By Jill Diver
DERRY—Whether you’re looking to add a little taste of Paris to your home, find the perfect WebKinz or give a Life is Good gift, you won’t have to travel far. In fact, Moonlight and Roses in Derry has 23 different gift shops all located in one convenient spot.
And it’s this variety of clever items and the friendliness of its staff that’s earning Moonlight and Roses this year’s Derry News Best of the Best readers’ poll award for Most Unique Business and also topping in the Friendliest Service and Best Gift Shop.
Linda Kachanian, owner of Moonlight and Roses, says the first reaction of customers is “Oh my God, it’s so beautiful.”
“Basically my inspiration was Meredith Allen who owned the Gray Goose. She was such a nice, wholesome, down-to-earth person that it was a great experience being with them. She was so great to be with, and she made you love being in the business,” said Kachanian.
At first glance, the two-story farmhouse built in the 1800s looks chaotic; however, after walking through, a customer can see each room in the house is a small shop, made personal by the business owners who rent the space in the building.
The best sellers are Life is Good products and WebKinz, small stuffed animals that can be adopted online and are popular with younger kids.
“People are coming in for these products because we have good prices and a good selection, and other stores are far away.”
One of the spaces sells Wall Words, with large words like Live, Laugh and Love that can be put on any wall surface. The store also sells Pookaberry Candles, candles made to look and smell like cupcakes, hand-painted mailboxes, American Girl clothes, even a section with a Parisian theme, from hatboxes to lamps.
For Kachanian, it’s important to have a wide selection of products for customers to choose from.
“We try to have as wide a selection as possible, and if there is something someone wants, we try to get it for them, and if we don’t have it, we’ll tell them where to get it,” she said. “We want our customers to be happy, and we want them to come back again.”
Throughout the store the smell of cinnamon is prevalent, and the tinkle of wind chimes can be heard.
The store offers a sense of humor with a sign by the register saying, “Your husband called, he said buy anything you want.”
“I love coming in here, I love the opportunities, meeting customers,” Kachanian said. “The music is so nice, and coming in after being off work for two days, people will come in and add new products to their areas and I get excited to see all the new stuff.”
Customers are impressed with the store as well. In a guest book by the register a customer writes, “Opened a bed and breakfast nine weeks ago, and I have looked in many shops, but yours is the best. Unbelievable selection.”
A tough competitor for a business like Moonlight and Roses is the economy, but Kachanian hopes people will stop by and see all the unique gifts she has to offer.
“I want this business to work so badly; I love this business, and I put my whole heart and soul into it. I love what I do, and I want all the people who work here to make it, too,” she said. “We are doing everything we can in this economy to make it work, so I hope that Derry supports us.”
Moonlight and Roses is located at 45 South Main St. and open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The store hosts its Fall Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 4 and 5, with crafts and raffles available. Call Moonlight and Roses at 434-2200.
This story ran in The Derry News on September 25, 2008.