Mr. Mopps’ – Ye Olde Toy Shoppe in Berkeley

Holiday times are in full swing in Berkeley and if you have kids, it’s an especially magical time. To get a taste of the fun inside a child’s world this time of year, enter Mr. Mopps‘ in North Berkeley. Located at 1405 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way (near Rose), the shop has been open since 1962, exuding an old world vibe. Stepping inside takes you into a small town toy shop, with checkered floors, cheerful blue walls and narrow aisles chock full of delightful items.misterInstead of selling commercially popular items, their focus is to offer low-tech products that can’t be found elsewhere that provide “open-ended play and inspire imagination and fun for all ages of kids, from newborns on up, even grown-ups!” Current owners Devin McDonald and Jenny Stevenson, took over the store in 2010 when the previous owner was on the verge of shutting the doors for good. Keeping the spirit and tradition alive was important to the couple, especially for Devin who grew up down the street from the shop.

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In October of 2013, Mr. Mopps’ Children’s Books opened as a book annex just four doors down at at 1417-A MLK Jr. Way, which provides “an immersive literary environment for kids, ranging from board books for babies to young adult fiction and reference books for all ages.” Not much bigger than a hallway, the book annex is known for its vast selection tucked into a cozy nook of a space for kids. Featuring timeless and soon-to-be classics, the store also spotlights “Equal Read” books: titles that celebrate diversity and gender neutrality in children’s literature. Now that’s an important feature for families in our multi-cultural community of Berkeley!

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It’s an old time store with a hip and progressive vibe that is irresistible to the kid in all of us. As a sweet gesture, kids can drop a note into the “Wish List Box” at the store for families and friends to reference when looking for a gift. I love that idea! For info on special events, see their Events Page.You can also connect with Mr. Mopps’ on Instagram and Facebook.

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Mr. Mopp’s * 1405 MLK Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94709 * 510-525-9633 * Weekdays 10:30-6:30, Weekends 9:30-5:30

*all photos courtesy of Mr. Mopps’*

Mary Corbin

Mary Corbin

Mary Corbin is a writer and artist who has lived in Berkeley for 32 years. She is always amazed with finding something new around the next corner while out on a walk, biking in the hills, or chatting with locals about food or fun events around town. Visit her cycling blog at MommaWheelie.com and drop her a line. And view her work as an artist at marycorbinart.blogspot.com
Mary Corbin