Business Spotlights

Business Profile: Straight A’s, White Plains

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Kenny Friedman, proprietor of Straight A’s educational supply and teaching toys retail store on East Post Road, White Plains.

It has been just about one year since Kenny Friedman opened Straight A’s at 180 E. Post Road in White Plains.

In the midst of back-to-school promotions, the store is filled with teaching tools of every sort from posters to writing tablets to blocks, flash cards, workbooks, construction projects, pencils, pens, crayons, markers and all manner of toys with an educational purpose. The subjects include science, math and language arts, as well as arts and crafts. There’s even a greeting card station with unique cards for children.

Friedman’s stock is primarily hands-on teaching equipment and geared for children aged three years and up. “I don’t carry electronic devices and software,” he said, noting that one of his favorites is a magnetic writing tablet called Magnatab by Kid-O Company that uses magnetic beads inserted into holes arranged in the shapes of letters and numbers. A magnetic wand, held like a pen or pencil is moved over the formed letters and helps the student to feel the shape of the letters. “This tool has become a favorite for teachers working with autistic children,” Friedman explained.

Friedman has a degree in business and distributive education and has worked as a student teacher and substitute teacher, so he is no stranger to the needs of teachers, parents and students. “I thought about going into teaching,” he said, “but this is where I am most happy.”

With business associate Debbie Gropman, Friedman first worked at Noodle Kidoodle and then later at the Educational Warehouse.

“When Educational Warehouse closed I was left without a job and White Plains was left with a void. I looked around, spoke with the other retailers on the block and made the decision to open on the Post Road. It’s a great location and the store owners here are very supportive. We sometimes do cross promotions,” he said, referring to a wine event he had co-sponsored with Stu Levine of Vino 100 across the street.

Gropman and Friedman often arrange Meet the Expert groups for parents and teachers, so they can learn about new techniques in education or even basics like insurance and investments. They also go into schools to run arts and crafts events, and Gropman offers free arts and crafts classes at the store on Saturdays from 1 to 3 p.m. parents are encouraged to drop by with their children.

There is also a customer referral program in place for back to school purchases. Both the customer and the person making the referral get a discount.

Straight A’s is located at 180 E. Post Road in White Plains. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. On Wednesdays and Thursdays the store closes at 8 p.m. Friedman can be reached at 914-437-8922 or visit the Straight A’s White Plains Facebook page.

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