Monday, October 15, 2012
Melody Manning delivers old-fashioned customer service amid the growing discount chains.
“It all started in this back room in 1967,” Melody Manning says of a 17x17-square-foot room tucked into the rear of her businesses, the Peter Pan Gift Shop and the adjoining T.R. Bell Gifts. Past the women’s trendy scarves and stretchy tunics, behind the Gund peek-a-boo bears, vibrant wallets and fashionable keychains, and beyond the greeting cards and temptations of chocolate-covered pretzels, is the back room—now called the Balloon Shop—which is home to many Mylar favorites, and it’s also where Manning keeps enough sale ideas to fill a small truck. But this small room is just a smattering of the colorful, whimsical and avant-garde on display at these Moorestown mainstays. Moorestown is rich in family lore, and Manning’s enterprises are …
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Hate the town's Christmas decorations? This should make you happy.
For anyone who’s looked at the holiday decorations on Main Street over the last several years and thought, “Ugh,” your prayers have been answered. Township manager Scott Carew announced Monday the township has signed a contract for new decorations, which will be strung up downtown around Thanksgiving. “This wins the award for the longest issue,” he joked. “It beats town hall by a couple years.” Mayor John Button, liaison to the Appearance Committee, which had taken the lead on the decorations, said the current downtown ornamentations were “an accommodation to a budget constraint” back in 2006. And ever since then, Button, as well as committee member Gina Zegel, said they’ve heard no end of complaints from people who thought the decorations…
Monday, September 3, 2012
Columnist Marsia Mason asks: Is government intervention the only way we'll lose weight?
Like most women, I have food issues. I guess I should amend that to say "like most people," because we all seem to be struggling with too much of this and not enough of that. Sadly, it's a bigger issue for women because society judges us solely on our looks. We are either Angelina Jolie or the Goodyear blimp. When I was a child, I was a picky eater. Lima beans scared me. I don’t know why. Ditto with orange marmalade. The thought of eating a gelatinous, sickly sweet dollop filled with shards of orange peel was enough to send me hiding under my bed. The only food groups I embraced in those days were candy, white bread and Coca-Cola. Yet I was microscopically small. I was a tiny, culinary nightmare. Now, I eat veggies and fruit, limit my …
Friday, August 31, 2012
After 13 years at the Main Street gift shop, Carlene Butler leaves behind a legacy of happy customers and co-workers, her daughter writes.
- LOCAL CONNECTIONS
Friday, August 31, 2012
This piece was submitted by Jennifer Butler VanGinhoven about her mother’s recent retirement from Peter Pan Gift Shop. Perhaps James Taylor was talking about Carlene Butler when he sang, “Whenever I see your smiling face, I have to smile myself,” because there isn’t a person I know who didn’t feel that same way about walking into Peter Pan Gift Shop when Carlene Butler was working. “Tuesdays (and all days) with Carlene were all giggles from the moment we walked in until we locked the doors at 6,” said Mary Ann Fox, a former Peter Pan employee. “She truly made Peter Pan fun for me and for our customers.” Carlene Butler drove her daughter to college one day in August 1999, and the very next day she was ringing up customers with a smile at …
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Business consultant and Moorestown Day organizer Jeanette Habina came to the rescue after Men's Headquarters' previous owner closed the barbershop.
Not content to let a downtown Moorestown “mainstay” shut down, Jeanette Habina intervened and realized a longtime dream. Habina, a full-time business consultant with a background in cosmetology, said she had often thought of running her own barbershop, or salon. So when the previous owner of Men’s Headquarters decided to close up shop after 15 years, Habina jumped. “I always thought it would be a good thing to fall back on,” she said. “I said I would do it when I got old. I guess this means I’m old.” Following a tip from a fellow Lions Club member, Habina met with the prior owner of the barbershop on July 15—the day after it closed—closed a deal to buy the shop on the 16th, and reopened on the 24th. “I had to recover as quickly as possible…
Monday, August 6, 2012
Colleen O'Neill is the proprietor of Remember Me Stationery & Gifts, which customizes invitations for celebrations of any kind.
It must have been fate. Colleen O’Neill thinks back to the day when she saw a broker friend coming out of Remember Me Stationery and Gifts, before she bought the specialty shop four years ago. “I called and said, ‘That store wouldn’t be for sale by any chance, would it?’” recalls the Cinnaminson native, who has lived in Moorestown with her family for the last seven years. Sure enough, it was. O’Neill, who was a stay-at-home mom for her three kids at the time, had been itching to get back into the workforce. Previously, she had spent nearly 12 years as a paralegal, but law is a tricky field. “You really have to stay on top of all of the changes,” she says of her law career, which she enjoyed immensely. “Plus, I left when so much was being …
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Unless you're driving in the parade, stay off Main Street for a couple hours.
Main Street will be closed between North Church Street and Chester Avenue from 11:30 a.m. through 2 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday, July 4) for the Fourth of July Parade. Motorists are advised to seek alternative routes during this time period. - Courtesy of Moorestown Police
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Studio Ten Salon moved from its old spot on Chester Avenue to Moorestown's Main Street last week, adding makeup artists and barbershop services to its menu.
It took Jackie Chew four college degrees before she finally figured out what she wanted to do for a living. After pulling down degrees in business, psychology and English, plus certification in secondary education, Chew decided to go to school to learn how to do nails. “I always wanted to go to hair school,” she said, but nail school was faster. “I fell in love with it.” After earning her stripes working at other salons—Moments in Mount Laurel, Tranquility in Hainesport—Chew decided she’d had enough of working for other people and, in 2003, opened Studio Ten Salon on Chester Avenue. She spent nine years there, spreading to the second floor as her clientele grew, and eventually outgrew the space. Chew and her team just moved to Main Street…
Thursday, May 3, 2012
The historic Moorestown Trust Company building on Main Street has been empty since last year.
One-half of the Moorestown Trust Company building has been empty since Subway closed last year, leaving Starbucks without a neighbor. Primo Hoagies had been considering the spot for a franchise location, according to Economic Development Advisory Committee chair Jacob DerHagopian, but has since moved on (though Primo is still looking to open in Moorestown, according to a "Coming Soon" list on its website). Stephanie Herz, vice president for the Moorestown Historical Society, said the building was erected in 1926, but the Trust Company went under shortly thereafter (most likely due to the stock market crash). It was a hardware store for much of its existence, first housing McChesney's Hardware, then followed by Wright's Hardware. After …
Monday, January 30, 2012
A commentary on Main Street Moorestown—the past, present and (possible) future.
People erroneously assume I have some sort of political acumen because I write a crabby column that sometimes touches on the tortures of the local political scene. I do not have any insider info. Because I’m so “outside” with my opinions, I sometimes get interesting emails from fans and/or enemies, asking me about whether a certain threesome are planning on running for town council again. As if they would tell me! At this point, I can only speculate Mayor Button is not going to run again. Otherwise, why would he have appointed Mike Testa and Kevin Loftus to the Open Space Committee? Neither of those fine, sports-oriented gentlemen has ever shown an interest in using Open Space funds for anything other than the KIDS Initiative, now cleverly…