HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. — Gary Doran had his life steeped in religion before taking over The Religious Shoppe in Hasbrouck Heights.
But he's never considered himself to be deeply religious.
"I don’t consider myself a religious nut or zealot — I’ve always been very comfortable with religion and dealing with the church," Doran said.
He spent most of his career working in public relations and coordinating with different philanthropies. His work has always been involved with helping others but his experience at The Religious Shoppe has made an impression.
"People come into a place like this and they have such crosses that they bear in life and they’re here to find something, a symbol, they’ll open up and tell me lots of stuff," Doran said.
"It restores your faith in people."
Doran acknowledged that a religious shop is likely one of those stores many people walk by without ever going in, but the ones who do always find something.
"It does pretty well. It's not like working, it's like a hobby you get paid for," Doran said.
His busiest season is first communion and Christmas, but there's always a steady flow of business throughout the year.
Doran is happy to be part of the community and meet people at various stages in their life.
"This was one of the best decisions of my life," he said.
The Religious Shoppe is located at 220 Boulevard, Hasbrouck Heights.