What started out as a hobby shop opened by two brothers-in-law after returning from serving in World War II soon became a Hoboken landmark on Washington Street. Stan’s Sports Center, located at 528 Washington Street, is celebrating its 75th anniversary and hopes to continue supporting and serving the community for many more years to come. Whether looking for a new bat, ball, or sports hat or maybe just looking for some Hoboken swag, it’s a can’t-miss place to visit. Keep reading to learn more about this historic store and the great ways the company is supporting the local community.
Before Stan’s was owned by the DeCongelio family, it first opened its doors in 1946 when brothers-in-law Pete Stanich and Ray Cerrito returned from serving in World War II. The store’s name came from the first four letters of Pete’s last name, thus Stan’s was born.
It first started as a hobby shop, selling everything from model airplanes to basketballs. Ray quickly saw an opportunity to expand into providing uniforms and athletic equipment to schools in the area.
Today Stan’s provides apparel across many counties in North Jersey, growing its footprint to a second location in Saddlebrook, New Jersey. You can also visit Stan’s in Hoboken to pick up any NY sports team gear, or clothing to represent Hoboken. The clothing is so cute, especially the cropped white hoodie.
(Photo credit: @Stans_Hoboken)
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Stan’s in Hoboken, and to commemorate the occasion, a new street sign was installed near the store by the city. The sign says “Stan’s Way” is in front of the store at the intersection of 5th and Washington Streets.
On the Journey to Owning Stan’s
While Pete and Ray may not own Stan’s anymore, they sold it to a longtime employee who had been working at the store since high school. Dan DeCongelio began sweeping the store as a freshman in 1973 and never left. “This is like my house. I don’t know anything else, except to come to 528 Washington Street,” said Dan DeCongelio, owner of Stan’s Sports Center.
As an employee, Dan worked at the store and then kept the accounting books through college, until he bought the store in 1996. One of his favorite things is seeing past customers come back. “There is a lot of history with the place. I still get people who come in with their children after work,” said DeCongelio. “People come back every day to stop and say hello. We definitely have that feeling of family.”
Stan’s Sports Center Today
Today the business is operated by Dan and his son, Daniel DeCongelio. Similar to his father, Daniel always knew he wanted to work in the family business, even calling a career at the store a dream job in his elementary school yearbook. After taking some time in corporate America, Daniel came back to work at Stan’s where he and his wife, Alexis DeCongelio, have helped to expand operations, running the Saddlebrook location, which houses the company’s own screen printing and embroidery machines.
“Daniel and Alexis are bringing it to a new level, which is nice to see,” said Dan DeCongelio. “We’ve been servicing Hudson county, [and] now we’re in Bergen and Essex counties. We’re all over.”
Daniel and Alexis are no strangers to the NJ sports community. Both played sports for New Jersey colleges, football at The College of New Jersey for Daniel, and softball at Rutgers University for Alexis, their contacts have grown the business into serving NJ collegiate athletics.
Stan’s Sports Center doesn’t just supply uniforms and sports equipment from some of the top athletic brands, it also supports the community in other ways. For example, this summer Stan’s hosted “Stan’s Sports Center Golf Outing” to raise money for local student scholarships. Previous years’ events raised enough money to give away 12 scholarships to New Jersey students.
If you need any sports or athletic apparel or equipment, Stan’s Sports Center is a one-stop-shop you have to visit.