil, company officials said.

“We intend to further utilize our Veracruz, Mexico, and Araras, Brazil, sites, which have increasingly been supporting the U.S. volume needs in the past few years,” a company spokesperson said.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the largest labor union in the country, was among those condemning Nestlé for closing the plant.

“Without any regard to the livelihoods of 200 workers and their families, Nestlé executives announced today that they will close the Freehold plant,” a Teamsters spokeswoman said in a statement. “This company should be ashamed for turning their backs on workers in Freehold and the community that has been home to this company for more than 70 years.”

In a statement, a Nestlé spokesperson said the company has been supporting its “employees looking to transition to their next careers.”

“We’ve worked collaboratively with government and Teamsters Local 11 to host job fairs, resumé and interview workshops as well as offering professional headshots,” the spokesperson said.

Leadership with Teamsters Local 11 did not immediately respond Tuesday to requests for comment.

Nestlé owns popular labels, including Nespresso, Nescafe and Blue Bottle. The company’s 440,000-square-foot facility in Freehold served as a landmark and local job-maker since it opened in 1948. The facility was dedicated solely to the production of instant coffee and its aroma was well known in the area.

“The borough’s special smell, unlike that of some New Jersey communities, is good to the last whiff,” wrote one columnist in a 1962 edition of “The Freehold Transcript.”

Hometown celebrity Bruce Springsteen even mentioned the familiar aroma during his Broadway run, according to The Record.

But, the Freehold facility had been facing challenges for a while, according to Nestlé. In early May, management told employees the facility was in trouble and might close.

Workers held demonstrations outside the factory demanding Nestlé keep the facility open instead of outsourcing jobs to another country.

However, despite discussions with workers, as well as local and state officials, Nestlé made the decision to close the factory.

The company cited the factory’s “age and limited operation flexibility” among its reasons for relocating production.

“How consumers drink coffee is constantly evolving and our manufacturing network must be set up to meet the needs of consumers now and long into the future,” a company spokesperson said previously.

It’s up to local officials to decide what happens next with the property.

In July, the borough council authorized a contract with Beacon Planning and Consulting Services to produce a redevelopment study for the building, according to meeting minutes.

Nestlé still has more than 1,000 employees across five Nestlé Health Science locations in New Jersey. They include the U.S. corporate headquarters in Hoboken, Global Product Technology Center in Bridgewater, a factory in Leonia and two warehouse facilities.

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Eight most expensive homes sold in Freehold, Oct. 30 - Nov. 5

A house that sold for $950,000 tops the list of the most expensive residential real estate sales in Freehold in the past week.In total, eight residential real estate sales were recorded in the area during the past week, with an average price of $591,643. The average price per square foot ended up at $305.The prices in the list below concern real estate sales where the title was recorded during the week of Oct. 30 even if the property may have been sold earlier.8. $350K, condominium at 157 Tulip LaneThe property ...

A house that sold for $950,000 tops the list of the most expensive residential real estate sales in Freehold in the past week.

In total, eight residential real estate sales were recorded in the area during the past week, with an average price of $591,643. The average price per square foot ended up at $305.

The prices in the list below concern real estate sales where the title was recorded during the week of Oct. 30 even if the property may have been sold earlier.

8. $350K, condominium at 157 Tulip Lane

The property at 157 Tulip Lane in Freehold has new owners. The price was $350,000. The condominium was built in 1986 and has a living area of 1,138 square feet. The price per square foot is $308. The deal was finalized on Oct. 4.

7. $389K, condominium at 49 Tulip Lane

The sale of the condominium at 49 Tulip Lane, Freehold, has been finalized. The price was $389,000, and the condominium changed hands in October. The condominium was built in 1986 and has a living area of 1,096 square feet. The price per square foot was $355. The deal was finalized on Oct. 3.

6. $405K, condominium at 171 Tulip Lane

The sale of the condominium at 171 Tulip Lane in Freehold has been finalized. The price was $405,000, and the new owners took over the condominium in October. The condominium was built in 1986 and has a living area of 1,138 square feet. The price per square foot was $356. The deal was finalized on Oct. 4.

5. $425K, condominium at 3005 Smoke House Court

The 1,510 square-foot condominium at 3005 Smoke House Court in Freehold has been sold. The transfer of ownership was settled in October and the total purchase price was $425,000, $281 per square foot. The condominium was built in 1997. The deal was finalized on Oct. 4.

4. $505K, condominium at 243 Daffodil Drive

The 1,675 square-foot condominium at 243 Daffodil Drive, Freehold, has been sold. The transfer of ownership was settled in October and the total purchase price was $505,000, $301 per square foot. The condominium was built in 1987. The deal was finalized on Oct. 5.

3. $764K, single-family home at 136 Lancaster Road

A sale has been finalized for the single-family house at 136 Lancaster Road in Freehold. The price was $764,000 and the new owners took over the house in October. The house was built in 1963 and the living area totals 2,970 square feet. The price per square foot ended up at $257. The deal was finalized on Oct. 4.

2. $945K, detached house at 40 Lions Court

The property at 40 Lions Court in Freehold has new owners. The price was $945,142. The house was built in 1998 and has a living area of 3,108 square feet. The price per square foot is $304. The deal was finalized on Oct. 5.

1. $950K, manufactured home at 34 Saint Johns Drive

The 2,836 square-foot manufactured home at 34 Saint Johns Drive, Freehold, has been sold. The transfer of ownership was settled in October and the total purchase price was $950,000, $335 per square foot. The house was built in 1997. The deal was finalized on Oct. 4.

Real Estate Newswire is a service provided by United Robots, which uses machine learning to generate analysis of data from Propmix, an aggregator of national real-estate data.

Last coffee for Nestlé as Freehold plant shuts. Here's what could happen next.

Four-minute readFREEHOLD - Nestlé is scheduled to officially end production of freeze-dried coffee at its plant here on Friday and plans to put the property up for sale in the first quarter of next year, a spokesperson said, closing the door on what has been a landmark in town for the past 75 years.As Nestlé winds down, Freehold Borough officials said they are considering redevelopment plans. And the company's 227 employees are finding themselves in an unsettled position of continuing to work whil...

Four-minute read

FREEHOLD - Nestlé is scheduled to officially end production of freeze-dried coffee at its plant here on Friday and plans to put the property up for sale in the first quarter of next year, a spokesperson said, closing the door on what has been a landmark in town for the past 75 years.

As Nestlé winds down, Freehold Borough officials said they are considering redevelopment plans. And the company's 227 employees are finding themselves in an unsettled position of continuing to work while looking for a new job.

"It seems to be going OK, as best as it could be going," said Anita Clark, recording secretary for Teamsters Local 11, the union that represents the workers. "Many of these people thought they were going to retire from that spot. It was a hard blow, but they're dealing with it and moving on."

Switzerland-based Nestlé announced in June that it would close the plant, saying the facility where it makes Taster's Choice coffee had become outdated and inflexible. Nestlé last year opened a $340 million facility in Veracruz, Mexico, making Mexico the company's main coffee producer.

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The closure carries extra weight. Nestlé was a global brand that continued to provide good-paying manufacturing jobs long after other manufacturers fled New Jersey for cheaper locations. And it gave Freehold the scent of coffee that captured the attention of generations who grew up there, including its most famous celebrity, Bruce Springsteen.

“I don’t like coffee, but I love that smell," Springsteen said of the Nestle plant in his Broadway show. "It’s comforting."

"The downtown business owners and the community as a whole wish the plant would have remained open," said Jeffrey Friedman, a councilman-elect and executive director of Downtown Freehold, a business group. "It provided a wonderful source of high-paying jobs to our local community members. It also supported a number of off-site tool and die makers, inventory suppliers and machinists and other high-quality union jobs. So we're certainly disappointed that that Nestlé is not keeping the plant open."

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Postwar coffee boom

Nescafé built the factory for $1 million and opened it in 1948, producing instant coffee that gained popularity among U.S. soldiers during World War II and would continue to find new customers as Americans moved to the suburbs after the war.

The building was a state-of-the-art facility for the postwar world that featured the latest in efficiency and design. It was constructed using cinderblock and yellow brick, And the site included a newly installed double railroad spur that could accommodate 26 box cars at one time.

Not that the company's Freehold site will only be remembered for its coffee aroma. State environmental investigators said the extraction of caffeine involved the use of hazardous substances. While Nestlé installed new systems and began to remediate the site, a 2006 lawsuit filed by the state said the groundwater remained contaminated.

"Nestlé has been engaged in a long-term remediation project from historic operations at the Freehold site," a company spokesperson said in a statement to the Asbury Park Press last week. "We remain committed to ensuring the completion of remediation."

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Nestlé officials said the company had invested heavily in the Freehold plant over the years, but they said it would have needed to spend tens of millions more to modernize the plant.

Company officials met with the union last May seeking concessions. But union leaders said they could only come up with a few million dollars and emerged from a meeting in June sounding resigned. Shortly after, Nestlé made it official, telling workers who gathered at the Radisson Hotel in Freehold that the last day of production would be Nov. 17.

With the announcement, Nestlé joins a long list of historic Freehold manufacturers — Karagheusian Rug Mill, Brockway Glass, 3M — to close up shop. It's a phenomenon that inspired Springsteen to write "My Hometown," with its haunting lyrics, "Foreman says, 'These jobs are going, boys, and they ain't coming back.'"

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The decision also leaves officials to come up with a plan to replace nearly $600,000 a year in tax revenue and hundreds of middle-class jobs.

New uses under the microscope

Stephen Gallo, the borough's business administrator, said the council voted in July to hire Beacon Planning and Consulting Services, based in Colts Neck, to study potential uses for the site.

Once the site is remediated, developers would seemingly have no shortage of options. Housing? The plant itself is next to residential neighborhoods. Retail? It is a mile from downtown, which has attracted hip new restaurants in recent years.

Manufacturing or warehousing? Its future could be swayed by a new wild card: Delaware & Raritan River Railroad last month finished a $12 million project that rehabilitated five miles of railroad track between Freehold and Farmingdale, potentially clearing the way for more freight train service.

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"There's a lot happening (in town), so I'm looking at it as another opportunity to do something good with that piece (of property)," Freehold Mayor Kevin Kane said. "Instead of just letting it sit there, we're going to be aggressive about seeing what we can do to put something good in there that will benefit the town. Don't know what that is at this point; there's nothing in the plans. But I'm looking at it as an opportunity."

For now, Nestlé workers have more pressing concerns. Clark from the Teamsters union said the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development hosted a job fair for employees at the Nestlé factory in October, attracting 16 employers, including a handful of food and beverage companies.

The agency said it has scheduled another for Dec. 6, hoping to reach employees who couldn't attend the first one.

Monmouth County Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone also said workers could find information about job openings and work force programs at www.workinmonmouth.com and www.visitmonmouth.com.

"We're getting a good severance package," the Teamsters' Clark said. "But they still had to deal with the fact that the rug was pulled out from under them."

Michael L. Diamond is a business reporter who has been writing about the New Jersey economy and health care industry for more than 20 years. He can be reached at mdiamond@gannettnj.com.

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