Behind the Business: Jessie Menken and her husband moved to the Fairmount area almost 20 years ago. They were just starting their family when Jessie, like many of us, realized that she wasn’t happy in her current career. So she quit her job and opened a small business! Her first endeavor was a Parenting Center and boutique store right on Fairmount Avenue. The parenting center was a success and as the years went by it became evident that it was the true heart of both businesses. After 13 years, however, the parenting center was closing and subsequently Ali’s wagon. It’s saving grace were the relationships that were built through the parenting center. A patron and neighbor actually funded Ali’s Wagon for 4 years to keep the business running! Named in honor of their friend, Alison Wenger, Ali’s Wagon has become a staple business in the Fairmount community.
Why Fairmount: The BIG reason that Jessie chose Fairmount Avenue for the location of Ali’s Wagon was because she and her family live there…and they love it! Jessie and her staff love the regular and loyal customers that are also fellow neighbors. They love seeing neighbors running into each other both inside and outside of the store. They are also eternally grateful to their friends and neighbors who have frequented the store and supported their business over the past 15 years.
Adapting during Covid: The Fairmount Neighborhood was amazing during the height of the pandemic. Patrons were continuing to support the business and purchasing items even if they didn’t need to. Ali’s Wagon used the lockdown to revamp their website and delivery services. They also offered private shopping opportunities in-store, booked by appointment only. Now that things have reopened, customers are welcomed back to browse inside of Ali’s Wagon, but with a mask…. of course!
If You’re in the Area: Ali’s Wagon is not just a children’s store! While they do have plenty of children’s books, clothes, and toys, Ali’s Wagon also has home decor, jewelry, clothing, and nicknacks for people of all ages! Need a Philly-specific item or gift? They definitely have them. Items featuring unique Philadelphia characteristics are scattered throughout the store. One of their favorite items is a set of glasses etched with the Philadelphia skyline. Come stop by and find something unique to showcase your Philly Pride!
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