Letter to the Editor: Forget the Mall

... and hit up Keswick Village


To the Editor: 

“Charm” is one of the reasons often given for why people like living in Glenside and its surrounding neighborhoods so much. Part of that charm is Keswick Village, which is made up of many wonderful merchants – most of whom also live in the neighborhood. However, several of these great Keswick Village merchants – especially those who sell gift-type merchandise – have been struggling in this economy and may have to close down or move out if things do not improve.   Those of us who value Keswick Village and these merchants do not want to see that happen.   

Unlike some other problems that we hear about on the news, this is a problem we can do something about. And, the solution is simple and enjoyable (unless you don’t like shopping).  That’s right, instead of going to the mall, Target or Pier 1, you can do a lot of your holiday gift shopping in Keswick Village. You might be surprised how many stores in the Village sell beautiful hostess and other gifts for those on your shopping list. 

One of the best ways to experience and check out these stores is to attend the Keswick Village “First Friday” celebration this Friday, Dec. 2.

The following is the list of stores who will be participating in First Friday, and the deals they are offering.  Many stores also offer gift cards. Most stores will be open until 8 p.m. on Friday.  

  • Keswick Card and Gift Shop – home decorations and jewelry; free greeting card with any gift purchase, free refreshments
  • Bittersweet Village – vintage gifts, clothing and jewelry. Meet a great book for gift giving
  • Irish Shop – beautiful Irish plates, jewelry, clothing and music 
  • Penny’s Flowers – home decorations, scarves, pocketbooks and, of course, flowers; buy one get one free on all fresh flowers
  • Kelly-Cataldi Home – the new store to the right of Bittersweet; vintage home goods, antiques, gifts
  • Granny’s Sewing Den gifts for the sewer on your list; 10 percent off (minimum 1 yard); buy a chance on a beautiful quilt
  • Oh So Pretty Grooming – gifts for the pet owner on your list; 10 percent off everything in the store; pictures of your pet with Santa Claus
  • Hohenstein Pottery Gallery & Studio – the new store to the left of O’Neill’s; handmade pottery and jewelry
  • Baily Banks & Bob’s – fine estate jewelry
  • Keswick Theatre – is offering a $5 discount to the “Jingle Bell Rock” show with mention of First Friday
  • A Taste of Philly – delicious soft pretzels
  • Glenside Nails – free design with nail service over $21
  • Gerhard’s Appliances – TVs, videos, appliances
  • Giancarlo Upholsteryfurniture re-upholstering, including a green line of foam products made of bamboo and soy
  • Kirkland and Kirkland – antiques, collectibles and relocation services


And two new stores, just a few blocks away from the heart of Keswick Village, will also be participating in First Friday: 

  • Heirloom Home and Studio, 2227 Mount Carmel Ave., a few shops west of Ralph’s Barber Shop.  Ceramic-design studio, garden-to-table dinnerware collection, furniture and home decor, handmade tees and gifts, table-top gardens, fountains, heirloom garden seeds
  • Grin and Wear It, 108 Keswick Ave., a few shops to the right of Daryl’s Pastry; embroidered ad screen-printed clothing

These are in addition to the merchants who are an integral part of daily life in Keswick Village: O’Neill’s Food Market, Keswick Tavern, The Village Diner, Dynamic Modern Dentistry,  Keswick Music Works , Belle Amie Hair Salon, Adams Discount Pharmacy McDermott Real Estate, New Life Church, Fitzgerald Auto, and Susquehanna Bank.

Shop American. Shop Local.  

- Eileen Araco

Elayne Aion November 27, 2011 at 03:55 PM
This sounds like a great line up of events. And of course I want to mention the First Friday celebration at the fabulous shops in Downtown Glenside where the stores along East Glenside Avenue and South Easton Road will also be staying open late, some with special guests and refreshments. The complete list of participants appeared on a special full color insert in this week's Times Chronicle and will be posted in the windows of many of the participating businesses. On a related subject, here were some of my comments earlier in the week about Small Business Saturday: "I appreciate the recent attention to supporting small businesses, and I would like to mention that small businesses are the backbone of our community. Not just on "Small Business Saturday" but every day. Money spent locally stays local, strengthens your community and reminds us we're all in this together. Glenside residents are fiercely proud of and loyal to their community, and therefore local businesses, and make it a point to shop "small" whenever they can. Small Business Saturday is great but we're here year round so when you think about gifts for your loved ones (or yourself!) consider your community businesses-gift certificates to local hairdressers, auto mechanics, restaurants, nail salons, massage therapists and of course gift shops all make great and thoughtful gifts both for your loved ones and for your neighborhoods. Elayne Aion The Dovetail Artisans
Marc Lombardi November 27, 2011 at 06:03 PM
I love supporting small businesses and boutique shops around this time of year. The only problem with a down economy is that many of these boutiques and 'vintage' stores forget that their customers are struggling with money just as much as they are. While I would love to buy the bulk of my presents for people at small independent-owned stores, the truth of the matter is that the prices at these small shops often make it cost-prohibitive. The offers on Black Friday sales were great, but my experience with yesterday's Small Business Saturday 'sales' were rather lackluster. I wish these shop owners luck & success. I also wish their prices would come down to Earth a bit.


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