The Best Toy Store Ever
Steve and Julie Bennett, owners of Smartickles Toy Store and Bennett’s Route 18, have built their family-owned-and-operated business into a one-stop destination that has a little something for everyone in the entire family, including your pets. Bennett’s Kennels originally started business on the property in 1976. From there the Bennett Family began selling amish-style gazebos, lighthouses, wooden bridges and other home furnishings. In 1995 Bennett’s Route 18 began manufacturing and installing custom made swing sets.
“My husband, Steve, originally installed other people’s play sets for the family business and saw how they could be made better, so he started making them himself,” said Julie. “He designs and we manufacture all the play sets ourselves now.”
Bennett’s Route 18 sells barns, sheds, gazebos and outdoor furniture as well. Conveniently located on Route 18, between Interstate Highway 71 and Interstate Highway 77, Bennett’s Route 18 and Smartickles Toy Store is just a short drive for most in Medina and surrounding counties.
As you pull in, one of the first things you’ll notice are the large play sets, storage buildings and outdoor furniture that are on display facing Route 18. Smartickles Toy Store is located in the main building on the property, just in front of the pet grooming and kennel business. Smartickles isn’t your ordinary chain or department store toy store either. Once inside, you can find thousands of educational, creative, unique and award-winning toys, games and puzzles.
“We opened the toy store in 2010 when my kids were little. I wanted good quality toys for them and for others too,” said Julie. “We have toys and gifts for everyone, from infants to adults.”
When Julie gave me a tour of the store, she introduced me to a couple of the employees and was quick to point out that most of them have been on board for several years. She believes that family comes first and even the employees that aren’t “officially” family are still treated and loved like family. The Bennett’s even go on vacation with their employees every year in the Carolinas!
Aside from their great variety of children’s toys and strong family values, Smartickles stand outs from other stores by offering personal shopper services and free gift wrapping.
“If you come in and you just don’t know what to buy that little 5-year-old boy who has everything, we can ask a few questions about what the child likes to do and then we show you all the things the we know would fit that category,” Julie explained to me. “Also, you can shop, leave your presents behind and go out to dinner or a date night and come back and your gifts are all ready for you. We wrap and label everything so you don’t have to!”
With such a great family-owned specialty toy store so close to home, do yourself (and your kids) a favor this year and do your Christmas toy shopping at Smartickles Toy Store in Medina.