More ‘Fun’ in store

By on April 30, 2014

 

The fun times are just beginning for the Fun-est Toy Store as it celebrates the opening of a second store in Brickerville.

The store held its grandopening at the Brickerville House Shops, 2 East 28th Division Highway, Lititz, April 11.

Owner Melissa Palermo-Spero opened the first store, located at 24 East Main St., Ephrata, eight years ago. She said she always wanted to expand.

The Fun-est Toy Store held the grand opening of its second store in Brickerville April 11. Celebrating the “fun times” are (from left) store employee Leslie “Lester” Urban, store owner Melissa Palermo-Spero and Theresa Williams, a customer.

The Fun-est Toy Store held the grand opening of its second store in Brickerville April 11. Celebrating the “fun times” are (from left) store employee Leslie “Lester” Urban, store owner Melissa Palermo-Spero and Theresa Williams, a customer.

“When I opened the original store on the square, I wanted to have lots and lots and lots of stores, and so this is sort of starting to fulfill that dream,” she said. “I just always want to push myself.”

Reaching a different demographic also fueled her need to expand.

“We have a lot of tourism around us in this county and I don’t think tourism is the primary (focus) in downtown Ephrata,” she said. “So I was thinking about other heavily visited areas, like Intercourse, and Brickerville happened to come up on the radar.”

Palermo-Spero said the more she looked into it, the more she discovered. She found out that people from Lebanon, Lititz, Hershey and Harrisburg came to Brickerville to meet because of where it was located and that people, particularly women, got together with their friends and did a little shopping and got something to eat.

“I think it’s going to be a great location for us,” she said. “It’s close enough to this store that I can be at two locations at once and it hits a different demographic then we are hitting here.”

The products for the new store have been chosen carefully.

“We have been in Ephrata for eight years so I’ve kind of come to learn some product lines I really like, some that work really well, and other ones that don’t,” she said. “The space in Brickerville is much smaller, it is 550 square feet. So we really wanted to have just the best of the best there. So pretty much we took what we loved the most out of this store, some European lines, some really well known lines like Melissa and Doug, and have moved that product over to the Brickerville store.”

Palermo-Spero said there could be some differences between the two stores. She said the customer at the Brickerville store is predominantly grandma and the customer at the Ephrata store is predominantly mom.

“Those two woman shop differently,” she said. “They have different ideas of what they want for the children in their lives and we definitely want to try and cater to that and that may change the product mix in either store.”

As for employees, Palermo-Spero said her current assistant manager at the Ephrata store will now manage the store in Brickervillle. She said another employee will float back and forth between the two stores.

“You would think it would be easier to open another store when you already have one, figuring out the logistics so that this one (Ephrata) is still doing its best, but it’s pretty tricky,” she said. “There will be some growing pains, but hopefully we’ve gotten that figured out.”

The Brickerville store will be open 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. Sunday hours have not been decided. For more information, call: 314-6571 or visit the website funesttoys.com

Dena Reedy is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at dreedy.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4434

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