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Parkleigh treats customers like guests

Parkleigh staff morning dance

Parkleigh staff gather each morning to talk about the day’s event and store trends. They also loosen up with a morning motivational dance.


Parkleigh
215 Park Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607
800-333-0627
www.parkleigh.com
Ample parking is available in a lot to the rear of store.

View more photos of Parkleigh!

On the outside, Parkleigh reflects its heritage. The black storefront, striped canopy and large display windows now filled with brightly colored Vera Bradley handbags may have enticed shoppers with fresh produce or the latest medicinal tonic in years gone by.

These Jump From Paper products look cartoonish, but open into a nifty bag.

These Jump From Paper products look cartoonish, but open into a nifty bag.

Once a grocery store and then a pharmacy, Parkleigh slowly morphed into the gift shop of today when owner Jeannine Klee introduced a selection of imported teas and blankets in the 1970s. Klee was soon placing orders for more and expanding her selection of gift merchandise. Over time the pharmacy became smaller and smaller as Klee’s fine eye for unique gifts attracted customers from all over the region.

The exposed brick walls, cloud murals, creaky hardwood floors, ample natural light and many nooks and crannies chock full of the
handy, the unusual, the chic and sometimes downright funny gifts make shopping in Parkleigh an adventure. Well known for its wide selection of Vera Bradley handbags, travel accessories and home décor, Parkleigh is the brand’s number one independent seller in the United States.

Cool belts with wooden buckles

Cool belts with wooden buckles

Parkleigh also has a huge selection of tableware and home décor from fabled MacKenzie-Childs, headquartered in Aurora, N.Y.; Stonewall Kitchen products; a large selection of coffee and teas, including beans from Keuka Lake Coffee Roasters in Penn Yan, N.Y., which can be ground to your liking; lots of fine jewelry, including Trollbeads; a traditional candy counter and much more.

Steeped in history, but full of modern personality, Parkleigh makes customers feel like special guests. The store went all out during a recent national Vera Bradley launch of three new patterns by giving away special camp chairs to the first 40 customers, bottles of water, free temporary henna tattoos, trivia games with Vera Bradley prizes and cake for breakfast. A line of excited shoppers had a great time as they waited for the store to open.

“You realize every person who enters your store is like a guest to your home. If that person walked into my house would I offer them something to drink? Would I want to make them feel comfortable and show them the newest thing I have? That’s just what we do. It’s more of a hospitality business, I believe, than just sell you something and you give me money. We treat our customers as guests,” said Parkleigh Store Operations Manager Daniel Mejak.

The MacKenzie-Childs display

The MacKenzie-Childs display

It was quiet when we began our tour of Parkleigh, but by 10 a.m. the store was abuzz with customers and gracious staff. A new day had begun to impress shoppers with old-school hospitality, warm ambiance and an eclectic mix of gifts for every budget.

Make a day of it!

Parkleigh is located near many of Rochester’s great attractions. The Rochester Museum and Science Center explores science and technology, the natural environment and the region’s culture for hours of educational fun for the entire family. It’s just a minute away from Parkleigh. rmsc.org

The stately George Eastman House (a National Historic Landmark and home of Kodak’s founder, which contains an internationally recognized photography and film museum) is located right around the corner too. www.eastmanhouse.org

Also nearby is the National Museum of Play, museumofplay.org and the Seneca Park Zoo, senecaparkzoo.org. Seabreeze Amusement Park is a short drive, seabreeze.com. Check out www.visitrochester.com for a complete list of things to see and do after you visit Parkleigh. You could also spend time discovering thread, Record Archive, The Creator’s Hands and the other fabulous local shops Rochester has to offer!