Saturday, December 22, 2007
New toys stores in Clover Dumps
First off, is Chloe & Hunter. They're located on Indian Hill and are part of the Village Expansion. Previously, they only had a store inside the Ontario Airport. They specialize in wooden stuff and baby and toddler items that you can pretty much only find on the internet.
A visit to Chloe & Hunter used to be the highlight to any trip out of town, since the only way to visit their airport location is if you are actually on a flight. I haven't been to the new one in Claremont, but I'm sure they have the same, great stuff. The good news is that they won't really take any business from Boon Companion toy store in the village, because their line of goods is much more earthy crunchy, although admittedly can be pricey.
The second new store is called Learning Express and they are located in the TJMaxx shopping center in San Dimas (just west of the 57 freeway on Arrow Highway). This store caters more to post toddlers and beyond, so it's perfect for Mr. Big. They have ugly dolls, lots of personalized stuff, and again, games and toys of the old fashioned variety and that one can usually only find on the internet.
Learning Express is a franchise. The San Dimas store is owned by Kara Gordon, a registered nurse, who was nice enough to respond to an email from me. Kara told me that she is the wife of an LA County Fire Captain and mother of 3 kids: 14,11, and 8. She lives in Glendora , but moved to Mammoth Lakes four years ago where she was introduced to Learning Express. They brought Learning Express toys back with them when they returned to the San Gabriel Valley .
Kara said that there are 134 stores across the country, and that the store was started 20 years ago by a mom, Sharon Diminico, who still runs the franchise.
Kara also wanted me to assure people that even though they carry specialty toys for all ages, their prices are comparable to Target. They offer free gift wrapping everyday and free personalizing.
Here's a link to an article that was in the Tribune. The link doesn't work perfectly, you have to type "learning express" into the search box.
I'd like to be able to refer people to Pomona's own Toys R Us, but I hate their return policies and they aren't all that picky about the toys they choose to sell.