Gimme Gimme Pillow Toast owner Janene Hurst is fascinated with the way the Japanese can make anything cute, recalling that even "a warning not to put oil down the drain had a cute little cartoon of a drop of oil with a face." That love (combined with a desire to find products not available in America) takes her overseas at least once a year with her husband, co-owner Andrew Novick, to restock their store, hand-picking each item and buying in small quantities to ensure that every thing they sell is unique.
With its pop-culture ambience, Gimme Gimme Pillow Toast fits nicely among the galleries and artists' studios of Belmar's Block 7 (445 South Saulsbury Street in Lakewood), a key part of Belmar's vision of incorporating art and culture into the community.
Originally members of a collective of local businesses, Hurst and Novick are now celebrating the grand opening of their own store tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. as part of the Big Block 7 Block Party (which also includes openings at FLASH Gallery and Ink Lounge Gallery). Among other fabulous giveaways, they're offering a ticket to Japan for one lucky customer. "We get so many kids in the store who would never be able to afford to go to Japan, and we want to help people who love Japan as much as we do get there, too."