A new toy store, called Mother Goose Toys, has opened in the former Beach Realty storefront at 87 Main Street in Westhampton Beach. The store is a second for owner Alex Dank, of Remsenburg, who has been the proprietor of Mother Goose Toys in Sayville for the past eight years.
"We always wanted to open a second store," said Dank. "We felt there was a need for an educational toy store in Westhampton Beach."
The store, said Dank, who grew up around the toy business — both his parents are retired from the toy manufacturing business — is unlike other area toy stores in that it offers not only educational toys, but unique toys.
"We try to stock the store with stuff that is super different," the father of two said. "Our motto is 'Toys with a Difference.'"
For example, Mother Goose Toys stocks plasma bikes that are all the rave.
Mother Goose Toys also has shelves filled with Melissa and Doug items.
"At first when you walk in it looks like we are a Mellisa and Doug dealer. We have 99 percent of their items," he said, pointing out that his shop also carries puppets, crafts and train sets.
Dank said he has a good relationship with toy distributors, which is why he said he was able to open a second store given the state of the economy. He also said that Westhampton Beach is an ideal location with its tourist economy.
"People on vacation tend not to think about the economy and just want to enjoy their vacation," he said.
To cater to those customers, Dank said he has stocked plenty of beach toys, from shovels to beach chairs and kick-balls.
Also giving his shop an edge, he said, is customer service.
Employees not only help customers select a perfect toy, but also will gift wrap gifts at no cost.
Free gift wrapping is a service that Dank says is very popular in his Sayville location.
He said many moms appreciate that they can pick out a toy for a birthday party, have it wrapped and be on their way.
"It looks like she planned out the gift a week before the party," he said.
Until May, the Westhampton Beach Mother Goose store will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Once the tourist season hits, the store will be open 12 hours a day, seven days a week.