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Meet Leslie Leahy of The Hitching Post Gift Shop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Leahy.

Originally established in 1962 as a local card shop with “something more,” The Hitching Post has always been a welcoming, independently owned shop in Reading, MA. The shop’s current owner, Leslie, focuses on keeping the merchandise fresh with an ever-changing selection of products and unique gifts.

With personalized service you won’t find at the chain stores, The Hitching Post has developed a loyal following of customers from Reading and across Middlesex County. For over 50 years, their experienced staff has been helping customers select the perfect card or gift.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In 2013, The Hitching Post was forced to vacate its longstanding location due to renovations to the historical building. Another local business owner, Erin Calvo-Bacci offered to share her space at The Chocolate Truffle until a new location for The Hitching Post could be found. A temporary move & downsizing presented unique challenges for the business for over a year. Fortunately, its current location at 2 Haven Street became available in the summer of 2014. Throughout this turbulent time, Hitching Post customers remained loyal & supportive.

In addition, the rise in the popularity of online shopping challenged The Hitching Post to launch HitchingPostGiftsOnline. Because of the unique nature of the product mix, not all products in-store are available online. Customers are encouraged to contact The Hitching Post with product inquiries.

The Hitching Post Gift Shop – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Hitching Post focuses on local artisans – in fact, The Hitching Post is actually many small businesses in one. 75% of our products are from small studios or businesses located around the corner and across the country. ‪‬‬‬‬

In addition to one-of-a-kind products crafted by New England artisans, The Hitching Post carries Reading “townie gifts”, jewelry, home décor, pottery, fashion accessories, stationery, books, children’s items and much more! The shop is well known for its large selection of greeting cards from a variety of independent producers.

Along with our helpful customer service, The Hitching Post offers a wide range of quality products at all price points. To show our appreciation for our customers, we offer discounts for teachers, Chamber members, YMCA members, & seniors as well as numerous sales and promotions including a frequent buyer card. We will cheerfully box your regularly-priced purchase for gift-giving with a beautiful bow.

As part of the community, we partner with and support many non-profit organizations and donate the proceeds from their products to the charity. Leslie Leahy is one of the co-founders of Shop the Block, an annual holiday shopping night, now in its 15th year. The Hitching Post participates in many community events such as the Reading Fall Street Faire, Downtown Trick or Treat & the Holiday Light Festival.

As a Reading business owner, Leslie Leahy has served on various committees & organizations, including Shop the Block, the Reading Fall Street Faire & is a member of the Reading-North Reading Chamber of Commerce, serving on its board for 4 years.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest (& toughest) moment of my career has been keeping The Hitching Post alive during a very tumultuous 18 months with the relocation process. I was honored to receive a commendation from the state of MA for The Hitching Post’s service to the community, presented by Reps. Brad Jones & Jim Dwyer upon our re-opening in Sept. 2014.

Another proud moment was receiving the 2014 RAMAES award from the Retailers Association of MA for advertising & promotion based on my involvement with Shop the Block.

Some of the most satisfying moments at The Hitching Post have been helping customers who share their struggles & appreciate the calm, inviting atmosphere we have created at The Hitching Post. We have had customers comment that shopping with us has literally turned around their day – quite a compliment!

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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