Union City Novelty Store Survives 50 Years and The Pandemic

As many small businesses in Hudson County, the state of Nw Jersey and across the nation struggled to stay afloat during the height of the COVID pandemic for the past two years, one local business in Union City managed to beat the odds in its 50th year of operation.

East West Novelty, opened by Alex Suvino in 1971 at 330 48th Street, relying on its loyal customer base, its online web store and some smart business strategy, not only managed to remain in operation, but its small staff of four has been able to celebrate the 50th anniversary of being the nation’s second largest smoke shop.

When you step inside the store, all sorts of images flood your mind.  You can find just about anything.  And if you don’t see the novelty item you’re looking for, Alex will order it for you.  He says he “was Google before Google. Yahoo before Yahoo.”

Suvino is very thankful for the store’s success.  He’s not sure how long he wants to continue owning the business.  For now he says he is having a lot of fun.



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