Puns Toy Shop Is Reborn in Ardmore
A former manager of the beloved store has moved the shop, but hasn't changed the mission.
Puns Toy Shop, a beloved fixture for generations of Main Line families, is back — in a new location, and with a familiar face behind the counter.
Paulette Kules, a former manager at Pun’s Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr (she dropped the apostrophe for the new shop), has opened the store at 21 Rittenhouse Place in Ardmore. The familiar panda logo remains, as does the quality that made the old shop special: customer service.
Joe Berardoni, who owned Pun’s for more than 20 years, was famous for his ability to help a customer pick a perfect gift for a child of any age. Kules said her mission is exactly the same.
“I just want a child to be happy,” she said. “I’m carrying on a tradition.”
Berardoni decided to retire, and closed the Bryn Mawr store in May and sold the building. Kules said the reaction of customers was “boxing gloves or a box of tissues, depending on the customer.” She wasn’t ready to say goodbye to what she calls “the best job I’ve ever had,” either.
“He pretty much said if I can find a space, I’ll get Puns,” Kules said. “And I found a space, and I got Puns. Joe pretty much gave me Puns, and that’s trust.”
The new store, tucked into Ardmore’s bustling core business district, is stocked with the same types of toys that Puns customers have come to expect: high-quality brands such as Melissa and Doug and Corelle, for babies all the way up to bigger kids. Puzzles and board games, also hallmarks of the old store, are in big supply, too.
It helped that Kules knew the business, inside and out, including the local vendors who sell toys and games. But it has been “huge” to get used to running every aspect of the business, she said.
To celebrate the new Puns, Kules is hosting a big grand opening event October 14, during the store’s 9 am to 5 pm operating hours. She’ll have games and toys outside, as well as a raffle and other family fun. If you (or your parents, or your kids) loved Puns, it’s worth a stop.
Kules will be there, beaming from behind the cash register.
“I want people to see the process,” she said. “I want people to know that Puns is here — no more waiting.”
Photographs by Gwyneth K. Shaw.