JACKSON – The business office of Glory’s Market is connected to its deli department in the north side of the building, at the corner of Cedar Swamp Road and West Commodore Boulevard.
Clara and George Glory were in the business office that day, just as they are most days. It was around noon on Nov. 1, a sunny and warm day that evoked thoughts a late spring day and not the day after Halloween.
The Jackson Township Police report that would come out nearly eight hours later didn’t mention the unusually warm weather that was envied for all October, or that George and Clara sit in the office as usual each day. It was all very technical, anonymous:
“Preliminary investigation indicates that a 2016 Mack Truck with attached trailer was traveling southbound on Cedar Swamp Road approaching the intersection of West Commodore Boulevard. This intersection is controlled by a traffic signal and at this time, it is believed that the truck’s driver, a 54-year-old resident of Toms River, had a green signal. The truck was hauling a load of powdered cement at the time of the crash.
“At the same time, a 2009 Nissan Altima being driven by a 17-year-old Jackson resident was traveling northbound on Cedar Swamp Road and was making a left turn onto West Commodore Boulevard, entering the path of the tractor trailer. The vehicles collided in the intersection and the force of the impact propelled the Nissan back into the northbound lane at which point it struck a 2012 Honda Civic being driven by a 38-year-old Plainsboro resident.
“The force of the impact caused the tractor trailer to leave the road onto the southwest corner of the intersection which is occupied by Glory’s Market. The truck impacted the store and made significant intrusion into the building, causing serious injuries to two persons inside the store. A 69-year-old male patron of the store was airlifted to a local trauma center for treatment and a 61-year-old female store clerk was transported to a trauma center for treatment also.”
“I was in there working, and clearly I don’t really remember, it was just that I knew there was a loud sound. It sounded like a small bomb,” Clara Glory told The Jackson Times on Monday, Nov. 5. “You just heard crashing, and the walls of the office were being pushed into us.”
This Monday morning, the Glory’s are home. Clara is waiting for a call from payroll and can speak only a few minutes. George suffered bruises and a broken rib, “because everything pushed in” in the office, but Clara said he’s okay.
Their thoughts are focused on the employees—the injured clerk is well and resting at home now—the patron, whose family they spoke with, who said he is recovering well, and the store itself.
The deli section of the market is destroyed. Rebuilding means bringing in an architect, getting the necessary permits, and reconstructing the outside where the tractor-trailer slammed into the structure.
And then there’s the deli itself.
“The people in this town are amazing. Acquaintances, other businesses, past employees, current employees, the process was getting rid of the debris, which is completely done now,” Clara Glory said. “[Sunday] was the final day of moving out all the deli cases that were destroyed. The area is cleaned up. Unfortunately, a lot of food was condemned; the amount is phenomenal, understandably so.”
The market is closed. Clara Glory said it’s too soon to know when it might reopen. But it will reopen.
In the meantime, customers can visit the liquor store.
Glory’s wasn’t always a market. The exact timeline is a bit fuzzy, but back in the day when Jackson was known for chicken farms and not Six Flags Great Adventure, the Glory’s raised chickens, selling Glory’s Best Broilers. In 1955, the family opened a restaurant in that spot. George Glory’s father passed away in 1967 while he and his brother were in college. By 1973, the brothers took over and transformed Glory’s into the meat market and grocer its known as today.
And there’s no question that the family would rebuild.
“Of course it’s important because of the memories that have been made, the friendships over the years. Jackson has a lot of new people here, but there are a lot of original people. We have people that come in from out of state. They always come to visit. They say, ‘We’re going to pack things and have it shipped,’ because it’s rare to have a fresh meat market. They really don’t exist that much anymore, the way we cut, the way we do things there,” Clara Glory said. “It’s a small family business, but it’s amazing the people that walk through the door.”