The History and Magic Behind the locally-owned, family run, green certified, San Francisco Bay Area toy store
Owner Stephanie Sala opened the first Five Little Monkeyslocation in Albany, CA in 2001. Opening her own toy store, was not part of her original plan after graduating from college. She had every intention of applying to graduate schools and becoming a teacher. But after 9/11, her focus shifted. Stephanie soon realized that she wanted to be closer to home and her “little monkeys” (brothers and sisters). Being raised by entrepreneurs, “business was in [her] blood”. She soon found herself renting out a vacant space and opening a toy store next door to the children’s clothing manufacturing business her mother owned.
"What started out as an 840 square foot store, has expanded to four locations, with stores in Albany, Burlingame, Novato and Walnut Creek."
Why a toy store? Turns out, Stephanie's father, originally from France, is a toy designer and is the creator of the award winning Whoozit®! Some of her fondest memories as a child consisted of annual trips to France with frequent visits to toy stores. Five Little Monkey’s design and feel is reflective of the fond memories of Stephanie’s childhood, mixed with inspiration pulled from the quirky shops and cute boutiques she came to know on Solano Avenue in Albany, CA. Five Little Monkeys opened their doors on November 16, 2001.
Since Stephanie's Father created the Whoozit, after deciding to open the store, the first toy order she placed was through Manhattan Toy. The store has always had a special affinity for all Manhattan Toy products and their toy assortment has continued to grow over the years. When it comes to selecting products for their store, they are always on the hunt for fun, educational, environmentally sound and safe toys. Their motto is "Imaginative toys for creative minds!" To stay abreast of the newest toys, they have their staff complete weekly reports to stay up to speed with what their customers are looking for and ways to improve their selection and customer experience. In addition, they attend yearly trade shows to discover new designs, as well as the latest innovations and trends in the industry.
If you’re in the in the San Francisco Bay Area, be sure to check out Five Little Monkeys. They have a wide selection of products and offer a one of a kind experience. Be sure to check out what’s going on at each store location, you may just find yourself taking part in one of their yearly community-wide events. Got a softball team in the area? Five Little Monkeys sponsors Little League and Softball teams, not to mention, they donate to local events and fundraisers and even hold shopping nights designed specifically to raise money for the local community. Just another few great reasons so stop by your local Five Little Monkey’s specialty toy store.
Visit any of the four Five Little Monkey Store Locations: