Carolee Neronde opened the doors of her children’s clothing boutique, The Moppet Shoppe, Oct. 27 in Midtown, moving to the central city after spending 21 years in Elk Grove.
“I had to leave, because the shopping center I was in was dead,” she said. “It was just me and a scrapbooking place for retail, and I stared out at a parking lot full of cars all day.”
In her new spot at 2524 J St., she has what she’s been looking for – the constant hustle and bustle of foot traffic.
The space previously housed the Upper Playground clothing store, and Neronde said that the first time she saw the place, she knew she had to have it. A month later, her doors were open.
Moppet is Old English for child, and the name was a natural fit for Neronde, who enjoys classic English literature and carries clothes for children – from premature sizes up to age 16.
“It’s a boutique, so we carry higher-end brands,” she said, adding that some of her popular clothing labels include Giggle Moon and Biscotti.
Some of the shoes she said her customers seek out include the brands See Kai Run and Pediped.
One concern with moving to Midtown, she said, is parking. Some of her regular customers told her they wouldn’t shop in the central city because of the parking situation, but others said they’d gladly make the drive – and weren’t worried about parking.
“Sacramento doesn’t have a parking problem,” Neronde said. “I never have trouble parking down here.”
The benefits, however, outweigh the perception of parking, Neronde added. Proximity to East Sacramento, constant foot and vehicle traffic and the fact that Midtown is mixed-use – allowing her to operate just yards from residences – are all aspects she sees as positives.
Down the street, at the corner of 25th and J streets, is Birkenstock Midtown. Co-owner Toni Budworth said she is happy to see The Moppet Shoppe move in, and she thinks it will enhance her business.
“We have a lot of the same customers,” Budworth said. “People come to our stores looking for high-quality products and good service.”
Birkenstock Midtown has been open for a decade, and Budworth said she thinks the two stores will complement each other well.
“Most of our customers are women, and a lot of them, like me, are recent grandparents,” she said. “It would make a great women’s outing to go shopping for shoes and pick something up for a grandchild or a child.”
Neronde said she has felt welcomed by the other businesses in the area, and she thinks the Midtown district has a good mix of locally owned shops appreciated by the residents.
“I’m really happy to be here,” she said. “It’s really exciting.”