While nearly every façade screams success in the quaint little town of Ardmore, not everyone is in a complacent mood.
Sometimes, it takes an outsider to shake things up. In Ardmore’s case, someone to shout, praise and draw attention to its charms, walkability, access to mass transit, architecture, and potential as “the Gateway to the Main Line,” writes Suzette Parmley for phillynews.com
Carrie Kohs, a 47-year-old Detroit native who owns pucciManuli, a toy and gift store, has taken up the cause to reverse decades-long decline. Her mission: to make downtown Ardmore a retail destination again, one that works in tandem with Suburban Square, nurtures independent shop owners and restaurants, and hosts a variety of events year-round to draw visitors.
She has just opened in a new location on a high-profile Lancaster Avenue corner, with more than double the space of her former store nearby. Of the store’s made-up Italian name, Kohs said: “Whenever I’d say, `That’s so pucciManuli,’ I meant it was the best of class. That’s what I try to sell,” the story continues.
She welcomes the traffic. “Suburban Square has always been a destination. Some … have no clue that there is another business district on the other side. We are literally just a few stores down. It will take a variety of steps to change that,” she said. “Lower Merion Township and property owners on Anderson Avenue, the entryway to Suburban Square, have to take ownership in making that happen.”
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