Ever get irritated when your energy flounders midway through a shopping marathon and there's no refreshment in sight? We've all been there — and fortunately for parched shoppers, a frosty Icee is just one of the quirky, thoughtful features the all-purpose gift and accessory store Gentry (6047 Magazine St., 899-4223) has to offer. "This location used to be a MiniMart," store manager Lisa Goff says. "When we acquired it in 2004, the customers asked us to keep the Icee machine, and we happily obliged."
Besides offering up what Goff calls "the best Icee in town," Gentry is characterized by its mix of merchandise, which appeals to a wide variety of tastes and personal styles. "We have some of everything, from handbags to serving pieces," Goff says. The store sells quite a bit of Beatriz Ball metalware, and the Vera Bradley and Baggallini collections also are popular. Gentry is known for its large collection of comfort-wear shoes, and a section of the store is devoted to selling Birkenstocks and other brands of functional footwear.
Other offerings range from local cookbooks to coffee table toppers. Picture frames, stationery, candles, luggage and wallets are for sale under Gentry's roof, and bracelets and other jewelry round out the array of accessories. The store offers free gift-wrapping for items $15 and over, and will ship purchases anywhere in the United States. Gentry also provides monogramming, which can come in handy when searching for the perfect wedding, graduation or birthday gift.
A family-owned business, Gentry has been around since Goff's parents, Marilyn and Paul Kullman, bought the store in 1966. The storefront on Magazine Street is the store's third location; its first two incarnations were on Carrollton Avenue at Broadway Street's Uptown Square. The shop originally was geared toward selling men's clothing (hence the name Gentry), but over time evolved into a gift and footwear store. "We are an older brand, which means that we have a lot of long time, loyal customers," says Goff, who manages the store along with her aunt, Phyllis Alltmont. "We're known for our wonderful customer service because we really get to know our customers and they mean a lot to us."