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Letter to the Editor: Ellie's Choice Response

A recent review chastised a local business and the business owner responded here.

Editor's Note: The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Ellie Acampora of Ellie's Choice, located at 211 Bridge St. in Phoenixville.

Recently, the following review, which garnered a flurry of feedback, was left on the shop's , and Acampora issued the following statement regarding the review.

Here is the original review:

The owner of this store would not let my son and I shop there because he is in a wheelchair. She expected me to leave my disabled 2.5 year old son at the front of the store alone like a dog that you tie up at the corner. DISGUSTING AND ILLEGAL! No one I know will ever shop at this DISCRIMINATING establishment ever again!           -Amber S.  Pottstown

Response:

I operate a small gift boutique in the Phoenixville Historic District, a National Register of Historic Places. Historic downtown Phoenixville is home to many retail and restaurant establishments that take pride in the beauty of the historical architecture of the buildings. My store, Ellie’s Choice, is located in a beautiful building on Bridge Street that was constructed over 100 years ago. 

My store is small and my inventory includes items that are breakable—including glass and other items that, if damaged or broken, could injure a child. Children are welcome but must be closely supervised at all times for safety reasons. I have tried a variety of shelving methods but there will always be a risk for breakage because of the nature of my inventory. 

Consequently I was forced to institute a no stroller policy. The policy itself was necessary because of the small isles and the number of items that have been broken in the past because of the strollers. I have been enforcing this policy routinely and consistently for over twelve years. As a result, parents carry their small children in my store—and I have not had a problem with a stroller ever since.

On Dec. 28, 2011, I welcomed and assisted a new customer and her small child, who was in what appeared to be a stroller, into my store. I did not know that the small child had a disability or that the stroller was, in fact, a wheelchair. I asked her to park the stroller—just as I ask all of my customers—and suggested that she carry her small child. She became upset with me and accused me of denying her access to my store with her disabled child. I regret any appearance of being insensitive or discriminating—I simply did not understand the circumstances. 

As a result of this misunderstanding, I have installed a call button at the front of the building so that customers can call me as soon as they decide to enter my store. My thought is that our communication can begin on a positive note and the customer will be able to discuss any needs he or she might have when we first meet.   

I am always looking for ways to accommodate my customers with disabilities. It is a continuous process as I welcome all people, from all walks of life, into my store. I do, however, continue to advise my customers to carry their small children whenever possible for safety reasons.   

I am sorry, Amber S. of Pottstown, for the misunderstanding. I appreciate what I have learned from this experience and the positive changes I have made as a result. I will continue to strive to provide quality goods and excellent customer service to all.

Ellie Acampora

 

Edvard Roperkov January 18, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Aww, Barry, are you sad people are exercising their right to free speech? I know you don't really care too much for it since you liked to delete actually valid posts on the 'downtown phoenixville news' page when your parking fiasco broke out. For a man running for public office you sure do seem to hate people and their 1st amendment.
Barry Cassidy January 22, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Ike...i am slow on the uptake...i did not realize until now. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. when are you down at the smoke shop ike? i was in there and chatted with dave. he is a nice guy. they seem to have a lot of room to move around in there. not much inventory. i think that your right they should take it out in the back yard somewhere and fight this out. i wonder why some people are rude but then i think of their upbringing maybe they were beaten as a child. puzzling. it really is. i know someone who was outright rejected when he tried to start his own business and felt that he had a lot to offer. he went around attacking people verbally and eventually blew his brains out on the sidewalk because all he said was bad and it got old and people ignored him. i always wondered why they let some whack job have a gun. kind of sad but it is a reoccurring story. get upset, rant and rave and then you do it so many times you lose a reason for living. don't think this is amber though she seems to have a single issue. maybe if she could resolve it she would feel better...not sure. maybe she should go back to ellie's and see if they can work it out. i really had no idea until that comment.
ConcernedPHXresident January 23, 2012 at 04:45 PM
I think anyone who decides to support or vote for Barry Cassidy should do a Google search of him and see the thoughtless comments he has made in the past before they fully commit to his campaign. For Cassidy to get upset about comments being made about others is purely hypocritical. Cassidy is exactly the representation his constituents need: Against citizens having free speech and willing to strong arm the media, if they allow people to have open dialogue. Read this article for edification. http://www.phoenixvillenews.com/articles/2010/06/10/news/doc4c1115fe0c392148599279.txt?viewmode=fullstory
Edvard Roperkov January 23, 2012 at 09:00 PM
That's such a touching story Barry. Maybe the poor guy was sold a better picture of Phoenixville than what really was beneath the surface by some greedy developers. Or perhaps the parking situation drove him out of business? Feel bad for him. Who was it, by the way? Fortunately for me, I've been doing nothing but thriving since moving here. Shame we can't all have such great success.
Amber Schmuker January 24, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Did you really gloat about a child's father walking out? That shows a great deal about your character and definitely sheds light on your ignorance.

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