By James Miranda
Robin Buco has spent the last 11 years photographing families, weddings, creating head shots and helping clients create snapshots for life. While photography has been her passion and livelihood, she always envisioned a different kind of snapshot for herself: owning a toy store.
Buco, the founder and owner of All Together Now in Mount Kisco, knows photography and owning and operating a retail store have virtually nothing in common. But she always grew up admiring the purity and fun that a toy store delivers.
“I felt that there was a big hole missing from this town, that there was no children’s store,” said Buco, 35, a mother of two. “Even before I had kids, it was always fun to stop into a toy store, so I thought it would be a fun business to own one day.”
Her dream moved closer to reality when she discovered the vacant space at 53 S. Moger Ave. in September. Her opportunity to fill that void in the village’s downtown started to take shape when she decided to combine her trade and dream.
All Together Now –the name is inspired from The Beatles song – opened its doors in early November. Toys, clothes and books for children 10 and under made from wood and other eco-friendly products are offered in the front of the store.
But like any experienced photographer, Buco’s vision goes what’s out front and includes the details in the background as well.
She uses the store’s backspace as a photo studio for her freelance photography business, Robin Eden Photography. The space is also used for 45-minute Mommy & Me yoga classes for pre-walkers (Wednesdays at 1 p.m.), walkers (Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.) and children in grades K-2 (Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m.). There are also Music for Aardvark classes on Sundays.
“I knew if I opened a retail store it wouldn’t just be retail,” said Bucco, who took her daughter to the same types of music classes starting when she was three months old. “I knew I wanted to (combine) it with a retail space and a class space. I wanted it to be, overall, a space of community building and inclusiveness for everyone.”
Buco hopes All Together Now will be a community resource for local children and families. She believes the foundation has been laid despite having been open for about a month.
Buco and her staff got a taste of that community atmosphere at the recent grand opening where the first Music for Aardvarks class took place and children and their parents were in a circle enjoying themselves. It was a highly rewarding moment for Buco.
“I think [All Together Now] will become a local, go-to place for buying gifts, for celebrations, for community resources and building,” she said. “I don’t care what country you’re from, what language you speak or how much money you have in your bank account. Everyone should be welcome to come in here.”
All Together Now is located at 53 S. Moger Ave. in Mount Kisco, NY. It’s open Tuesday to Friday at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s closed on Mondays. For more information, call 914-864-2400, visit www.alltogethernowkids.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.