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Westfield Resident Opens First NJ Location of NYC Toy, Furniture Business

Ari Tavasi opened Planet Kids in Ridgewood last week.

The Planet Kids interior at 25 Oak Street, Ridgewood.
The Planet Kids interior at 25 Oak Street, Ridgewood.

Written by Devin McGinley

After more than two decades in New York City, a toy and children’s furniture store opened its first New Jersey store last week in downtown Ridgewood.

Planet Kids first opened for business selling toys, cribs and strollers in 1991, and has two showrooms on the Upper West and Upper East sides of Manhattan.

Owner Ari Tavasi, a Westfield resident, said the storefront at 25 Oak Street, formerly Bernard’s Sporting Goods, appealed because of the foot traffic generated in the village’s central business district and a population in Ridgewood of former New York City residents already familiar with his business.

Holding a soft opening last Wednesday to make the beginning of the holiday shopping rush, Planet Kids carries toys mainly for infants and toddlers, though it also stocks merchandise for kids up to age 12.

“We carry specialty toys as well as some very well-known name brands,” Tavasi said.

The Ridgewood storefront also carries car seats and strollers, and the small chain is known for its children’s furniture.

The Ridgewood store, with less floor space than the two city locations, does not carry much of the furniture that Planet Kids offers, though Tavasi said its entire inventory is available by order, with free delivery in Ridgewood.

“We picked what we thought were our top products and brought them into the store,” he said. “So it’s not the full representation that I would have in the city, but I brought all the winners to this location.”

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