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#LovingtheLocal with Mountain Top Toys

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The Holland family — Joanna, Patrick, and their adorable daughters

Whether you have kids or not, chances are you’ll find something to love about Mountain Top Toys. We asked Patrick Holland to share a little about the shop’s history and he sent us this excellent description:

Mountain Top Toys has been serving Signal Mountain and the Chattanooga area since 1992. The only non-franchise specialty toy store in southeast Tennessee, the business most recently came under new ownership when Patrick and Joanna Holland took over in March of 2013.

Previously, Patrick spent 13 years as an entrepreneur and executive at Mindspark Interactive, an Internet company based out of New York. There, he headed up a Creative Department responsible for both marketing and content creation, and a team focused on new product development and testing.  He manages the day-to-day activities of the store and is the primary buyer.

Joanna is employed at Signal Energy in Chattanooga as a Project Manager, and assists at the store on weekends as well as with business finances and taxes. Joanna and Patrick have two daughters, ages 7 and 6.

Under the Hollands, Mountain Top Toys has kept its 22-year-long focus of offering unique, specialty toys and gifts, while making a concerted effort to also seek out new toy lines via resources like Kickstarter. The business is often the first in the area to offer children and their parents early access to new lines created by entrepreneurs around the country.

The store offers free gift wrapping and a birthday bin program that recently went digital allowing parents of birthday party guests and out of town relatives to browse “wish list” items selected by the birthday boy or girl. This can be at the customer’s leisure via smartphone, tablet or computer without having to be in the store.

Mountain Top Toys also recently introduced online shopping via a third party partnership that allows inventory to be sold and shipped without ever having to enter the store. “It’s a great way to support your local toy store, even when you need to ship something across the country,” says Patrick. “And we like it because there is no risk of us having to pull inventory away from our loyal local base for out-of-the-area online orders.”

As part of a supportive and family-focused community, the store makes it a priority to give back to local and area schools and charities. For more information on these programs, visit their website’s About page.

Mountain Top Toys participates in the annual Holiday Ho Ho Expo at the Chattanooga Convention Center each November, and is open Monday-Saturday from 10am-6pm at their 1231 Taft Highway location in Signal Mountain.

If you need a special gift for a special kid, or you just love toys, take the time to drive up Signal Mountain and browse the selection at Mountain Top Toys. You’ll probably leave with a cool, new toy!

#LovingtheLocal: The Longhorn Restaurant

Not too long ago, our friend @ModernSauce posted a photo of The Longhorn Restaurant on Instagram. That got us thinking about how many awesome local businesses there are in Chattanooga, and how they get overshadowed by the chains so often. Everyone knows about The Waffle House, right? But not nearly so many people know about The Longhorn Restaurant. You’ve probably driven past it on North Market:

Longhorn sign (correct)

photo credit: ModernSauce

 

 

You may be wondering what’s so great about The Longhorn? Here are just a few things we love about it:

  • The look — the vintage decor sets the mood for an excellent diner meal.
  • The food — it’s just GOOD.
  • The service — friendly and thorough.

The Longhorn is only open for breakfast and lunch, and is located at 129 North Market Street — in the same plaza as Taco Mamacita and ClearSpring Yoga. You can’t miss the oddly shaped building.

In an effort to share some of our other favorite local spots, we are starting a new series called Loving the Local. Each week, we’ll feature a business, organization, or citizen who helps make Chattanooga a great place to live.  Our friends at Pearl & Associates Real Estate have decided to show some local love, too. They are giving away a $25 gift certificate to The Longhorn Restaurant (plenty for breakfast for two!) on May 1. There are two ways to enter the drawing:

1. Subscribe to the Pearl & Associates newsletter. You’ll get emails once or twice a month about all sorts of local real estate topics — how to sell a home faster, what kind of credit score and savings you need to buy a home, special programs, taking care of your house, and much more.

2. If you are already subscribed, you can still enter the drawing. Simply forward the Pearl & Associates newsletter to a friend.

Do you have a favorite locally owned business that you’d like us to feature? Let us know in the comments!