A bright red awning and vibrant window display on Fillmore Street mark the location of the local toy store. Originally at the Lee Heights shops, owner Sue Pyatt's Kinder Haus Toys came to the neighborhood about four years ago, and it has been a perfect fit. Stocking a mix of toys, clothes, books and crafts, Kinder Haus is not only a wonderland for the little ones, but a one-stop shopping destination for anyone looking for presents. The store carries big-name brands, such as Lego and Playmobil, but also toys from lesser-known makers, including Plan, an ecologically sound company that makes wooden toys in Thailand from trees discarded during the rubber-making process. "I've always had a very strong emphasis on wooden products," Pyatt says, "because wood is durable and ongoing. It's not going to wear out quickly; it's going to be in the family a long time." And family is a focus of the store as well. Pyatt's daughter, Jennifer, is the store manager, and sisters Dana and Laura Grossi handle merchandising and the store's twice-weekly story time, respectively. The bright merchandising won last year's best holiday display award from the Clarendon Alliance, and the story-time readings, which take place on Monday and Friday from 10:30 to 11 a.m., have been a big hit.
--Justin Rude (Aug. 20, 2010)