It’s a college town they said. Lot’s of bars, the river, not much else. A year later, I’m wondering if it might be possible that they’re actually another Manayunk out in the world.
The Manayunk where I work–and often play– is a thriving scene of entrepreneurship and development. To get more acquainted with the ‘hood I joined YiP’s Commercial Corridor Tour of Manayunk last Saturday. We were off to a rainy start (see below), but that didn’t deter us from learning a bit about the local history and talking shop with a few local business owners along Main Street.
What to do with 800 sq ft on Main Street? That was the question that baffled many other prospective businesses, but where others saw too much many impossibles, owners Greg and Jim saw potential.
Potential to bake, not only for a storefront, but also for distribution – which has turned out to be a steady stream of business for the bakery. Now this tiny storefront creates a big buzz with the fresh handmade bread and pastries sold inside. Co-owner Greg Wudarski indulged us on the business, how important to them it is to keep their products hand-made, and how each baguette requires at least 8 hours of work – call that a labor of love.
Hooray for Baguettes!
The Little Apple
Have a place you love to shop? Why not own it? That’s exactly what Brandy Schecter has done at The Little Apple. Having frequented the shop for years as a customer, when Brandy heard that the store owner was moving out to California, she inquired about taking it over, and has been managing it ever since. This charming gift shop has an eclectic collection that will suffice just about any gift you’ll need to give (thank goodness).
Unique history tidbit: It’s a beautiful space that has the building’s original decorated tin ceiling, giving it a European feeling. You’ll also find a stairway in the store that was put in sometime in the 1900’s for the shopkeeper’s mother to keep an eye on the store.
Get your geek on at Spiral Bookcase, Manayunk’s bookstore with a flare for fiction and used books. Their steady rotation of new and used books will help you construct the reading list of your dreams. And if there’s something special you’re looking for that you can’t find they’ll happily special order your request. Bibliophiles trying to clean out their bookshelves also have the option of consigning with the shop. SB is also your go-to for the latest literary trends. Stop in today to get on their list for literary coloring books for adults while there’s still a chance!
These few are only a sampling of some of my favorite shops – there’s so many boutique and eclectic places around town that should be on your Manayunk to-do list like Latitudes & Longitudes, Ashe B. & Co., Chrissy’s Flowers, Nicole Miller, Volo Cafe, and yes of course there’s a few chains you know like Starbucks (great to pay by phone when I’m just out for a walk). Not to forget that Keller Williams is opening shop here this summer – in case you’ve already decided you want to relocate here, and you’re welcome.
Continuing the tour of Manayunk, you’ll find the office of Delphic Digital nestled around the corner of Main Street on Shurs Lane. It’s the place that over 40 employees (and at least 10 dogs) come together to create digital experiences for quite a few local and national well known brands. Just like our neighborhood, we’re an eclectic group who all happen to be passionate about digital. The creative and entrepreneurial energy of Manayunk makes us proud to call this our home – and it will be for some time to come.