BRYN MAWR, PA - Pun’s Toy Shop in Bryn Mawr was a landmark along Lancaster Avenue for over three decades, and much to the dismay of his loyal customers, Pun’s owner, Joe Berardoni, will be closing shop in about a month. Berardoni has been the same smiling face working at Pun’s Toy Shop since 1996. He wasn’t the original owner, but he and his family ran the business for the past 21 years.
Berardoni says he tried to focus on imaginative specialty toys instead of the video games, electronics and licensed products you can find in big box toy stores.
“It has dwindled a bit but you can see people are still finding treasures,” said Berardoni.
The longtime owner knew the toys in his store in and out. Alison Preisser, a longtime shopper, told PHL17, “He has played with every single toy in here and he is an expert on every toy and he knows your children if you've been coming here too.” Customers say Berardoni’s kind spirit and the service from all of his employees kept them coming back year after year.
But a few months ago, Berardoni sold the business and a woman’s dress store will be replacing Pun’s.
“As they say in the godfather, ‘An offer I can't refuse’ came up. So it was time to go. It was the best thing for my family to take advantage of this deal.”
But Berardoni and his family are not the only ones getting a deal. The huge retirement sale in the front window has kept the shop busy since it went up. “We are trying to get everything off the shelves. We started at 30% off a couple of weeks ago, but last Saturday went down to 40%. So it's a pretty good deal.”
Berardoni says right now he hopes to keep the store open until the middle of June, but with the way the sale is going he's not sure he's going to have any toys left. “It looks as though we may close according to inventory,” said Berardoni.
And once Pun’s does close, a chapter in Berardoni’s life also closes with it. “I don't know what it's going to be like the first day when I wake up and say to myself ‘I’m not going to puns,’” explained Berardoni. “It’s just time. It’s the end of an era but it’s time.”