Sunshine Sam’s brings smiles to Montclair.
For parents in search of things sparkly, superhero and satisfying for kids 0-10 years old, Sunshine Sam’s has been a one-stop shop. The children’s toy store has expanded from its original location in Bloomfield and has found a new home at 127 Valley Road in Montclair. With newfound space for more in-store game playing, increased gift offerings and more customer parking, Sunshine Sam’s will kick off the summer season with a Grand Opening Celebration that will take place on May 14 from 10:30a.m. to 3p.m.
Smoothie treats from their neighbor, Groov Café, face painting by fine artist Jamie Menake and a fast track kids vs. parents tournament are all a part of the opening celebration at Sunshine Sam’s. Door prizes and raffles are also part of the day. All participants will receive a prize and the event is free. The store itself offers craft kits, rocket balloons and logic games as well as an Etsy authorized retailer who offers classes regularly. “Craft-ernoons” and “make-and-take” craft-making classes are something Sunshine Sam’s offers throughout the year.
What’s unexpected about Sunshine Sam’s is that all toys are battery-free. Dedicated to “empowering children with confidence and creativity,” the mother and founder of Sunshine Sam’s, Marlene Lewis, has created a business that attempts to fill the void in the toy market for brain exercising activities.
“You can’t go a day without reading articles about the benefits of unplugging. For both children and parents, there is so much to gain from getting off of electronics and exploring, building and creating without all of the mechanics,” Lewis stated. The only thing that powers these toys is the imagination.
Parents, gift-givers and kids alike have come to Sunshine Sam’s for their unique selections and party supplies. As a mother, Lewis believes there is nothing worse than getting home with a new toy and not liking it. So, in response, almost every toy for sale in Sunshine Sam’s is unwrapped at a game-playing table where all families can test them for free.
Lewis chose to move to Montclair thanks to her customers at her Bloomfield location. “Lots of customers were coming to Bloomfield from Montclair and parking was so tough. Parents were really requesting a bigger space. So now, we’ve come to our customers,” said Lewis, who has high hopes for the new location. “I would love for people to see Sunshine Sam’s as their neighborhood toy store—they know my name, I know theirs. I want them to come to me with their gifting needs and trust that I’ll wrap something nice for them.”
For more information about Sunshine Sam’s visit sunshinesam.com and check out the store’s Facebook page. By the summer, there will be both online and in-store ways of signing up for classes. Sunshine Sam’s Opening Celebration will take place May 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 127 Valley Road.