Podcast Spotlights Fascinating Stories From Everyday New Jerseyans

Mike Ham, host of Greetings From the Garden State, has traveled all over NJ to hear regular people's successes and struggles.

Podcast founder and host Mike Ham interviews Matt James of Daddy Matty's BBQ
Podcast founder and host Mike Ham of Morristown (right) interviews Matt James of Daddy Matty's BBQ in Madison. Photo courtesy of Greetings From the Garden State

When trying to come up with a podcast that would set him apart, Morristown’s Mike Ham knew the answer wasn’t to interview the same celebrities everyone else was talking to, but rather to speak to everyday New Jerseyans.

That’s exactly what he does on his new podcast, Greetings From the Garden State. 

“Everyone is chasing the same kind of guest [for their podcasts],” says Ham, 32, a Garden State native. “There are so many people that live [in New Jersey] that have done such cool things beyond the four walls of their restaurant or store. Why not talk to them?”

For the past year, Ham has set out to do just that. He has traveled from neighborhoods in North Jersey to southern Shore towns to speak to small-business owners, artists, activists and Olympic athletes about their success stories and the struggles they’ve faced. 

Podcast founder and host Mike Ham at his microphone

“There is no shortage of people who have good stories,” Ham says. Photo courtesy of Greetings From the Garden State

At press time, Ham has created more than 50 episodes, ranging from 30 to 60 minutes long, that are available online as well as on most streaming platforms. There are also video versions on YouTube.

“It’s the regular person,” he says. “I think this show has staying power because there is no shortage of people who have good stories and businesses that people want to check out. Then you appreciate that business, that place, that person even more.”

Guests on the show have included Steve Bower of Clifton’s Ghost Hawk Brewing Company, who shared how he built his brewery in the aftermath of a stroke and lost both his brother and best friend in the span of a year. Ham also interviewed Krystal Weisberg of Montclair’s FLK Method, a hybrid exercise and yoga studio, who created the unique fitness program after being burnt out by her 9-to-5 marketing job and battling a rare vascular disease. Her program is popular with the likes of Montclair makeup mogul Bobbi Brown.  

The show’s introduction song is a snippet from a single by Manny Cabo, a winning Voice contestant who hails from Elizabeth. Cabo’s story is another that can be heard on Ham’s show.

These stories are just examples of what listeners can expect to hear when they press play on the podcast all about the people of New Jersey. 

“They are your neighbor,” he says. “They are just like you.”

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