Having been an educator for over 25 years, Mary, the owner of Penny & Ting, has acquired an intuitive understanding of child development. She finds inspiration in beautiful and meaningful children’s materials that cultivate a spirit of curiosity and connections.
1. Hi Mary! Tell us a bit about you.
I grew up in Croton and returned to the area when my son was about a year old. During the years I was gone, I lived in Washington DC, Los Angeles and the city. I have two children, an almost 16 year old son, Will, a 12 year old daughter Pia, and dog named Penny.
Up until a year ago, I had been in education for the past 25 years. I was a teacher for many of those years and later became a private school administrator in the city where I directed an early childhood program.
In my free time I love exploring our area. The nature here is beautiful in all seasons and I’m always looking for a new hiking spot or great little restaurant – there are plenty of both.
I’m lucky in that many of my daughter’s soccer games are in this area and north so I get to combine watching soccer with exploring new Hudson River towns. I would love to travel the world some more but these days business is keeping me pretty busy.
2. Tell us about your business.
I opened Penny&Ting right before Memorial Day this past spring. It’s a specialty store for children 0-10 and many of the gifts I buy are meant for the whole family to enjoy together with a focus on timelessness, aesthetics, education and fun.
Right now I have one employee, me, but am lucky that I have a couple of friends I can consistently count on to help me out when I’m in a pinch. I plan on expanding the space in the near future so that I can run children’s workshops and classes.
I’ve always had a thing for beautiful and meaningful children’s items. I try and buy gifts to reflect this. Customers often comment on the store as reminding them to a European children’s store or a store from their childhood.
When I first opened, an older woman and her adult daughter came in together. The woman told me in Spanish that this store was the way shopping should be. Her daughter had to translate for me but it was probably the best compliment I’ve ever gotten.
3. Why did you decide to open your business in Ossining?
I was looking for a space in a few different towns in this area. I was out to dinner in Ossining (Melike) and afterwards, when I walked out, I got this overwhelming sense that this was the town I wanted to be in. The trees along Main St. were all lit up, children were with their families along the sidewalk, I had just gotten to know Melita and her fabulous shop, my son was sailing at Shattemuc and loving it and there was this overwhelming sense that this diverse and dynamic community was the place to be.
I was so lucky that RIM happened to be renting out this wonderful space.
4. For someone not familiar with your business: what product do you suggest they buy and why?
It’s hard to recommend one thing to look at it in the store. It depends on your mood and who and what age you are shopping for! The kids are really into magnetic figures these days and I got some really cute sets from Mudpuppy in.
5. Give us your best Ossining tip or recommendation.
If you are out and about in Ossining, I have so many different things I recommend to try. Main Street Deli’s cheese empanadas are great and to have that with a delicious IPA from SingSing Kill Brewery is definitely a must try. But you also can’t leave town without trying a First Village cortado!
Thank you Mary!
Penny and Ting info:
133 Main St.