Mondo Eat Shop Play Opens Its Doors to the Summit Community
Monday, October 22, 2012 • 11:31pm
SUMMIT, NJ - Summit is home to many luxurious restaurants and shops, but recently one unique establishment opened that has something for everyone. In July, Mondo Eat Shop Play, a four-story vertical mall of leisure time activities opened, and 12 days ago, businesses on the first floor opened, as well.
The Mondo building includes stores, eateries, an art gallery and a yoga facility. According to their website, it is “A place to relax, browse, and enjoy retail experiences in an eclectic and cosmopolitan atmosphere." Some of the shops and organizations inside the Mondo building include Judith G. Wharton Music Center, World of Rock, Film Society of Summit, the Hilltop Shop, Joni Rose Gallery and Loyal of Yoga.
Owner and founder of Mondo, Annette Dwyer, said it’s been a long process, but well worth it. Dwyer, a 16 year resident of Summit, said the journey began in 2010 when she found the empty building and knew she wanted to make a difference in the community.
“We wanted to accomplish a bunch of different objectives with this project,” Dwyer said.
They gutted the building, renovated it and divided spaces throughout it for retailers. The first floor has a central cashier for five stores, Ahrre's Coffee Roastery, and Marigolds and the second floor has three art galleries and a yoga business.
In her search for businesses, she found some, while others reached out to her. Dwyer said she was looking for different types of proprietors that could appeal to a variety of people in the community.
“I really enjoyed meeting and talking about what Summit needed and wanted,” Dwyer said.
Over the past two years, she said the Common Council and her friends and family supported her idea. It’s been a long arduous journey, but she is glad her dream has finally come to fruition, she said.
Creating a place like Mondo was definitely a risk, she said. In the tough economy, she wasn’t sure what to expect, but she hoped people would give it a chance.
“I think it was a tall task,“ she said. “Initially the concept was a little curious to people because it was different. You have to take risks on small businesses, otherwise you won’t grow.”
Since opening their doors, the feedback and reaction has been amazing, she said. She wanted to share her dream with everyone and now she finally can. It’s a place where small businesses can get a start, Dwyer said.
“Being able to follow your passion, do what you love and love what you do is a terrific opportunity,” she said.
One store in the building that has been a hot spot is the Hilltop Shop. It is in the front of Mondo and it’s owned by the Summit Athletic Booster Association. They are a group that supports athletics at the high school and middle school in Summit. The club sells regalia for the teams and their supporters and hopes to turn Summit even more maroon and gold.
Trisha Cassin, co-president of the Association, said so far business has been great and they are grateful for Dwyer’s help in allowing them to use the property. With all of their profits going back to the Association, this was a perfect fit, she said.
“What we’re trying to do is open a shop that creates a sense of spirit in the town,” Cassin said.